Condado de Haza 2006

Condado de Haza 2006I’ve been liking these 2006 wines from Ribera del Duero, I think this is the last for the moment. A couple of bucks cheaper that Pesquera, but every bit as enjoyable. Do decant for at least an hour, it needs a bit of time. I hear all this talk of 2006 being a poor vintage, it’s not 2004, but it’s not 2002 either. Every 2006 I’ve had so far has been tasty and the tannin/acid balance that makes these wines great with meat like lamb and pork..

A kind of stewy blend of dark cherry and blueberry mixed in with some gamey meat and wild herbs. Some iron/bloody and voilet notes as well. All class in the mouth, tight and fluid in the mouth, but expressive and lively. Refreshing acid and finishes with a lick of supple tannin. The palate is classic Ribera, dark cherry, herbs, game notes, mineral and juicy, juicy fruit. I could drink bottles of the stuff. Good now with a decant, or cellar for 3 years and drink over the following 10. 92+ Pts

Source: Bibendum Wine Co. Price: $52  Closure: Conventional Cork

Web: www.condadodehaza.com

Other Vintages: 2002, 2003, 2004

La Vendimia 2009 (The harvest post)

La Vendimia 2009Things are a bit slow on the site at the moment, It would seem that attempting to finish a Master degree, doing home renovations and trying to hold down a job are not conductive to posting. But I have been firing off a few emails to see whats happening with the 2009 harvest all over Spain, and I thought I’d put up a few tid bits for those who are interested. So far, most of the news is from Rioja, but a bit extra from all over the place as well. Things are looking fairly good so far, the harvest has finished for many of the whites in the south of Spain, with reds starting to come in, while up north things are starting up shortly. I’ll add more as they come in.

First up, Jorge Muga from Rioja:

Winter and spring was humid and cold, ideal warm and extremely dry Summer (very abnormal situation in this latitude), in part compensated by the enormous reserves of water accumulated in the subsoil, thanks to rain in the previous seasons. The nocturnal thermal contrast gave relief to the vines (several mornings with temperatures less than 10ºC) accompanied by refreshing dews. At the moment the vineyard is in stressed situation, the lack of water has held up the ripening for ten days, that maybe reduced if we do not have some rains in the next days (the weather forcast does not indicate it will rain). The vineyards with lots of pebbles are suffering from the most from this situation to the point in which they begin to lose leaf, the same thing occurs with the young vineyards that have a less established root system. The lands with more than 1 meter of topsoil, i.e. clay, those with altitudes over 500m or with North orientation have no problem and they present a fantastic ripening. Especially evolving well are the Garnacha and Graciano. Statistically the dates of grape harvest are the following (Valley of the Rio Oja)

Viura (6 October)
Malvasía (6 October)
Garnacha Blanco (8 October)
Tempranillo (10 October to 5 November)
Garnacha Tinta (15-25 October)
Mazuelo (25 October – 5 November)
Graciano (20 October – 3 November)

For the moment all presents an advancement of some 10 days.
Jorge Muga© (reproduction authorized)

Then this from Pablo at Compania del Vinos de Telmo Rodruigez:

“The year is being good in general, with a rainy spring and a warm and very dry summer but with fresh nights that favor the ripening of the grape. The grape harvest seems that will advance 15 days in Rioja. In Malaga we have already begun with the Molino Real and with the Basa in Rueda. Probably Gaba do Xil will be harvested next week. The grape harvests of Toro, Ribera del Duero and Rioja will be a little further on.”

Hermanos Lurton Verdejo 2008

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A project by brothers Jacques and Francois Lurton in Rueda. They came to town looking to make outstanding Sauvignon Blanc and decided to stick to Verdejo. They seem a little obsessed with the place actually. They even make a sweet wine from verdejo called ‘de Puta Madre’. Which would be quite rude if you’re from South America. Only a Frenchman could call a wine “fuck that’s good” and get away with it…

Nice and crisp, is the first thing I think of when taking a sniff in the glass. It has the typical lemon and white flowers of verdejo, with a little pear and rocks. Nice oily texture with plenty of acid, it’s refreshing if a little flabby in the middle (like the best of us). Minerally and flinty, with a good finish. Lacks a bit of the herbal edge I like in verdejo, but that might be a good thing depending on your point of view. Still, a tasty drink with plenty to offer. 90 Pts.

Source: Ce Soir Imports Price: $32 Closure: Screwcap

Web: www.francoislurton.com

Pesquera Crianza 2006

Pesquera Crianza 2006I thought I’d put this one to the top of the pile, its a popular wine and its one of my favourites year in and year out. The 2004 Reserva should also be around by now too, I’ll have to see if I can get hold of some. I am still a bit iffy on this concept that tempranillo from Ribera del Duero goes through some kind of oxidative phase that looks like brett after, bottling,  shipping and about 10 years in bottle, but I can’t see anything like brett here…and the two bottles of the 2004 that I’ve had in the past 6 months have been fine too. Anyway, I think at least a 6 pack of this is in order…

This is super young at the moment, but it smells lovely. Primary, wild cherry and sage brush with a bit of vanilla oak and an minerally iron type character on the nose. There is a bit of the animal about it, like a partially tamed horse. Or something like that anyway.  Extra juicy and smooth with streamlined tannins that start to show an edge after 3 or 4 hours. Vibrant and alive. All exceptionally balanced and focused. Licorice and rocky minerals show up on the palate, over some dark cherry and blueberry fruit. A classic vintage for Pesquera. Hold for 3 to 5 years, then drink over the following 10. 92+ Pts.

Source: Boccaccio Cellars RRP: $46 Closure: Conventional Cork

Web: www.pesqueraafernandez.com

Other Vintages: 2004, 2005