lasendal-2006I had a craving for grenache on the way home last Thursday, a quick stop in at City Wine Shop turned up this little gem. The flash new label really stands out, I like the textured paper with bold black ink. Packaging is all well and good, but who gives a toss? It’s all about the wine, and in this case it’s agarnarcha/syrah blend (85%/15% respectively) with a spell in older American oak.I’ve been following this wine for a while now, this is the best yet.
dionisos-008Albariño season has reared its head a bit early this year, its been bloody hot for the last couple of days in Melbourne. Perfect for sitting in the yard with a bowl of clams after the sun goes down.Pitty I didn’t have any clams. I know I always go about shellfish with albariño, its only because its a perfect combination. If you haven’t already seen it, have a look at Spain on the Road again…. for an example of what happens in Galicia. However, if you do watch it, have the remote handy. Mario Batali must be one of the most boring and annoying people on TV, and there is plenty of him waffling on about crap in each episode he’s in…he should stay in the kitchen.
Another cracking wine from Mount Majura, this time a blend of Tempranillo (56%) Shiraz (31%) Graciano (13%) aged in older wood. I haven’t seen a lot of Graciano aorund, I’d be interested in seeing what else is being done with this variety here. These kind of blends are really showing potential in Australia, and the resulting show a bit of Spain, a bit of France, but show through very much as Australian. Putting an Aussie stamp onTempranillo can only be a good thing.
Some Spanish wine law is a bit out there. Media crianza, semi joven, or barrica are all names for wines that have seen less than 12 months in oak, making the wine not quite a crianza or a joven wine. Now this isn’t an official term, people just make it up, but Barrica (which just means barrel in Spanish) seems to be winning out in Ribera del Duero and Toro. Confusing or what? Not a particularly great marketing plan, many Spanish people don’t know what it means either. Anyway, this puppy is all tempranillo that has 4 month in oak. It works quite well this wine, rather than adding unneeded wood it adds a nice edge to the wine.
The big daddy from Bilbas. Reservas from Ribera del Duero are one of my favourites wines to drink, old or young. The juicy fruit with plenty of complexity is super satisfying. This is along similar line to thecrianza, this is perhaps a little more traditional in its focus. The vintage shows through here: big flavours, big tannins and lots of potential in the cellar.
There was a little pile of foam wine mailers in my office when I got back from the US, a couple of bottles from Mouth Majura was stashed away at the bottom. Complete with a hand written note (I haven’t had one of those in years!) from Frank, the winemaker. I’ve had a couple of bottles of this wine, of various vintages, over the years and I’ve always been impressed. But this is taking CanberraTempranillo to another level. Canberra has a couple of features that make it, on paper at least, an ideal proposition for growing Tempranillo: climate and limestone in the soil. There is an old wifes tale in Spain that the best Tempranillo grows in soil rich in limestone…
This is a new one from Ce Soir, part of a range of wines from Ribera del Duero. One of the older bodegas in the region making very smart wines. Well worth seeking out. There is a dollop of Cabernet in here is well, which is quite typical and traditional for the region…I’m not usually a fan, but there is always an exception to the rule.
coit towerAfter a month or so break, I’m back with more tasting notes. I’ve spent the last month or so traveling around lesser known parts of Idaho and Utah (with a quick stop in San Francisco) and recovering from a bout of swine flu, but there has been a few Spanish and Portuguese wine moments along the way. A few high lights: Tasting most of the big name 2007 vintage ports (do believe the hype in most cases, its a great vintage), drinking MartinCodax Albarino while my Mormon hosts look on in horror and disdain, and eating Mexican food in California.