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Spanish Wines at Lou’s

Lou and Aaron

Last night I went over to Lou’s so that we could taste some Spanish wines.  All of the wines cost between $15 and $30.  The red wines were double-decanted around 5pm and were tasted over several hours.  We first started off with an interesting white wine.

2009 Bodegas Finca Torremilanos, Penalba Lopez, Blanco, Castilla y Leon, Ribera del Duero
Purchased at Balducci’s.  This is a blend of 50% Albillo Major (Tempranillo Blanco) and 50% Sauvignon Blanc that was aged for one year on barrel.  This wine has a light color of rich straw.  It is creamy in the mouth with floral notes, toast, and perhaps some yeast.  It shows more smokiness with air then more floral notes.  The is a bit short in the finish and has just enough acidity to keep it from getting flabby.  A bit too smoky for me.  ** Now.

The Five Red Wines

After starting with the white wine and three Spanish cheeses, Lou and I sat down to taste through the red wines.  The wines were tasted blind with the paper bags duct-taped shut so we wouldn’t cheat.  All of the wines were good.  While we did not rank them I particularly liked, in tasting order, the Val Sotillo (#2), the Martinet Bru (#4), and the Brozal (#5).  There are ample leftovers so when I retaste the wines I’ll add additional notes.

#1 – 2004 Solanera, Vinas Viejas, Yecla
Purchased at MacArthur’s.  This wine is a blend of 65% Monastrell, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 15% Tintorera.  It is a custom blend for Eric Solomon.  This wine started off with a tight nose, almost young, with structured aromas of dusty earth.  In the mouth the red berries show a bit of sharpness and remind one of a hot, arid region.  The fruit rounds out over time but retains its coarseness, which is charming.  There are still some very fine tannins.  This was an interesting surprise as Jenn and I used to drink this affordable $14 wine.  ** Now.

#2 – 2005 Bodegas Ismael Arroyo, Val Sotillo, Crianza, Ribeira del Duero
Purchased at MacArthur’s.  This wine is 100% Tinta del Pais that was aged for 14 months in American oak casks.  This wine is much darker than the Solanera.  It has a light nose that shows some heat and perhaps a little sweet fruit.  In the mouth it is a bit richer, brawny, and shows dark tannins that taste a bit modern.  With air it loosens up a bit by developing sweet fruit that is nicely supported in this tight, structured wine.  This is a very nice wine.  *** 2015-2019.

#3 – 2005 Xavier Clua, Mas d’en pol Barrica, Terre Negre
Purchased at Ceceile’s Wine Cellar, now Chain Bridge Cellars.  This wine is a blend of Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Merlot that is aged for eight months in French barriques and a wee bit in stainless steel tank.  The vineyards are 15-30 years old, are at an altitude of 450-500 meters, and have soils of calcair and clay.  It sported a nose of sweet, ripe, blue fruits, which reminds me of Grenache, combined with a lot of dusty, herbs, and some leather.  It is smooth in the mouth and has a softness that isn’t reflected in the grip of the nose.  It is a bit light in acidity and shows a bit of warmth.  It comes across as having a modest amount of barrel aging.  With air there are even more herbs and blue fruit.  An interesting wine.  ** Now-2015.

#4 – 2007 Famillia Perez Overtero, Martinet Bru, Priorat
Purchased at The Peter Weygandt store.  This wine is a blend of 50% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Carignan, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Merlot.  The grapes were fermented in wooden tanks then 66% were aged for 18 months in 4,000 liter vats and 34% in 300 liter French oak barrels.  This wine is a very dark, grapey color.  It has a young nose of tight, grapey aromas of raspberries and blue fruits.  This wine is mouth-filling with medium to full-bodied flavors that are creamy and marked by herbs.  With air there are cinnamon spices and more grip.  Tasted blind I would not guess that this is a Spanish wine.  It really is a lovely, contemporary wine that continued to develop through the night.  *** 2014-2017.

#5 – 2008 Bodegas El Indiano Brozal, Single Vineyard, Rioja
Purchased at MacArthur’s.  This wine is a field blend of 80% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano, and 10% Grenache aged for ten months in 50% new French oak.  The 3.2 acre vineyard, Finca El Brozal, is located at 1,800 feet and dates back to 1938.  Wow, this was completely different.  The nose sported dark red berries, pepper, and scented spices.  There are ample flavors in the mouth but it is still soft and balanced making it easy to drink.  The spices on the nose follow through in the mouth. There are very fine tannins that stick to the lips.  I would not have guess this as Rioja but this is good stuff.  *** Now-2017.

Later that night, two friends of Adrienn’s tried some of these wines.  They both really liked the Brozal Rioja.

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  1. January 27, 2012 at 4:37 pm

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