Posts Tagged ‘Navarra’

Affordable selections from Spain

The 2011 Barahonda, Barrica, Monastrell-Syrah, Yecla must be one of the most frequently opened bottles in our house after the 2012 Chateau Marvis, Old School Rouge, Minervois.  The Barahonda is a $12 beauty that is full of flavor from the black fruit and minerals but provides interest from some mature notes. Though opposite in drinking age, the 2011 La Verdosa, La Suerte de Arrayan Garnache, Mentrida is my favorite of the wines featured in today’s post.  The beautiful nose makes way to expansive flavors but this is best left in the cellar.  The 2012 Castano, Solanera, Vina Viejas, Yecla offers up the serious flavors you would expect from Eric Solomon.  For a simpler, though old-school experience you should check out the 2012 Charo Moriones, Verasol, Tempranillo-Garnacha, Navarra.  These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.


2011 Barahonda, Barrica, Monastrell-Syrah, Yecla – $12
Imported by OLE Imports.  This wine is a blend of 75% Monastrell and 25% Syrah sourced from vines planted in 1968-1970 that was aged for 6 months in French oak barrels.  Alcohol 14.5%.  There is a  mouthfilling start followed by a core of black, mineral infused fruit.  The wine is rounded out by grip from the attractive, ripe tannins.  Though rich in flavor, it is balanced, and somewhat compelling to drink for there are hints of maturity.  *** Now – 2018.


2012 Castano, Solanera, Vina Viejas, Yecla – $14
Imported by European Cellars.  This wine is a blend of 70% Monastrell, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 15% Garnacha Tintorera that was aged for 10 months in oak.  Alcohol 14.5%.  The serious nose is followed by young and bright fruit which is supported by structure.  This cool tasting wine wraps up with ripe tannins.  **/*** Now – 2017.


2012 Charo Moriones, Verasol, Tempranillo-Garnacha, Navarra – $12
A Jose Pastor Selection imported by Vinos & Gourmet. Alcohol 13.5%. The interesting nose offered up aromas of ripe strawberry and ripe orange.  There were similar flavors in the mouth where the orange-red citrus note took on some creamy Orange Julius.  This attractive, old-school wine then turned a bit soft and linear with a black fruited finish.  ** Now-2017.


2011 La Verdosa, La Suerte de Arrayan Garnache, Mentrida – $18
Imported by Tradewinds Specialty Imports.  Alcohol 14.5%.  There were rich fruit aromas of plum.  The strong flavors in the mouth showed plenty of texture, some weight, and black minerals in the end where the extract paired with an expansive finish.  With air there were additional flavors of ripe strawberries and wood on the sides of the tongue.  This nears a year to open up.  *** 2016-2019.

David Sampedro Gil’s Unique Pasolasmonjas

The unusual 2008 David Sampedro Gil, Pasolasmonjas, Navarra hit the shelves just several weeks ago.  David Sampedro Gil aims to produce wines the way his grandfather did which translates to biodynamic farming and minimal intervention in winemaking.  His efforts caught the attention of The Wine Spectator who listed him as one of six leading the way in the October 2012 issue.  The particular wine featured in today’s post is produced using fruit from 60-70+ year old vines from a single mountainous vineyard.  I have already opened several bottles and find that the dried herbs and generally dry nature of this wine are evocative of scrubby land.  You should try this wine if you are at all curious.  This wine was purchased at MacArthur Beverages.


2008 David Sampedro Gil, Pasolasmonjas, Navarra – $16
Imported by Bacchus Importers.  This wine is 100% Garnacha aged 12-16 months in oak.  Alcohol 13.5 %.  The nose combines dried herbs and cherry aromas to provide vermouth like complexity.  In the mouth were rather dry flavors and drying tannins on the gums.  The dense flavors mixed with dried, green herbs, integrated acidity, and wood notes.  The dry flavors and tannins coat the back of the mouth leaving an aftertaste evocative of vermouth.  Rather unique. *** Now-2018.


The Surprisingly Good 1993 Ochoa, Navarra Gran Reserva

Bodegas Ochoa was founded in 1845 and is located north-east of Rioja in Navarra.  There is not much out there about the 1993 Ochoa, Navarra Gran Reserva besides a miserable 80 points from Wine Spectator.  I try to avoid reading about wines before I taste them but I honestly was not expecting much from this bottle.  Indeed when I started decanting the wine I was somewhat alarmed by the very tawny color void of all purple pigment.  Perhaps this lack of traditional color explains why it was full of sediment.  In Julian Jeffs’ The Wines of Spain (1999) he writes of their wines, “All of these reds have serious aging potential.”  This apparently was true for the wine was immediately aromatic and full of flavor. The bottle was a treat to drink until the very end.  I kept wondering how a wine with such mature flavors could taste so fresh.   And then I wished I had more.  This wine was purchased at MacArthur Beverages.


1993 Bodegas Ochoa, Navarra Gran Reserva –
Imported by Frontier Wine Imports.  This wine is a blend of 70% Tempranillo and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon which was aged for over two years in a mixture of American and French oak.  Alcohol 13%.  The color was an almost medium tawny and looked rather old.  The nose was aromatic from the start with ripe aromas and wood box.  With air the nose developed an attractive polished wood aroma.  In the mouth the wine was round with a little weight and nice balance between fruit and acidity.  There were mature red fruit flavors and a generally fresh nature to the mature flavors.  With air the flavors took on more red cherry and contracted a bit to become a touch firmer.  The freshness remained with juicy acidity, a musky and minerally finish, lipstick expansion, and a good coating aftertaste.  Nice wine.  *** Now-2019.


The Dark 2007 Magana, Dignus

January 28, 2013 Leave a comment

I was completely surprised this morning to find that everything was on a delayed opening schedule due to ice, sleet, and rain.  So just a short post today.  I have been meaning to post a tasting note about the 2007 Magana, Dignus for a few months now.  I try to always include label pictures in my posts so when I realized I had thrown my bottle away before I could photograph it I did not mind.  I enjoyed the wine so simply purchased another bottle.  Amazingly I threw that bottle away too.  For the third bottle I became somewhat organized such that it is pictured in this post.  I even had to dig up my tasting note from my previous Moleskine book.

I was very impressed by the first glass I smelled and tasted.  Dark, complex, alluring; perhaps due to some of the Merlot cuttings being from the same nursery which has sold to Chateau Petrus.  I thought it sure to be a very good wine but as we tasted through the various bottles I decided it wasn’t quite there.  In comparison a 2010 Chateau Pesquie, Quintessence offered more.  I certainly recommend you try a bottle, I enjoyed all of mine! I purchased my three bottles at MacArthur Beverages.


2007 Bodegas Vina Magana, Dignus, Navarra – $18
Imported by OLE.  This wine is a blend of 50% Tempranillo, 25% Merlot, and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon.  It was fermented in Burgundian barrels with 15% whole clusters.  It was aged for 12 months in used French oak barrels.  Alcohol 14.5%.  The color is a light to medium garnet.  There is a very light, dark and interesting nose.  In the mouth there is dark red fruit, complex, and subtly powerful.  There is weight to the ripe, dark berry fruit which acts as a foundation to a lively bit on the tip of the tongue.  There are fine, chewy ripe tannins which stick to the lips and a very dark aftertaste.  *** Now-2022.


A Trio of Spanish Wines

In a previous post I tasted two wines from Terra Alta which were recommended by Matt at Despana Vinos y Mas.  This post follows up with three more recommended wines from Spain. My favorite of this trio are the 2009 Les Cousins and the 2009 Clos de Noi.  These two wines both have good fruit, minerals, spices, and tannins which are balanced for drinking now yet also capable of short-term aging.  The 2007 Camino del Villar has a pleasant wood box and tobacco components but it does not have the same level of complexity.  With its similar price I would recommend purchasing the 2009 Les Cousins and the 2009 Clos de Noi.   These wines are available at Despana Vinos y Mas.

2009 Les Cousins Marc & Adria, L’inconscient, Priorat – $21
Imported by Avant Garde Wine & Spirits.  This wine is a blend of 35% Caranyana, 28% Garnatxa, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, and 10% Syrah.  The wine is aged for 12 months in French oak vats followed by 2-3 months in stainless steel.  Drunk over two nights there is a dusty, tight nose with a touch of roast earth and coffee.  In the mouth there is red fruit at first then steely minerals, and blue fruit.  It takes on focus in the middle before tannins coat the inside of the lips and acidity brings it forwards.  With air the wine takes on darker, inviting flavors of blue berries, sweet spice, and slightly spicy tannins.  The wine possesses good richness without being heavy.  *** Now-2019.

2007 Bodegas Camino del Villar, Vina Aliaga,  Garnacha Vieja, Navarra – $20
A Spanish Artisan Wine Group selection imported by Sober LLc.  This wine is 100% Garnacha sourced from the Vina Aliaga vineyard.  It was fermented in stainless steel tank then aged for eight months in new American and French Allier oak casks.  After an hour of air the wine starts with red, tart berries the black red fruit with blueberries.  The older and software tart red fruit puts on some weight along with flavors of wood box in the finish followed by some tobacco and tea notes in the aftertaste.  This redder wine has a grapey  nature with a long coating yet light aftertaste. ** Now-2017.

2009 Celler Clos de Noi, Negre Samso, Vinyes Velles, Montsant – $18.50
A Jose Pastor Selection imported by Vinos & Gourmet.  This wine is 100% Samso (Carignan) sourced from 40-year-old vines located on three different sites.  It is aged 3-4 years in French oak.  The color is a medium ruby garnet.  The light nose reveals dark red and black fruit almost becoming brambly.  In the mouth there is focused minerally black fruit, some drying tannins before becoming a touch tart.  The grapey tannins are balanced by acidity.  The chewy aftertaste has good length, a little inky note, and sweet spice.  This is satisfying now but I would cellar for three years.  *** 2015-2019.

Two Strong Values From Mustiguillo and Monjardin

September 14, 2011 3 comments

This summer we have drunk several bottles of each of these wines.  I have intended to post about these selections for quite some time but find that I keep drinking the wine without taking notes.  There is a combination of factors that have caused such laziness!!!  They are quite tasty, readily available, and are affordable so I know I can always write my tasting notes based on the next bottles we purchase. The Mustiguillo shows more structure with its brambly fruit and the Monjardin is softer with notes of cedar.  Both of these wines deliver suprising complexity for the price.  The Mustiguillo is my favorite.  It is the type of wine that you may drink at dinner then right before you go to bed it haunts you.  So you take a glass to bed to drink with the lights turned out.  The blue fruits taste more expansive with a dark depth that only seem to reverberate when it is pitch black.

Old Vines at Bodegas Mustiguillo, Image by Raul Fenollar (flickr)

The Castillo de Monjardin is imported by Winebow Brands Inc. and available at MacArthur’s for $9.  The Bodegas Mustiguillo is imported by Eric Solomon/European Cellars Selections and available at MacArthur’s for $15.  I recommend that you buy both of these wines.  Actually, I would buy a couple of bottles of each.

2009 Bodegas Mustiguillo, Mestis, La Tierra El Terrerazo
This wine is 50% Bobal, 30% Tempranillo with the remainder a mix of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot.  The fruit is sourced from the Terrerazo vineyard which lies at 800 meters on soils of dolomite limestone with a sandy texture.  The wine was aged for ten months in French oak.  After one hour of air the wine becomes integrated and starts to flesh out.  There is a notes of buttery to the blue fruited nose.  In the mouth there are ample gritty red fruit and blue fruit mixed with spice in this savory wine.  It continues to put on complexity as it is drunk.  There is enough structure to age for the short-term. ***(*) Now-2017.

2009 Castillo de Monjardin, La Cantera, Garnacha, Navarra
This wine is 100% Grenache sourced from La Cantera vineyard where the vines are over 70 years old.  The wine was aged for six months in oak casks.  This wine drank great over two nights.  On the second nights the dark nose gives way to a mouth of red fruit, cedar, and herbs in a medium-body.  The tannins mix in providing good texture with supporting acidity.  With air flavors of sweet, red, hard candy develop.  This definitely needs several hours of air to open up.  A really strong $9 bottle. *** Now-2017.