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Posts Tagged ‘Tenerife’

A Canary Island delight: 2016 7 Fuentes, Valle de la Orotava, Tenerife

October 16, 2018 1 comment

The 2016 Suertes del Marques, 7 Fuentes, Valle de la Orotava, Tenerife  is a fine wine whose light color is reflected in the lightweight body but not in the amount of flavor it delivers.  The lighter weight body, ethereal ripeness, and lively acidity remind me of an old-school style of wine that I particularly enjoy.  It drinks well now but should improve over the next year.  I recommend you grab a bottle or two from MacArthur Beverages.

2016 Suertes del Marques, 7 Fuentes, Valle de la Orotava, Tenerife – $20
Imported by European Cellars.  This wine is mostly Listan Negro with a small amount of Tintilla fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel vats and concrete vats.  It was aged in French oak demi-muids and concrete.  Alcohol 13%.  A light to medium cranberry ruby color. Lifted on the nose. Round yet lightweight body with almost lively acidity that zips through the middle of the wine. It develops surprising ethereal ripeness with notes of stone and tartness on the sides of the tongue.  A satisfying glass of wine!  ***(*) Now – 2022.

Tenerife and Ribeira Sacra from Envinate

July 2, 2018 1 comment

There are some rather interesting wines produced by Envinte and of the most recent vintage I particularly like the 2016 Envinate, Lousas, Vinas de aldea, Ribeira Sacra.  It needs air to come into balance but then there is a tension between the high-toned, acidic flavors and the oily, ripe citrus fruit.  Cool stuff.  I could not coax the same complexity out of the 2016 Envinate, Taganan, Parcela Margalagua, Tenerife.  I often feel these Tenerife wines need short-term aging and that is my impression of this wine.  These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.

2016 Envinate, Taganan, Parcela Margalagua, Tenerife – $28
Imported by Llaurador Wines.  A field-blend of Listan Negro, Listan Prieto, Baboso, Negramoll, Malvasia Negra, and more from 100+ year old vines.  Alcohol 12.5%.  Brighter, lighter, tarter, with dry tangy middle and watering acidity.  Finishes with fresh tannic service.  Needs time.  ** 2020-2025.

2016 Envinate, Lousas, Vinas de aldea, Ribeira Sacra – $32
Imported by Llaurador Wines.  This wine is 100% Mencia sourced from 60 year old vines.  Alcohol 12.5%.  High-toned and yeasty flavors to start but by the middle a gentle ripeness spreads through the mouth with an old leather note by the finish.  The acidity is almost sharp but with air the oily, ripeness contains it, bringing balance to the orange citrus and dry floral flavors.  Needs some air to show best.  *** Now – 2020.

Even more recent drinks

January 11, 2018 Leave a comment

I cannot seem to shake a consistently busy work schedule which eliminates any free time I have.  Hence my sporadic posting.  Of the lot of wines featured in today’s post the 2007 Domaine de la Mordoree, La Reine des Bois, Lirac is my favorite.  I was a bit underwhelmed until several hours in when it completely transformed for the better.  Of the wines which are currently available the 2012 J. M. Rimbert, Carignator is a good value.  It is Carignan so it is a bit firm in a way but the flavors have taken on good bottle age.  The 2016  Viticultores Emilio Ramirez y Envinate, Benje, Ycoden-Daute-Isora, Tenerife does not offer up the excitement I experienced with the 2015 vintage.  The profile is still there but this vintage is not as expressive.  I will try another bottle in case there is bottle shock.  Finally, I was underwhelmed by the 2016 Domaine A. Clape, Le Vin des Amis.  A strange evergreen incense marked the wine for days.  Coupled with bitter black fruit it did not become enjoyable until several days in.  I will broach my second bottle several years down the road.

2006 Domaine du Clos des Fees, Vieilles Vignes, Cotes du Roussillon Villages
Imported by Simon n’ Cellars.  This is a gravelly wine with maturing blue fruit, watering acidity then flavors of garrigue and strawberry liquor candied near the finish.  it develops a spiced berry cote becoming drier towards the end where the strength of the wine shows.  It wraps up dry.  *** Now – 2023.

2007 Domaine de la Mordoree, La Reine des Bois, Lirac
Imported by Kysela Pere et Fils. This wine is a blend of 34% Grenache, 33% Syrah, and 33% Mourvedre. Alcohol 14.5%.  There is a maturing core of fruit but there is still plenty of spicy structure surrounding it.  The wine is thick with black fruit and a bit of bitterness towards the end.  After 2-3 hours in the decanter it rounds out and the components come into balance quite well.  There are racy blue flavors, watering acidity, wood box, baking spices, and a luxurious marshmallow body.  **** Now – 2028.

2012 J. M. Rimbert, Carignator – $15
Imported by Dionysos Imports.  This is 100% Carignan largely sourced from 70+ year old vines.  It was aged for six months in old neutral barrels.  Alcohol 13%.  A medium opaque, bricking cherry color.  This is a dry, textured wine that is maturing in the bottle.  There are wood notes, a little balsam, and textured tannins left on the gums.  **(*) Now – 2023.

2015 Tenuta Delle Terre Nere, Etna Rosso – $17
Imported by deGrazia Imports. Alcohol 13.5%.  There are lifted aromas of tar.  In the mouth are somewhat black and red fruit, mineral on the sides of the tongue, and minimal fine tannins which give it some grip.  The wine tasted polished, focused, and modern.  With it it becomes more mineral, which is attractive, and takes on a touch of cocoa.  Solid but not moving.  **(*) 2018-2020.

2016  Viticultores Emilio Ramirez y Envinate, Benje, Ycoden-Daute-Isora, Tenerife – $22
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%.  This is a high-toned, bright wine which mixes white pepper and potpourri incense right from the start.  The focused red fruit matched the polished wood note.  There is a very gentle ripeness. **(*) Now – 2021.

2016 Domaine A. Clape, Le Vin des Amis – $32
Imported by Kermit Lynch.  This wine is a mix of Syrah from near the Rhone and young Cornas.  It was aged for six months in cement and 6 months in foudres. This is a completely opaque, grapey purple color.  Followed over many nights the nose is incensed with primarily evergreen aromas and floral notes.  For the first few days there is a similarly incensed, evergreen flavor to this wine.  It is bitter with very fine structure through the firm, polished, bitter black finish.  The evergreen aspect eventually reduces with the wine showing focused, floral black fruit in the finish.  ** 2021-2026.

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.

Pepper notes from the Canary Islands

February 12, 2015 Leave a comment

Wine from the Canary Islands is currently available in Washington, DC, in the form of 2013 Suertes del Marqués, 7 Fuentes, Valle de La Orotava, Tenerife.  It was only last year that I tried this wine in the form of the previous vintage.  You may read about it in my post “Very rare liquors”; Centuries Old Tasting Notes and A New One of Tenerife Wine. This particular bottle was locked down tight for the first few days.  It developed an attractive pepper not but not the exotic spices of the previous vintage.  Perhaps it just needs some quiet time.  This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.

Fuentes1

2013 Suertes del Marqués, 7 Fuentes, Valle de La Orotava, Tenerife – $20
Imported by Eric Solomon European Cellars Selections.  This wine is a blend of 98% Listan Negra and 2% Tintilla sourced from 10-100 year old vines from three parcels located at 400-650 meters.   The fruit was separately fermented in stainless steel then aged for eight months in concrete and French oak casks.  Alcohol 13%.  The color was a medium,  youthful looking cranberry grape.  The nose took about two days to shake off some funk before it finally revealed balsam and pepper.  In the mouth was a fruited start with grapey flavors mixing with pepper.  The flavors were clean, had a cool aspect, and were delivered in a not-quite firm but rather linear manner.  It finished with tart flavors, acidity, and some fine tannins before the tangy aftertaste.  Needs time in the cellar.  ** 2017-2021.

Fuentes2

“Very rare liquors”; Centuries Old Tasting Notes and A New One of Tenerife Wine

July 18, 2014 2 comments

I am always on the look out for a wine from the Canary Islands but I rarely spot a bottle for they have not caught on in the Washington, DC market.  This might be due to the slight premium in price, no doubt aided by the extra shipping logistics.   I am willing to pay this premium because I find the flavors unique.  Jancis Robinson wrote about these wines in her February article The Canaries – where vines, and wines, creep up on you.    She even noted that Canary Island wines were “hugely popular in Britain in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries” as evidenced by their inclusion in Twelfth Night.  But what was it that made those wines so popular?

Isle Canaries. 1700-1799. Bibliothèque nationale de France, département Cartes et plans, GE DD-2987 (8476)

Isle Canaries. 1700-1799. Bibliothèque nationale de France, département Cartes et plans, GE DD-2987 (8476)

During the 17th century the most popular wine from the Canary Islands was the sweet, white Malmsey.  John Paige was a London merchant who developed a trade during the 1640s and 1650s importing “luxury wine from Tenerife”.[1]  Amazingly, his business letters with his trading associate William Clerke survived from the years 1648 to 1658.  These letters provide fascinating details about the Canary wine trade.  John Paige wrote on May 28, 1649, that of the 11 pipes he received the “Rambla wines proved white and green, but the Orotava wines proved the richest Canaries that ever came to England”.[2]  In a previous letter he noted the Orotava vintage was “extraordinary rich but high colour.” Unfortunately the vintners were afraid to purchase them because they believed they had “put molasses in them and that they were not natural from the grape.”  John Paige continued to his agent that “now our vintners are grown so curious in their tastes that none but rare wines will serve their terms.”  He noted the price difference “betwixt ordinary and very good wines ” exceeded “£4 or £5 per pipe.”  That is a significant difference given that he had sold the 11 pipes at  £20 5s ready money.  One well received parcel was later described as containing “gallant rich wines”.[3]  Two years later John Paige wrote that the wines of Mr. Rouse and Mr. Audley respectively sold for £27 and £29 per pipe.  This was a suitable price given that “they were the best wines” he had ever tasted.

Not every wine that John Paige imported was well received.  On January 8, 1652, he noted that other merchants were selling at £29 and £30 per pipe.  He struggled to sell his wine at £18 per pipe for “no man’s prove [so bad as] mine, insomuch that no man will taste them.”[4]  We may guess what these unfavorable wines tasted like based on other comment by John Paige.  These bad wines were “generally green”, “small, hungry wines”, and even “mean wines, green and thin bodies and flashy” [5]  Even “better bodied wines…were bad enough both, being very green”.[6]  When John Paige could not sell merchandise he wrote of the “goods here are drugs, no vent at all for them”.[7]  He received bad wine from William Clerke on a number of occasions writing him that “You are not fully sensible” for the good wines were “a precious commodity” and “bad wines as great a drug.”

Today, it is the dry, red wines that I look for.  In Jancis Robinson’s article she comments that “most interesting was a visit to the painstakingly assembled” vineyards of Suertes del Marqués.  Just a few days ago Jenn and I tasted the introductory blend from this estate, the 2012 Suertes del Marqués, 7 Fuentes, Valle de La Orotava, Tenerife.  I was immediately drawn in by the exotically spiced nose that echoed through in the flavors.  It really was curious.  This wine was purchased at the Wine Source in Baltimore.

Tenerife1

2012 Suertes del Marqués, 7 Fuentes, Valle de La Orotava, Tenerife – $20
Imported by Eric Solomon European Cellars Selections.  This wine is a blend of 98% Listan Negra and 2% Tintilla sourced from 10-100 year old vines from three parcels located at 400-650 meters.   The fruit was separately fermented in stainless steel then aged for eight months in concrete and French oak casks.  Alcohol 13%.  The nose bore exotic aromas of scented red berries.  In the mouth the red fruit had mineral undertones and was enlivened by a lot of acidity that made way to a spicy finish.  There were tightly-ripe raspberry flavors, minerals, and a dry finish.  The persistent aftertaste carried finely ripe flavors.  *** Now-2017.


[1] ‘Introduction’, The letters of John Paige, London merchant, 1648-58: London Record Society 21 (1984), pp. IX-XXXIX. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=63981&strquery=canary wine Date accessed: 18 July 2014.
[2]’Letters: 1649′, The letters of John Paige, London merchant, 1648-58: London Record Society 21 (1984), pp. 1-8. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=63983&strquery=taste Date accessed: 18 July 2014.
[3] ‘Letters: 1650’, The letters of John Paige, London merchant, 1648-58: London Record Society 21 (1984), pp. 8-31. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=63984&strquery=rich Date accessed: 18 July 2014.
[4] ‘Letters: 1652’, The letters of John Paige, London merchant, 1648-58: London Record Society 21 (1984), pp. 57-82. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=63986&strquery=taste Date accessed: 18 July 2014.
[5] ‘Letters: 1653’, The letters of John Paige, London merchant, 1648-58: London Record Society 21 (1984), pp. 82-99. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=63987&strquery=mean Date accessed: 18 July 2014.
[6] ‘Letters: 1651’, The letters of John Paige, London merchant, 1648-58: London Record Society 21 (1984), pp. 31-57. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=63985&strquery=very green Date accessed: 18 July 2014.
[7] ‘Letters: 1651’, The letters of John Paige, London merchant, 1648-58: London Record Society 21 (1984), pp. 31-57. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=63985&strquery=drug Date accessed: 18 July 2014.