Finca Vieja Crianza 2003

Finca Veija Crianza 2003Who would have thought that Hawthorn would have won the grand final? Hawks supporters I guess. I had my money on Gelong, but what I would I know about footy? You should see my supercoach team, I would have been better off picking blokes that had a surname starting with B. Anyway, I do know that watching the game is a great time to get stuck into a few wines and this bottle was next on the chopping block.

It’s a wood aged version of the Tempranillo I had last week, all tempranillo with a bit of american oak treatment. The wood is well done, there are very few obvious wood notes but the wine is rounded with punchy acid. The warmer areas of Spain seem to have done well in 2007…

The nose kicks things off well with aniseed, earthy herbs and spice, plum, cherry and a touch of balsamic. It’s quite rich and giving on the nose, but not sweet and jammy. and driving acid. Juby fruit on the palate with some added pepper/hot cinnamon with a long finish. It’s medium boddied and rounded but with some driving acid. Dusty, small tannins on the generious finish. Perfect for a knock about day on the couch. 88 Pts. 

Source: Heart and Soil Price: $20  Closure: Conventional Cork

Web: www.vinicoladecastilla.com

Pleno Tempranillo 2007

Pleno Tempranillo 2007One of the things I love about wine is there is always different every vintage. I had a look of the 06 of the this a while ago and it was fresh and full of fruit. This 2007 is edition is similar, but it shows a green note that seems to be typical of most regions in northern Spain.

The nose opens up a little reductive, this blows off to reveal some lovely juicy red cherry with a touch of raspberry leaf and sage. It’s mostly smooth in the mouth, with some grainy tannins. Otherwise it’s all in balance with some nice acid.  On the palate it’s more cherry and sage, with a touch of cherry pip sourness and slightly under ripe plums. It vanishes all too quickly, too short for me and showing a tad too green. 85 Pts.

Source: Heart and Soil Price: $15  Closure: Screwcap

Finca Vieja Tempranillo 2007

Finca Vieja Tempranillo 2007I ran into this wine at Bar Lourinha a couple of weeks ago, the name wasn’t familiar so I thought I’d give it a go. A couple of days later a box of samples turned up. Excellent. Its a gutsy number from La Mancha thats well priced. 100% Tempranillo in a Joven style from what I can tell. It’s also under screwcap, which I’m starting to see a lot of…

A fairly typical nose for Tempranillo from a warmer area: Plums and varnish, with earthy raspberry and blackberry. In the mouth there is a green herbal edge that works for this wine, with plums and raspberry over very light raisin and spice. Rustic in approach, there are some dusty tannins and everything is in blanance. Very tasty and drinkable. 88 Pts. 

Source: Heart and Soil Price: $18  Closure: Screwcap

Web: www.vinicoladecastilla.com

 

 

Primitivo Quiles Raspay Reserva 2002

Primitivo Quiles Raspay Reserva 2002This is a classic case of ‘you should never judge a wine by it’s label’. I was introduced to this little number at a Spanish Acquisition tasting and I initially had my doubts about the packaging, but after tasting the wine and having a good fondle of the bottle, I love it. The Spanish flag ribbon over the top of the bottle and the old school label set the context, and the contents of the bottle are reel you in. I’m told the winemaker here calls this the Barolo of Spain, and he’s not too far wrong.

Raspay Reserva is 100% monastrell from old, low yielding vines that spends a lot of time in old oak. The methods used are very traditional and this leaves the wine with a distinct old world character. I like to think of this wine as an old bloke who was always a snappy dresser and he’s still got it going on well into his 60s.

Updates will be a little slow for the next week or so, my home machine had it’s hardrive crash last week so it will take me a few days to get everything back in order. I’ve lost a few things, like price lists, so a few minor details will be missing for a bit. I’ll try to post a few things at work in between my regular game of schedule chicken (aka death by meeting)…

A really enticing nose of squashed ants, violets and roses, cherry and plum with a rustic earthy quality. Fine and soft tannins with very good balance and length. The palate shows pen ink, blackberry and plum, herby undergrowth and a little tar. Reliable and friendly, stylish but rustic. This isn’t just for the traditionalists, it’s a very reliable wine that just about everyone will get into. 91 Pts.

Source: The Spanish Acquisition Price: ???  Closure: Cork

Web: www.primitivoquiles.com

Pasanau La Morera De Montsant Priorat 2003

A very tasty and affordable Priorat. It’s made from a blend of Garnacha, Cabernet, and Merlot from older vineyards and lives in in 1 year old American and French oak for 12 months. It’s bright and fresh, with a herby/medicinal character that may turn a few people off, but I like it.

Earthy raspberry fruit on the nose with what I’m calling a Dr. Pepper/cola note, so that would be spearmint, wild sage, hot cinnamon and loads of pepper. Long with sandy tannins on the finish, the acid drives things along. A very spicy palate with plenty of pepper, light wood notes, more mint with raspberry and cola. This all leads to a kind of medicinal character, that I think matches the fruit, but a couple of people that I drank this with found it a bit too much. I like it, a solid wine from a hot vintage. 90 Pts.

Source: Bibendum Wine Co. Price: $57  Closure: Conventional Cork

Herederos de Argueso ‘San Leon’ Manzanilla

San LeonSo this is the big daddy from Argueso, the award winning San Leon. I’ve written this up before, but as it turned up in a box of samples I tought it would be worth while re-visiting.  If you had a look in my fridge at home you’d find at least a  bottle of La Goya and a bottle of San Leon ready to go. For me, these are the best two examples of Manzanilla that are available in Australia, they are both regularly shipped out so you can usually find something that was bottled about 4 to 6 months ago, which is about the best we can expect on the other side of the world from Sanlúcar de Barrameda.

I have been trying drink a fair bit of stuff that is not from Spain or Portugal over the past couple of weeks in an attempt to keep the old palate broad.  A bit of 06 burgundy, a few older aussies, some 07 german Rieslings and a bit of 06 Chianti Classico, so its nice to get back in the swing of things with an excellent manzanilla.  I had written a new tasting note, but I think my old one captures this wine very well. One thing I will add is that this wine show what a bargain a sherry is in the world of ever rising prices. San Leon is now being imported by BibendumBTW.

Very pale, almost colourless. Classic nose, salt spray, chamomile, roasted nuts and flor.  Refreshing and highly drinkable.  This is not a simple sherry, the palate is complex, but subtle.  More nuts, light sea salt and tangy apple. There is also a textured, mealy character that I find very interesting.  You will need to order a couple of these, it goes all too quickly.  92 Pts.

Source: Bibendum Wine Co. Price: $19 (375 ml) Closure: Screwcap

Web: www.argueso.es

Primitivo Quiles Fondillon ‘El Abuelo’ Gran Reserva

Primitivo Quiles Fondillon 'El Abuelo' Gran ReservaSo this is literally the Grandfather Fondillion from PQ (El Abuelo means grandfather in Spanish). The solera for this wine was started in 1892 and even though it is a single barrel, it is managed in the same way that solera is. Only a small amount is drawn from the solera each year and a small amount of new wine replaces the drawn out wine. Only something like 350 bottles are drawn from the solera in this case.

Intense aromas of molasses, old coffee, wooden furniture, dried fruit, walnuts and spice cake on the nose. There is a little thickness in the mouth, but the overwhelming sense is that of smoothness. There is a little sweetness, but you could never call this a dessert wine. In the mouth, it fairly much mirrors the nose with a slightly bitter, nutty finish. This just keeps going, I could taste it minutes after taking my last sip. It’s hard to give something like this a score, but its at least 95+ Pts.

Source: The Spanish Acquisition Price: ???  Closure: Cork

Web: www.primitivoquiles.com

Primitivo Quiles Fondillon 1948

Primitivo Quiles Fondillon 1948What the hell is Fondillon? Well, its basically a wine that is harvested with a very high sugar content, fermented into wine with a little residual sugar left over then put in a big barrel and aged for a very long time. It’s kind of like sherry, but it’s not fortified.

It’s a traditional style from Alicante made from Monastrell in a solera style environment. In this case the solera is one big barrel. The history of this style goes way back, it was well known back in the 1600s all around Europe and was the drink of choice for the nobility. I read somewhere that there are only 3 producers left making this style of wine, I’m not sure it’s that low but it is hardly a commercial production.

This one is the ‘baby’ in the family, the solera was started in 1948. The colour is of deep mahogany with an orange tint towards the edge. Intense and character filled nose with sweet raisins, a kind of peaty note, old wood all reinforced by a spirity alcohol note. Not that sweet in the mouth actually, it’s clean and bright with nuts, raisins, a little honey and fine tannins. Its kind of like madeira more than sherry, an intriguing wine that would be a hit in many of the fine dining restaurants around town. 92 Pts.

Source: The Spanish Acquisition Price: ???  Closure: Cork

Argueso “Las Medallas de Argeso” Manzanilla

Argueso Yesterday I wrote about the younger brother of this manzanilla, which was all about edgy acidity and freshness. This guy is a year older and is more about flor complexity, softness and the barrels. I like both, but we finished the bottle of the 4 year old on the day, this was left…

Notes of almonds and ground oats, plenty of flor character and a little vanilla essence. Soft and round in the mouth with plenty of salty tang. Almonds and apples with an old wood note and a touch of citrus peel. A fairly complex little number, but not the freshness that I crave from manzanilla. 88 Pts.

Source: Bibendum Wine Co. Price: $15 (375 ml) Closure: Screwcap

Web: www.argueso.es

Herederos de Argueso Manzanilla

Bodegas de Argueso ManzanillaYou may know these guys from their very popular San Leon Classica Manzanilla. Most of the Manzanilla that gets shipped out to Australia is about 8 years old. However, this is a very young manzailla, with 4 years in wood. This leaves it with a bright, fresh outlook and a touch of flor character. It’s manzilla with the training wheels on, but at the same time I love the freshness and vibrancy. Fresh bottles will be very important with this style, Bibendum are regularly shipping this stuff out so you’re in good hands.

Very pale in the glass, with the lightest bit of gold tint. Aromas of fresh apple and white field flowers with some yeasty flor character mixed in. In the mouth it’s fairly straight forward, but that bright fresh quality carries it off. Almonds and yeasty flor, a bit of apple and a sage/wintergreen note on the long finish. A great introduction to the style if you’re a bit sheepish about getting into manzanilla or a refreshing summer drink if you’re already a convert.  88 Pts.

Source: Bibendum Wine Co. Price: $14 (375 ml) Closure: Screwcap

Web: www.argueso.es