The 2013 Finca Torremilanos, Los Cantos, Ribera del Duero bears interesting flavors of black fruit and orange citrus. It is, however, young. The structure of very fine tannins needs time to soften and the cocoa needs to integrate. So stick a bottle or two in your cellar and see what happens! This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.
2013 Finca Torremilanos, Los Cantos, Ribera del Duero – $18
Imported by Vine Pro Imports. This wine is 95% Tempranillo and 5% Merlot that was aged for 12 months in oak. Alcohol 14%. In the mouth are flavors of black, perfumed and powdery fruit with a little orange citrus added in. There are young, very fine tannins which contribute a cocoa flavored edge to slightly bitter, black fruited finish. **(*) 2017 – 2021.
The parade of interesting wines I have tasted continue with five selections from Spain. It is interesting enough that each one is from a different vintages. Having drunk a modest share of mature red Rioja I suggest you try the 2010 Bodegas Olarra, Cerro Anon, Rioja Reserva if you want a similar experience at an affordable cost. The nose smells great with blood and meat, offering a counterpoint to the somewhat short finish. The 2011 Trosso del Priorat, Lo Petit de Casa, Priorat is no amped up Grenache based wine. Made from the youngest vines on the property, it is an elegant wine that will make you think of stones. The 2012 Barahonda, Barrica, Yecla offers strong value for only $12. Whereas the 2011 vintage had more complex, mature flavors, this latest vintage tastes younger and cleaner. The 2013 Finca Villacreces, Pruno, Ribera del Duero is a generous wine offering up strong aromas and a cloud of flavors in the mouth. It is a little on the young side but if you don’t want to wait a year then double-decant it several hours ahead. If you only try one wine from this list then the 2014 La Zorra, Teso Rufete, Sierra de Salamanca is the one. Not only is it produced from old vines of the rare variety Rufete, it smells and tastes like nothing else. These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.
2010 Bodegas Olarra, Cerro Anon, Rioja Reserva – $17
Imported by Classic Wines. Alcohol 14%. The nose is great with bloody and meaty aromas which smell like a musky, mature Rioja. There are similar black fruit flavors in the mouth with slight grip, integrated tannins, chocolate powder, and some cherry notes. The finish is a little short with ripe and polished wood tannins. Neat! *** Now – 2020.
2011 Trosso del Priorat, Lo Petit de Casa, Priorat – $16
Imported by the Spanish Wine Importers. This wine is 100% Grenache. Alcohol 14.5%. This is a different sort of wine with framed suppleness around very fine tannins. There is a great note of dark stones, not to be confused with minerals. *** Now – 2018.
2012 Barahonda, Barrica, Yecla – $12
Imported by OLE Imports. This wine is a blend of 75% Monastrell and 25% Syrah that was aged for 6 months in French oak. Alcohol 14.5%. There is a black, mineral start then focused flavors of slightly bitter black fruit, camphor, and a minerally aftertaste. ** Now – 2017.
2013 Finca Villacreces, Pruno, Ribera del Duero – $19
Imported by Eric Solomon/European Cellars. This wine is a blend of 90% Tinto Fino and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Alcohol 13.5%. The strong nose delivered aromas of tar and some oak. In the mouth is a cloud of flavor which exists around black stones, lipstick, and some very fine tannins. The wine is certainly black fruited but has a citric aspect. This dry wine reveals more power with air, taking a few hours to open up. It eventually reveals dried herbs in the finish which is only when the tannins are noticeable. *** Now – 2020.
2014 La Zorra, Teso Rufete, Sierra de Salamanca – $19
Imported by De Maison Selections. This wine is 100% Rufete sourced from 60+ year old vines on granite and sand soils. It was fermented in stainless steel tanks then aged for 4 months in French oak. Alcohol 12.5%. After a wee bit of stink blows off this aromatic wine smells distinct. There are moderately ripe flavors of minerals and red fruit with an ethereal sweetness. The wine becomes dry towards the finish where herb flavors come out. It leaves a satisfying tang in the end. *** Now.
Tasting the four wines of Dominio de Atauta for today’s post was not for the feint of heart. I planned to taste them in pairs over three days but I kept the bottles around for nearly a week. These wines were shut down and intertwined with significant structure. Once opened the wines survived unscathed for many days. I did not bother tasting the youngest vintage until it had been open for three days.
The wines of Dominio de Atauta are made using very old Tinto Fino vines located at a high altitude in the eastern edge of Ribera del Duero. Due to the sandy soils, the Phylloxera largely bypassed this area leaving ungrafted vines planted as early as the mid-19th century. I tasted two vintages each from the single sites of Llanos del Almendro and La Mala. The first site contains 65+ year old vines on a layer of sand over clay. The second site contains ancient 160 year old vines on a sand and clay layer over limestone. For both sites the fruit is hand harvested, undergoes a long 25-35 day maceration, is fermented with indigenous yeasts, then aged in an equal split of new and used French oak barriques.
Founded in 1999 by the Madrid wine merchant Miguel Sanchez, the first vintage came one year later in 2000. The wines are made by Bertrand Sourdais, a Frenchman who interned at Mouton Rothschild, Leoville Las Cases, and with Alvaro Palacios. The presence of very fine and very drying tannins is common amongst all four wines with the notes of oak distracting at this age. The 2004 Dominio de Atauta, La Mala, Ribera del Duero was the one wine which stood up to such structure with deep, fine flavors. This savory wine showed the best balance and should be allowed to develop for another five years. My second favorite wine came from the second drought year in a row. The 2005 Dominio de Atauta, La Mala, Ribera del Duero does not have the depth to match its powerful structure but the nose is interesting with its red berries and gingerbread mix. The nose of the 2001 Dominio de Atauta, Llanos del Almendro, Ribera del Duero mixed floral aromas, red fruit, and maturity. It does not share the complexity of the 2004 but the tannins are of a grippier, therefore more accepting nature. These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.
2001 Dominio de Atauta, Llanos del Almendro, Ribera del Duero –
Imported by The Rare Wine Co. Alcohol 13.5%. The floral nose bore aromas of brighter red fruit and hints of maturity. In the mouth were brighter and tart red fruit flavors. Though lighter in nature the wine still had good body which fleshed out and integrated over time. There were cherry flavors, polished wood at the end, and tannins which took on grip. *** Now – 2020.
2004 Dominio de Atauta, La Mala, Ribera del Duero –
Imported by The Rare Wine Co. This wine is 100% Tinto Fino sourced from 160 year old vines. It was fermented with indigenous yeasts then aged for 18 months in 50% new French oak barriques. Alcohol 14.3%. The subtle nose bore maturing aromas of wood box. The fruitier start quickly made way to mature flavors and resolving tannins but the wine itself boasts impressive power. The exciting flavors are deep with watering acidity and complex hints of bitters. This savory wine is undeniably fine in flavor. ***(*) 2020-2035.
2005 Dominio de Atauta, La Mala, Ribera del Duero –
Imported by The Rare Wine Co. This wine is 100% Tinto Fino sourced from 160 year old vines. It was fermented with indigenous yeasts then aged for 18 months in 50% new French oak barriques. Alcohol 14.9%. The nose was complex with aromas of red berries and cherries underlaid by gingerbread. The flavors in the mouth were similar though powerful and blacker. The very fine and very drying tannins coated the entire mouth. A powerful wine in need of age. *** 2020-2030.
2006 Dominio de Atauta, Llanos del Almendro, Ribera del Duero –
Imported by The Rare Wine Co. Alcohol 14%. This wine is 100% Tinto Fino sourced from 65+ year old vines. It was fermented with indigenous yeasts then aged for 18 months in 50% new French oak barriques. This took several days to become aromatic. In the mouth this wine remained very clamped down. There were focused flavors of red fruit accented by black fruit, polished wood, along with texture and extract in the middle. **(*) 2020-2030.
Things are still a bit chaotic due to the flood but we manage to continue pulling corks. The 2010 Bodegas Emilio Moro, Emilio Moro, Ribera del Duero is young, showing primary flavors and obvious barrel notes. The flavors were clean, fresh, and mineral accented so I would cellar this for a year or two. The is 2009 Finca Sandoval, Salia de Finca Sandoval, Manchuela is already throwing a lot sediment. It is a good follow-on to the 2008 vintage which I reviewed in my post Two Wines From Finca os Cobatos and Finca Sandoval. It has attractive stone notes and dried herbs but like the previous vintage it should be cellared for the short-term. I should note it was easy to drink, perhaps due to the relatively low alcohol. These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.
2010 Bodegas Emilio Moro, Emilio Moro, Ribera del Duero – $25
Imported by The Country Vintner. This wine is 100% Tinto Fino sourced from 15-25 year old vines then aged for 12 months in French and American oak. Alcohol 14.5%. The nose bore cocoa notes along with sweet, very ripe fruit. In the mouth were smooth flavors of cocoa and some black fruit with black minerals. There were very fine, dry tannins, and a dry, mineral finish that remained fresh. There were purple and black flavors and salivating acidity in the aftertaste. This was a clean, primary wine that has some power. It was a touch spicy with a vanilla note in the finish. *** Now-2022.
2009 Finca Sandoval, Salia de Finca Sandoval, Manchuela – $17
Imported by The Country Vintner. This wine is a blend of 49% Syrah, 30% Garnacha Tintorera, and 21% Garnacha Tinta which was aged for 11 months in French and American oak. Alcohol 13.5%. There were very focused flavors of black and red fruit, dusty stone notes, and a little tartness. It took on dried herbs towards the finish. This wine is compact but responds well to air. The flavors became blacker. **(*) 2015-2019.
I suspected from the first sniff of my glass that I would like this wine. This was re-confirmed on the palate until, after two days, there was nothing left in the bottle. This is young, effusive Tempranillo which has nice energy right now. I recommend you grab a few bottles to drink now and over the short-term. Jenn really enjoyed drinking this bottle. This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.
2011 Pago de Los Capellanes, Joven Roble, Ribera del Duero – $23
Imported by South River Imports. This wine is 100% Tempranillo which was aged for five months in medium-toast French oak. Alcohol 13.5%. With air the nose revealed sweaty black fruit. In the mouth were grapey flavors of tart and chewy black and red fruit. There was good extract and lots of leaner flavors. A hint of ripeness mixed with structure and flavors of Christmas spices and vanilla in the finish. This mouth coating wine had some spicy spices in the aftertaste. *** Now-2019.
This past week we have been fortunate to taste five very enjoyable wines from Spain. We first began with the 2010 Bodega Vina Enebro, Quercus Red recommended by Lindsey and Zach at Despaña Vinos y Mas. I asked for a bottle to try in our hotel room and after confirming that an earthy wine would be acceptable, they recommended the Quercus. And it was quite earthy but with good character added by its juicy and textured qualities. Lou recommended we check out the Union Market in DC. After eating lunch we picked up some cheese, charcuterie, bread, and of course wine from Cordial Fine Wine and Spirits. The 2011 Bodegas y Vinedos Valderiz, Valdehermoso, Roble immediately attracts you by the nose that leaves you a little unprepared for the fine, drying structure. Still the wine was very tasty but I would cellar it for one year. I picked the 2011 Roig Parals, Tocat De l’Ala because it was imported by Williams Corner Wines. This was still a primary wine but the minimal structure meant it was more approachable than the Valdehermoso. I like the interplay between fresh fruit, acidity, and spices. From MacArthur Beverages come another pair. The 2010 Bodegas Palacios Remondo, La Montesa offers up a lot of modern flavor and extract for the price. It is a wine you can tuck into with your friends. Finally the 2011 Orto Vins, Orto shows elegance with very attractive acidity and mineral notes. While it is a wine for the short-term do not neglect to give it some air. There is quite a range of wines featured in this post so I would simply try what sounds the most agreeable to you! The Bodega Vina Enebro was purchased at Despaña Vinos y Mas in Manhattan, the Valderiz and Parals at Cordial Fine Wine and Spirits in DC, and the Remondo and Orto at MacArthur Beverages.
2010 Bodega Vina Enebro, Quercus Red, Murcia – $23
Imported by Critical Mass Selections. This wine is 100% Monastrell which was fermented with indigenous yeasts. No sulphur was used. Alcohol 14.5%. There were definite earthy and funky textured flavors of macerated berries. The wine possessed ripeness and seamlessly integrated acidity. There was really good fruit which turned cooler towards the finish as some watery acidity came out. This was a juicy wine for drinking right now. It had a bit of a wood note with lots of texture and ripe tannins in the aftertaste. The flavors become less earthy as it progresses in the mouth. Nice. *** Now-2019.
2011 Bodegas y Vinedos Valderiz, Valdehermoso, Roble, Ribera del Duero – $21
Imported by C&P Wines. This wine is 100% Tinta del Pais which was aged for six months in French and America oak barrels. Alcohol 14.5%. This wine possessed a good, fruity and floral nose which revealed depth. The mouth followed the nose but with a dry start. There were flavors of blue fruit, a little cool, dry structure, and overall attractive youth. There is perfume lurking within the structure. With air the flavors become rounder, a little salty, and the fine drying tannins take on a touch of spiciness. A young but tasty wine. *** 2015-2022.
2011 Roig Parals, Tocat De l’Ala, Emporda – $22
Imported by Williams Corner Wines. This wine is a blend of 60% Grenache from 30-100 year old vines and 40% Carignan from 40-90 year old vines. The wine was aged for four months in French and American oak barrels Alcohol 14.5%. There was a youthful nose followed by roundish flavors of blue fruit surrounding some structure. Notes of dried herbs come out with the intertwined structure and acidity. The younger flavors become a touch tart towards the end with a hints of ripe spices and berries. With air the fruit becomes perfumed and takes on weight towards the finish. *** Now-2019.
2010 Bodegas Palacios Remondo, La Montesa, Crianza, Rioja – $18
Imported Folio Wine Partners. This wine is a blend of 55% Garnacha, 40% Tempranillo, and 5% Mazuelo which was aged 12 months in French and American oak barrels. Alcohol 14.5%. There were plummy berries and vanilla notes on the nose. In the mouth was a soft entry of plummy, blacker fruit. There was a lot of flavor with some concentration and extract. The acidity was noticeable in the back of the throat and sides of the tongue. I enjoyed the floral violet notes in the aftertaste. *** Now-2018.
2011 Orto Vins, Orto, Montsant – $29
Imported by Peninsula Wines. This wine is a blend of 55% Samso, 29% Garnacha, 10% Ulle de Llebre, and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from vines 18-90 years of age. It was aged for three months in 100% used French oak barrels. Alcohol 14%. The nose revealed a certain baking spice sweetness with its fruit. The mouth followed the nose with plummy fruit a touch of vanilla and very moderate tannins. The acidity was integrated. The juicy fruit flavors become a little brighter with air as notes of stone and good acidity come out. *** Now-2017.
This is just a quick post for today. The 2012 Vina Buena, Allende, La Ermita, Ribera del Duero is a strong value at $10 per bottle. It has fruit, stones, acidity, and structure. There are not many decent $10 wines so bear that in mind. I have drunk an earlier vintage of the 2011 Quinta do Passadouro, Passo but apparently have never written about it. I’ll have to dig through my notes and pictures. This bottle was more of a crowd-pleaser and was immediately accessible. Despite the accessibility I preferred it after several hours when it was more complete. My favorite of the lot is the 2011 D Ventura, Pena do Lobo, Ribeira Sacra. I am a big fan of the producer and found this particular wine is in need of short-term cellaring. It is worth the wait. These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.
2011 Muxagat Vinhos, Tinto Barroca, Douro – $15
Imported by Winebow. This wine is 100% Tina Barroca souced from a vineyard planted in 2007 on soils of schist and granite at 1,800 feet. It was fermented then aged for eight months in old cement vats. Alcohol 13%. There were young, drying red flavors then drying black fruit. The fruit was young with some citrus and a drying structure in the finish. The citric tannins continued though it developed some grapey concentration. ** 2014-2015.
2011 Quinta do Passadouro, Passo, Douro – $13
Imported by Winebow. This wine is a blend of 40% Touriga Franca, 30% Tinta Roriz, and 30% Touriga Nacional sourced from vines averaging 30 years of age on soils of schist. It was fermented in stainless steel then aged for 18 months in 80% used and 20% new barriques. Alcohol 14%. There were soft, billowy aromas of black fruit and vanilla. In the mouth were flavors of round, dense fruit, and which were delivered with a gentle, puffy powdery vanilla note. The wine was smooth with a chocolate hint. With air it became a little fresh with baking spices. It was a decent drinks from the get-go but I preferred it with air when it took on more minerals and floral flavors. **
2012 Vina Buena, Allende, La Ermita, Ribera del Duero – $10
Imported by Tradewinds Specialty Imports. This wine is 100% Tempranillo. Alcohol 13.5%. The nose revealed subtle, wafting aromas of black fruit. There was moderate concentration in the mouth with slightly floral, red and black fruit. There was a subtle structure, salivating acidity, and a hint of stones. There were some drying tannins in the structure which came out a bit with air. Strong value. ** Now-2018.
2011 D Ventura, Pena do Lobo, Ribeira Sacra – $18
Imported by DeMaison Selections. This wine is 100% Mencia sourced from 80+ year old vines on granite soils. It was fermented in stainless steel. Alcohol 13.5%. The nose was slightly deep with orange and red fruit. It took until the second night to soften a bit becoming more approachable yet maintaining grip. There were high-toned flavors on a pillowy note of tart red fruit. It had a powdery texture, leaving some ripeness on the gums. It left a youthful impression. **(*) 2014 – 2018.