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Posts Tagged ‘Spain’

Barolo from 1974 and Rioja from 1964

Much of my time spent with Mannie Berk, The Rare Wine Co., involves work on projects related to the history of Madeira.  After one long day sorting through historic documents we discussed our findings over two bottles of wine.

Terre del Barolo is a cooperative winery that was founded in 1958.  Located in the heart of Barolo at Castiglion Faletto, there were nearly 400 members by the first harvest of 1959, a number virtually unchanged today.

The 1974 Terre del Barolo, Barolo Castiglione Faletto as a solid wine from a solid vintage.  It smells and tastes like a mature Barolo.  What it lacks in excitement it makes up for in low price, perhaps more of a wine to buy if you are dipping your toe into mature Barolo and are on a budget.

Founded in 1874, Bodegas Monticello is amongst the pioneering Rioja wineries based on Bordeaux winemaking techniques.  For nearly 100 years the winery remained in the Navajas family until, with the end of the family line, it was sold to the Osborne company in 1973.  Thus our bottle of 1964 Bodegas Montecillo, Vina Monty Rioja bears the old-school label with the family name.  Iy was produced in the older winery before Osbone modernized everything in 1975.

The 1964 vintage in Rioja is highly acclaimed, which is reflected in this well-stored wine.  Though there is the delicacy of old Rioja, it also has the concentration of sweet flavors.  It is attractive and deserves another taste!

Another interesting Canary Island wine from Envinate

The 2015 Envinate, Taganan Tino, Tenerife, Vinos Atlanticos requires being open at least one day ahead.  It is made from very old vines of both known and unknown varieties grown in parcels tended by 15 different families!  These are wild vineyards, literally, with no training and vines popping out between rocks.  There are some compelling parts to this wine: the incensed fruit, mineral middle, and aftertaste which clings to your mouth.  At this stage you must coax the wine in your mouth so I recommend you cellar it for another year or two.  If this wine blossoms then it will desire higher marks.  The Taganan is available at MacArthur Beverages.

2015 Envinate, Taganan Tino, Tenerife, Vinos Atlanticos – $28
A Jose Pastor selection imported Llaurador Wines. This is a blend of Listan Negro, Listan Gaucho, Malvasia Negro, and other varieties from very old vines.  It was fermented with indigenous yeasts in plastic tubs and and concrete tanks then aged for 8 months in both tanks and used oak barrels.  Alcohol 13%.  After extended air a subtle depth comes out on the nose.  In the mouth are bright, incensed fruit flavors followed by a mineral middle of perfumed black fruit.  The flavors become savory towards the end as the structure of very fine drying tannins is soon matched by dry flavor.  The structure is supportive.  The aftertaste brings good, clinging flavors of delicate ripe fruit.  *** 2019-2025.

A Canary Island wine for the cellar

I continue to enjoy the Envinate wines selected by Jose Pastor which are available in the Washington, DC, area.  From the same portfolio Phil recently brought in the 2015 Dolores Cabrera Fernandez, La Araucaria, Valle de le Orotava, Tenerife.  I tried this bottle over the course of two days and I will admit it is a bit shutdown, making it hard to drink. I do like the tangy red flavor and unique profile of the wine but it is best revisited some time next year. This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.

2015 Dolores Cabrera Fernandez, La Araucaria, Valle de le Orotava, Tenerife – $20
A Jose Pastor selection imported by Llaurador Wines.  This wine is Listan Negro.  Alcohol 11% – 14%.  It is a grapey, cherry color in the glass.  Tasted over two days the flavors offer up wood notes mixed with tangy red fruit.  The tang is very much present on the tongue tip with the structure apparent throughout at this stage.  It finishes a bit astringent.  It comes across as closed at this point so maybe give it another year before trying again. ** 2018-2022.

A pair of Spanish wines purchased in MoCo

I was in need of some beer to bring to my mom’s annual Shark Week BBQ.  This gave me cause to stop by local beer and wine stores in Montgomery County which is an exceedingly rare event for me.  To my surprise I found a couple of bottles imported by The Rare Wine Co which are, of course, priced high given the county I live in.  At the correct price the 2014 Olivares, Altos de la Hoya, Jumilla is a fine bargain which will continue to develop through the end of the year.  It is a bit tight and structured right now but it is still enjoyable at this time.  The 2014 Bernabeleva, Camino de Navaherreros, Madrid is far more open and generous than the previous vintages I have tasted.  You can drink the Bernabeleva while the Olivares ages!

2014 Olivares, Altos de la Hoya, Jumilla
Imported by The Rare Wine Co.  This wine is 90% Monastrell sourced from old ungrafted vines and 10% Grenache fermented in stainless steel then aged 6 months in French oak barrels. Alcohol 14%.  Black fruited, fresh, and structured this left the impression that it could stand another half year to open up.  **(*) 2018-2021.

2014 Bernabeleva, Camino de Navaherreros, Madrid
Imported by The Rare Wine Co.  This wine is old-vine Garnacha fermented in foudre.  Alcohol 14.5%.  The mixture of red and blue fruits is completely open and generous from the first pour.  There are no hard edges since the wine combines supple and juicy aspects.  **(*) Now – 2018.

2015 Descendientes de J. Palacios, Petalos, Bierzo offers a cloud of good flavor

I am completely buried by work and our kitchen renovation, the former of which is unfortunate as it has taken me a week to post my impressions of the 2015 Descendientes de J. Palacios, Petalos, Bierzo.  This Petalos is another serious vintage of Mencia.  The black fruit, minerals, and violet notes are attractive now but this is a wine which will certainly improve with time.  If you like to cellar your wine then this is a great value.  It is available at MacArthur Beverages.

2015 Descendientes de J. Palacios, Petalos, Bierzo – $25
Imported by The Rare Wine Co. This wine is 100% Mencia. Alcohol 14%.  This wine possesses lurking power that moves the flavors of black fruit and minerals.  There is a powdery texture with hints of a very fine structure.  With air you are presented with an up front flavor cloud that adds in violets towards the end.  It tastes younger with air and I suspect will open up during the winter.  ***(*) Now – 2027.

Fun Grenache from Envinate

Envinate not only produces wines from the Canary Islands but from the mainland as well.  When I first opened the 2015 Viticultores Emilio Ramirez y Envinate, Albahra, Almansa I was immediately reminded of Des Tours.  This impression lasted for 15 minutes or so before the wine morphed from that ethereal ripeness to a dry, focused, mineral wine.  It is definitely worth checking out this unique wine. This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.

2015 Viticultores Emilio Ramirez y Envinate, Albahra, Almansa – $18
A Jose Pastor Selections imported by Llaurador Wines.  This wine is 100% Grenache fermented and raised in cement.  Alcohol 13.5%.  This is a textured, lively wine which begins with ethereal ripe flavors.  With air it becomes a dry, focused, mineral wine to drink over the next few years.  *** Now – 2020.

A cool wine from the Canary Islands

This bottle of 2015 Viticultores Emilio Ramirez y Envinate, Benje, Canary Islands flat out surprised me.  On the first night it is certainly light bodied, a bit thin on flavor, and somewhat frail.  Though there is enough earthiness and tightness that I recorked the bottle.  Over the course of the second night the wine transformed.  Jenn succinctly described it as a wine of pepper on the nose and potpourri in the mouth.  There is more though, it is a gentle wine that develops a moderate amount of body, appropriate ripeness, and never loses a sense of its volcanic origins.   It is actually quite good and I would not be surprised if it is drinking really well by the end of the year.  This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.

2015 Viticultores Emilio Ramirez y Envinate, Benje, Canary Islands – $20
A Jose Pastor Selections imported by Llaurador Wines.  This is a blend of high-altitude 70-120 year-old Listan Prieto with some Tintilla that was foot trodden, fermented in concrete and tubs with indigenous yeasts then aged 8 months in neutral oak barrels.  Alcohol 12.5%.  The nose smells of black and white pepper with some dried floral notes.  In the mouth this light bodied wine begins with red fruit flavors, a little cranberry, with some ethereal ripeness by the finish.  With extended air it develops more weight by the middle with a rather substantial amount of tartness, minerality, and ripe texture.  More importantly the old-school potpourri flavor weave its way from start to finish.  ***(*) Now – 2022.