I’ve got a bit of a cold this week, so there won’t much in the way of tasting notes this week. However, I tasted this one last week, this is the image of traditional Rioja as you would expect from Grupo Faustino. Its 100% Tempranillo that is aged in American oak for a whopping 22 months. These guy do have a very scenic and impressive Bodega, check out their website for a look see.
Vintage Port is one of my favourite wine styles, but I don’t always want to wait 15 years for them to really show their stuff. I drank this over a week and was very impressed with how drinkable this wine is now and how much the wine improved dramatically each night. You can definitely drink this now and get huge enjoyment out of it.
Like many countries, Spain has plenty of wine made outside the DO system, and there are some advantages for producers in following this path. Less overhead from the regulator and more freedom to make wine from whatever variety you like, however you like. The guys at Bodegas Mauro have taken this path, they sit just outside the Ribera del Duero DO and grow a bit of shiraz as well as tempranillo and garnarcha. They also have a bit of help from winemaking legend Mariano Garcia and his sons.
This is the top wine from Toro for Telmo Rodruigez and it must be hardest bottle in the world to take a photo of, its a good thing that the wine is bloody good. Toro generally grows big and bold fruit that can handle plenty of oak, so there is always a temptation to bung the wine in loads of new, high toast oak. As a result there are some oak milkshake type wines that come out of Toro, however this wine fruit shows through with great pruity and plenty of earthy, gamey character. There is some expertly handled oak in there too, but it’s aiming for best supporting actor, not the big gong.
Pesqurea has to be one of the most well know producers in Ribera del Duero and introduced many people to the style of wine from the regions. For sure, the juicy, juby fruit that characterises Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero is a long way from daggy oak treatment and the 100 rackings that old school Rioja has as its trademark. I wouldn’t really call this a modern wine these days, but even so even there the fruit shines through and the oak treatment is reasonable.
Ruby Port is considered to be the lowest level of the Port tree, but there are some good ones out there. Its called ruby port because it is usually stored in a way that prevents oxygen contact, and therefore keeps its colour better than a tawny port which is aged in oak. The result is generally a very sweet wine that has very dark, almost black, colour and plenty of fruit character.
This wine is a bit older and gets a couple of extra months in American oak than its younger brother, Quinta, and its all the better for it. Again, its a fairly savoury and rustic with some amazing acid and balance.
Roda may make some pretty amazing wines, but they also spend a lot of time and money on R&D, specifially on Tempranillo clones. After studying 532 clones for 5 years, the guys in white coats have anounced their prefered clone and called it Roda 107. Not the most inspiring name, but thats scientific types for you. Sounds kind of like a radio station.
Well this is a surprise package, a really interesting Spanish wine for well under $20. It’s not the usual sunny fruit, simple but good value wine. Its well and truly in the old school camp, but it has plenty of character and rustic charm.I drank this after the 04 Roda I, which is kind of like a Barry White song (smooth and polished with plenty of bottom end), where as this is more like Jon Spencer Blues Explosion (full of angles, lo-fi and not everyone gets it).
I get more emails about the two Roda wines than any other. For the last month or so I’ve been getting one almost every day about the 04s, which have just been realeased. The two big questions seem to be 1. are they as good as the 2001s and 2. have they gone up in price? The answer is yes to both.