Quinta do Ameal 2008

ameal-08It’s 38 degrees in Melbourne today, so what to drink? The best idea is probably water, a bit boring for this time of year tho. A more enjoyable solution would be a nice bottle of manzailla or a beer, perhaps something sparkling. Or Vinho Verde, which is my choice tonight. There isn’t a lot of vinho verde getting around in Australia, so I feel quite comfortable in saying that this is the best around….

It’s peachy, lemon-limey, herby and a little salty on the nose. A little melon creeps in as it warms up too. Nicely textured, you could be convinced there is a bit of spritz there, but its not really fizz but the fine minerally acid. From what I’ve seen of previous vintages, this will open up and keep deilvering over the next couple of years. Next time you’re heading out for yum cha, grab a couple of bottles of this, loads of friends and fill the table with seafood dumplings. Heaven. 89 Pts

Web: www.quintadoameal.com

Other Vintages: 2005, 2007

Telmo Rodriguez Gaba do Xil 2008

gaba-08I am developing a bit of a soft spot for Godello. I have always liked it, but there have a been a few recent example that have really delivered, both in the interestingness and drinkability factors. Its one of the lesser known grape varieties from Spain, often over shadowed by Albariño and Verdejo. I find it more exciting than verdejo and more versatile than albariño in it’s ability to give a good refreshing drink while matching with a wide range of foods. It seems to go very well with Thai food and is excellent with goats cheese for some reason.

Valdeorras is a very striking place too, very hilly and rainy. There are some great photos on the Temlo Rodriguez website. In fact I think they might have the best photos of any wine website I’ve seen…Anyway, hopefully I’ll get a chance to have a quick look around here when I’m back in Spain in February.

This version from Compania del Vinos de Telmo Rodriguez is looking very raw at the moment (this is a good thing), there is some clear power there, but the classic pears, freshly cut hay and a touch of guava and hot wax are all there. Very robust and tight for a white wine, kind of like white burgundy in structure, but nothing like it in flavour. Crunchy minerals and an acid laden finish. A little fleshy, the texture is silky and fine. I’ve not had an aged godello, but this looks like it has the goods to go for at least 5 years…90Pts

Source: The Spanish Acquisition Price: $28 Closure: Conventional Cork

Web: www.telmorodriguez.com

Other Vintages: 2005, 2006

Los Hermanos ‘Tributo a Galacia’ 2009

los-hermanos-2009If I was going to pick a wine scandal of the year, it would have to be Albarinogate. But there are those out there with the cunning and guile to recover and release something with a great name like ‘A tribute to Galacia’. I loved this label last year, but it seems to go better with the new name.

White peach and white flowers get things moving on the nose, followed up by a base of an apple/pear combo. Taught and firm in the mouth, nice menerally acid and a long tangy finish. More of that apple and pear on the palate with some lime and lemon and a very slight herbal note. Good stuff. Get on board S.S. Savignin! 89 Pts

Source: Crittenden Estate Cost: $28 Closure:Screwcap

Toscar Rosado 2008

toscar-rosado-2008It is that time of year when a good rose is in order. Well, it is normally. We’ve been getting good rain here in Melbourne, which is odd for this time of year but more than welcome. This puppy is 100% monastrell from Alicante, and it confirms my thoughts that the best two grapes for rose from Spain are Monastrell and Garnarcha. Although a rosado made from Mencia that I tasted a couple of weeks ago was excellent as well…mor on that soon.

The nose is almost meaty, with plum and strawberry notes. A bit of toffee and earth round this out nicely. There is a slight texture there in the mouth, balanced out with some good acid. The palate has a tangy red apple note to it, with some light plum juice and earthiness. Savoury and very drinkable, with or without food this is a winner for $14. It’s under screwcap too. How can you go wrong? 88 Pts.

Source: Ce Soir Imports Price: $14 Closure: Screwcap

“My Favourite Spanish Wine” 2007

my-favourite-07It is quite a cheeky name, but the value here is unmistakable. I’m sure google will have a field day with the title of this post too…So a similar blend to the 2005 I reviewed a while ago, Tempranillo and Monastrell from Alicante in all its fresh and rustic glory. And it’s in screwcap now too.

Open and ready to drink, the nose offers up plums and cherries, with some earthy herbs and a rustic mustiness. Open weave on the palate with a bit of edge to keep it interesting. Light tannins and good acid. It drinks like a champ, round and fruity, but not overly sunny and obvious. My neighbour is cooking lamb chops on the BBQ (and they smell fantastic), I might have to go and see if I can pinch one…87 Pts.

Source: Ce Soir Imports Price: $11 Closure: Screwcap