Elefante Blanco 2009

elephante blanco 2009A quick one today on this inexpensive but very drinkable white. A bit of a dogs breakfast of varieties: Macabeo, Verdejo, Viura and Savignon Blanc, but don’t let put you off. The bottle looks sharp too, it would look great on display in a tiny laneway bar.

Pear and melon, slightly tropical with a little pepper on the nose. Nice mouthfeel and length, kinda juicy but fresh. Not much to really talk about in the mouth in terms of flavour, but good acidity and length lends itself perfectly to fried seafood. Kiddy safe, no sharp edges. And at 12.5% I really like this for casual lunch time drinking and snacking. 87 Pts.

Source: Fourth Wave Wine Partners RRP: $12 Closure: Screwcap

Los Hermanos Homenaje a Cataluña 2009

img_5741I’ve been a big fan of this project, and I have to say that this is the best wine from the project in it’s short history. It’s a blend of Tempranillo (47% Tempranillo from the King Valley), Mataro/Monastrell (35%), and Grenache/Garnacha (18%, both from Patersons Lakes) aged in 3 year old barrels. As Campbell from The Winefront said in his review, there isn’t a lot of wine made from Mataro or Grenache in Victoria. If this is anything to go by, there should be a hell of a lot more of it.

The thing that really strikes me with this wine is it’s focus on texture and a savory fruit profile. There is not that mid palate fruit sweetness that I often find in Aussie attempts at Spanish (and Italian) varieties, and while not majorly tannic, the tannins lend a silky texture with a grippy finish. Nothing wrong with that sweetness, it’s not sugar, just ripe, sweet fruit and to my mind this is something of a stamp of Australia on the wines. However, I do have a preference for the savory side of things.

Wild herbs and raspberry, cinnamon and fig, earth and cherry. It’s a very pleasing nose, confident and enticing. The palate is really savoury, with zingy acid and lovely fine tannins that give texture and body. The kind of wine that is both casual and serious depending on your mood. Raspberry, cherry and wild herbs, very little in the way of oak influence. Hugely enjoyable, I can see myself drinking a fair bit of this. An educated guess on aging: drink over the next 5 year, but it will more than likely live much longer. 92 Pts.

Source: Crittenden Estate Cost: $30 Closure:Screwcap

Calo 2008

Calo 2008A cheaky little joven Tempranillo from Rioja Alavesa. While tempranillo is generally a fairly tannic grape, the wines from the most elevated, northerly regions tend to be a little more tannic. A good thing in my book. I’m not going to bang on about this one, enjoyable and good value….

Musky raspberry and violet, black cherry and malty biscuits on the nose. Earthy, a little herbal and fresh. Musky, with plenty of smooth tannins. It is a little lacking in the acid department, leaving it a little flat in the mouth and the finish on the shorter side, this gets better with a bit of air. More dark cherry and pepper in the mouth. Give it a bit of air to open up and your laughing. 87 Pts.

Source: Fourth Wave Wine Partners RRP: $19 Closure: Screwcap

Bodegas Mauro 2006

Bodegas Mauro 2006There is a great little vinoteca in San Sebastian called Solbes (Calle de Aldamar, 4, just accross the road from the Bretxia market. A full range of smallgoods and cheeses from all over Spain and France, great olive oil, great preserved produce and all kinds of cider, beer, spirits and wine. A well selected range inexpensive wines and a room full of the best stuff from Spain and Portugal with a smattering of France and Italy. All at very reasonable prices. Whenever I’m in Spain, I try to get here and stock up on whatever takes my fancy. Like a bottle of Mauro 2006. I bought this one at Boccaccio tho…I’ve also had a couple of bottles of the 2004 lately, it’s really on song at the moment.

Opens up with loads of wild bramble and herbs, with some red and black cherries smashed in with some wild violets. Wild and rustic with character and real appeal. It needs plenty of air to open up, but once it does, it’s packed full of smooth long tannins, a good line of acid straight down the centre and excellent length. Plums, cherries and a little choc in the mouth, spice and herbs. Give it a year or two to develop and dig in. 92+ Pts.

Source: Boccaccio Cellars RRP: $80 Closure: Conventional Cork

Web: www.bodegasmauro.com

Tasting at Coda with Miquelangel Cerda i Capo From Anima Negra

AN TastingI have a whole bunch of stuff from tastings over the past few months, plus I heap of wine that people have sent in, I’ve just started writing them up and will post 2 or 3 a week until normal posting resumes at the end of the academic year.

Miquelagel is one of those winemakers you just know you are going to like on first sight. Stocky with crazy hair, he looks like a man who spends a lot of time out in the vineyard. Bucket loads of charm and energy, plus he can spin a good yarn. A real character, plus he has that great Mediterranean hospitality of making everyone feel welcome, especially the ladies! While I’m a believer in the whole terroir concept, there should always be something of the winemaker in the wine as well. And you will find a burst of  Miquelangel in every one of his wines. These are charming, thoughtful wines of the kind that get wine geeks all warm and fuzzy: highly enjoyable but they seem to tell a story of Mallorca and it’s people, the grapes do the talking and the winemaking tricks are kept to a minimum.

These are the only wines that I’ve ever seen from Mallorca, so I can’t make any comment on the place in generally, but if these wines are anything to go by there is a big future here.

2005 Tribal Wines ‘Virat’ Callet - Bloody beef stock and beetroot, earth and an old packet of African spice mix. Juicy fruit but medium bodied in the mouth, with strong tea like tannins. It’s got a touch of heat on the finish, but this add something rather than detracts. Cherry fruit with a slight touch of sars and a lick of herbs. Ideal for grilled meats at lunch! I could see myself drinking a lot of this…Made by Ana Martin in conjunction with Miquelangel. 91 Pts

2006 Anima Negre ‘AN/2′ - 65% Callet, 20% Montenegro, 15% Syrah. 12 Months in 40% new oak. This one goes a little deeper and richer, but it’s still clean and fresh. Black jelly beans, some blackberry liquor, sage and cherry. Earthy and Fleshy, grippy tannins and a long finish.  91 Pts

2005 Anima Negre Callet - 95% Callet, 5% Montenegro from 50 year old vines. 17 Months in new French wood. Now this is more more my speed: woody spices over the top of just ripe red cherries, juicy, fresh and full of life. Finer boned than AN/2 with perfect line and length. A step up in structre too, plenty of fine tannins give texture and nice acid on the exit. My pick of these wines. 94 Pts

2005 Anima Negre ‘Son Negre’ Callet – This is all old vine fruit and it shows. Juicer, deeper and richer than the standard Callet, it’s also showing more spice, minerals and rocks. Purity is the word I’m looking for here. Excellent wine, but I prefer the joyfulness of the standard Callet. 94 Pts