Posts Tagged ‘Vinos de Madrid’

A Recent Pair from Viñedos Bernabeleva

September 3, 2014 2 comments

My trips and orders of wine from New York City inevitably include bottles fromViñedos Bernabeleva.  You will find background information about this estate in my post A Spanish Wine for Snowy Weather.  The pair we recently tasted both show the need for cellar age.  The 2012 Viñedos Bernabeleva, Camino de Navaherreros, Vinos de Madrid is grapey but has a core of fruit and the concentration to carry it through the short term.  So unlike the previous vintage, I would hold off on drinking this one right away.  The 2011 Viñedos Bernabeleva, Navaherreros Garnacha de Bernabeleva, Vinos de Madrid has both meaty aromas and depth but it also has a structure that needs time to develop.  I suspect the 2011 vintage was a strong one so resist the temptation to smell this wine and let it slumber.  These wines were purchased at Flatiron Wines.


2012 Viñedos Bernabeleva, Camino de Navaherreros, Vinos de Madrid – $15
Imported by The Rare Wine Co.   This wine is 100% Garnacha sourced from estate and purchases which range between 40-80 years of age.  The vineyards are located at 700-900 meters on soils of granitic sand.  There is 25 day maceration with whole clusters in wood, stainless steel, and concrete tanks followed by aging in large upright old wooden vats. Alcohol 14.5%.  There were tight flavors around a core of ripe red fruit.  There were bright, citric tannins that became a little spicy in the finish.  This wine had grapey, young flavors but shows the concentration required for short-term development.  **(*) 2015-2019.


2011 Viñedos Bernabeleva, Navaherreros Garnacha de Bernabeleva, Vinos de Madrid – $22
Imported by The Rare Wine Co.   This wine is 100% Grenache fermented in a mix of wood, stainless steel, and concrete.   Alcohol 15%.  The nose was subtle but good with rounded, meaty aromas.  Though closely played in the mouth there was depth.  The structure had very fine tannins that coated the gums yet remained well balanced.  This clearly needs some age.  *** 2016-2024.


Spanish Selections

September 17, 2013 2 comments

You should buy the 2012 Celler Jordi Llorens, Blankeforti.  It is certainly different and is a bit prickly from carbon dioxide, perhaps due to low sulphur, so you could give it a good shake as it warms if that bothers you.  Williams Corner Wines continue to deliver interesting wines.  Note, Jenn preferred the 2011 Perez, Guimaro over this wine.  The 2010 Navaherreros, Garnacha de Bernabeleva is the most powerful, young wine of those featured in this post.  It has good flavor so try it now if you are prepared but it is best to cellar it a few years.  A better idea might be to drink the young 2005 LAN, Gran Reserva.  I must admit I like drinking the 2009 Torres, Gran Coronas, Reserva.  One bottle was perfect after an hour of air, a second was less interesting.  I would be curious to see how the 2009 Alonso del Yerro develops. It has the components for aging but I must admit I was a little distracted by the heat.  Most of these wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.  The Navaherreros and Perez were purchased at Chambers Street Wines.


2012 Celler Jordi Llorens, Blankeforti, Conca de Barbera – $23
Imported by Williams Corner Wines.  This wine is a blend of Garnatxa Negra and Cabernet Sauvignon.  Alcohol 15%.  The aromatic nose steps out of the glass, spritely aromas with a citrus backing.  The mouth is a little sparkly at first with flavors of ripe citrus, red fruit, and orange peel.  This different wine was compelling, eventually leaving lipstick notes and ripe strawberry flavors on the lips. The wine remains nervous on the tongue tip with a balsamic note.  It is not gritty.  *** Now-2015.


2006 Bodegas Olarra, Anares, Reserva, Rioja – $15
Imported by Classic Wines.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The nose was tight and a little textured.  In the mouth were bright black and red fruit which was both firm and young.  The acidity was almost puckering then became salivating in the finish.  The tannins were present.  With air the wine became firmer, clean, and modern.  ** 2015-2020.


2005 LAN, Gran Reserva, Rioja – $22
Imported by Monsieur Touton.  Alcohol 14%.  There was a fine wood scent mixing with the black fruit aromas.  In the mouth there was already good complexity with focused ripe, black fruit and an ethereal flavor which continued into the aftertaste.  This was a tasty wine, still early in development, and should age well.  The structure was very fine with a concentrated ripeness.  *** Now-2023.


2009 Torres, Gran Coronas, Reserva, Penedes – $18
Imported by Dreyfus Ashby & Co.  This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo.  Alcohol 14%.  There was a dark, inviting nature to the red and black fruit.  It developed with an hour of air.  A wood note mixed nicely with the unobtrusive structure and integrated acidity.  It is probably best to wait one year.  ** Now-2018.


2009 Alonso del Yerro, Ribera del Duero – $22
Imported by Monsieur Touton.  This wine is 100% Tempranillo.  Alcohol 14.7%.  The light nose revealed complex bitters-like aromas.  There were similar flavors in the mouth with dry and firm black fruit.  The wine was very drying with spicy tannins.  It eventually took on some initial weight, a slightly sweet ripeness, along with purple/black fruit mixed with violets.  There were very focused flavors and minerals.  There were good upfront flavors, a racy and minerally aspect, but the wine builds up to show a spirity nature.  **(*) 2016-2025.


2011 Bodegas Mas Alta, La Vilella Alta, Black Slate, Priorat – $20
Imported by European Cellars.  This wine is a blend of Grenache, Carignan, and Cabernet Sauvignon.  Alcohol 14.5%.  The nose was light and low-lying.  In the mouth were intense flavors of spicy blackberry supported by structure and acidity.  There was spicy cinnamon notes in the finish with Jenn finding “chocolate coffee.”  This was a big wine, not firm nor tight, but framed with a dry finish, salivating acidity, and a roughness towards the end.  ** Now-2015.


2010 Navaherreros, Garnacha de Bernabeleva, Vinos de Madrid – $22
Imported by The Rare Wine Company.  This wine is 100% Grenache fermented in a mixed if wood, stainless steel, and concrete.  Alcohol 15.5%.  This remained a young wine despite extensive air.  The flavors revolved around a focused core of fruit with the structure rising with air, leaving a dose of fine, drying tannins.  It took on cherry flavors in the middle.  *** Now-2025.


2011 Pedro M. Rodriguez Perez, Guimaro, Ribeira Sacra – $18
A Jose Pastor Selection imported by Vinos & Gourmet. This wine is 100% Mencia from vines averaging 40 years of age.  It is unoaked. Alcohol 14.5%.  The nose revealed floral berries and remained a bit subtle but good.  This was an acidity driven wine with tart black and red fruit that took on a little weight.  With air the tart black fruit mixed with a little ripe and drying tannins.  There was some salivating acidity as the flavors firmed up in the finish.  ** Now-2015.


Spanish and American Wines Made by Spaniards

Earlier this summer I really enjoyed the 2010 Idilico, Graciano made by the Spaniard Javier Alfonso.  You may read about this wine in my post Trying a Few New Wines in Seattle. During that trip I stopped by Pike & Western Wine Shop where Jeremy helped me out with some selections.  There was a large range of Idilico wines so I picked up the 2010 Idilico, Monastrell and the 2010 Idilico, Tempranillo.  The Monastrell was the youngest wine of the three I tried and will benefit from cellaring.  I do not think it will reach the level of the Tempranillo and Graciano.  The Tempranillo and Graciano respond really well to air, you can feel them become more expressive in the mouth.  I rather like these two wines and think they are attractive for the price.  They are worth looking for.  The wines of Bodegas Marañones are made by Fernando “Fer” Garcia who produces these “natural wines” from old vines located on granite soils.  As Garcia is interested in terroir he is a member of Chicos del Terruar.  Both the Marañones and Labros were interesting, for they are produced the same so they highlight the characteristics of the plots.  The former showed attractive strawberry flavors and the later engaged with minerals.  Give both of them a go but be sure to cellar them at least one year.  These wines are available at Pike & Western Wine Shop in Seattle.


2011 Vinateria Idilico, Monastrell, Upland Vineyard – $20
Alcohol 13.5%.  The nose was tight with ripe red fruit.  In the mouth the flavors open up after a few hours of air to reveal low-lying and expansive flavors, integrated acidity, and a little juicy acidity at the end.  ** 2014-2018.


2010 Vinateria Idilico, Tempranillo – $20
This wine is 100% Tempranillo sourced from Snipes Mountain, Yakima Valley, and Horse Heaven which was aged in French oak for 12 months. Alcohol 14%.  The nose revealed a little leather, earth, and herbs.  In the mouth there were interesting flavors of black fruit, some tobacco, along with firm ripe tannins that were drying.  There was some vintgae perfume along with berries.  *** Now-2017.


2010 Bodega Marañones, Garnacha, Marañones, Madrid – $33
Imported by Louis/Dressner.  This wine is 100% Garnacha sourced from 50-70 year old vines from two plots at 750-850m.  It was whole cluster fermented in open top barrels using indigenous yeasts, underwent pigeage and foot treading, malolactic fermentation, then was aged on the lees for 12 months in used French oak barrels.  Alcohol 14.5%.  The nose was rather subtle with low-lying, dark red aromas.  There was good character in the mouth.  This young wine had finely ripe strawberry and black fruit.  The acidity was integrated and watering before the flavors became drier in a sense.  There was a hint of dried herbs and wood box with a firmer nature in the finish.  It feels like there was extract to match the structure.  Perhaps a touch of warmth breaking through.  *** 2015-2023.


2010 Bodega Marañones, Garnacha, Labros, Madrid – $33
Imported by Louis/Dressner.  This wine is 100% Garnacha sourced from 70 year old vines from a single 0.7 ha plot at 650m.  It was whole cluster fermented in open top barrels using indigenous yeasts, underwent pigeage and foot treading, malolactic fermentation, then was aged on the lees for 12 months in used French oak barrels.  Alcohol 14.5%.  The light nose revealed cherry aromas.  This wine was the more forward of the two with a firm but riper, powdery core of black and red fruit.  There were minerally black fruit in the middle along with ripe and drying tannins which coated the lips and teeth.  The long aftertaste bore persistent, mineraly black fruit.  This remained more forward with a little roughness in the aftertaste, this should settle with some age.  There were gobs of robust sediment at the end.  *** 2014-2023.


Three, No Six, Wait…Nine wines from Spain

February 26, 2013 Leave a comment

We have tasted these nine Spanish wines over the past two months.  Except for the 2007 Casta Castillo, Valtosca at $26 all of these wines cost between $10 and $18. At the inexpensive end the 2011 Zestos, Old Vine Garnacha for $10 and the 2011 Leceranas, Monte La Sarda for $12.50 offer good flavor for the price.  Both are high-altitude, old-vine Grenache.  The 2010 Breca, Garnacha offers up a lot of deep flavor but also alcohol as well.  I kept wanting to like it more but could not.  At the more intellectual end the 2009 Tampesta, Fina los Vientos is made from 100% Prieto Picudo.  This varietal appears to get some bad press but I thought this a decent wine.  I got the impression it should open up with a little bit of bottle age.  By the way, it is imported by Peninsula Wines which according to the website import wine “made from single-vineyard, unknown varieties and up-and-coming wine regions.”  This is another label of Alberto Orte and Patrick Mata of OLE Imports.  Next up the 2010 Joan d’Anguera, Garnatxa and 2007 Casa Castilla , Valtosca are nice wines.  The Joan d’Anguera is a pure, clean wine which sees no oak whereas the Casa Castilla wears its new oak well.  My favorite of the lot was the 2010 Monasterio de Corias, Seis Octavos.  It is Mencia with a twist since it also include Carrasquen and Verdejo Negro.  It is also from Asturias where there are only a handful of producers.   These wines were purchased at Despana Vinos y Mas and MacArthur Beverages.


2010 Joan d’Anguera, Garnatxa, Montsant – $15
Imported by De Maison Selections.  This wine is 100% Garnatxa sourced from 15 year old vines on chalky soils at 250 meters.  It was fermented in stainless steel then bottled without aging.  Alcohol 14.5%.  The light nose was of cranberry and cherry.  In the mouth the fresh fruit follows the nose but with a little weight.  There was integrated acidity, which was a little juicy in the finish.  The black and red fruit became a touch ripe with air.  A clean, pure wine.  *** Now-2016.


2010 Bodegas Breca, Garnacha, Calatayud – $13
Imported by The Country Vintner.  This wine is 100% Grenache sourced from vines planted between 1925 and 1945.  It was aged for 21 months in French oak barrels.  Alcohol 15.5%.  The nose revealed smoky fruit.  In the mouth the flavors were smooth at first with cool blue fruit then they burst in the mouth with blue and black flavors.  There were some minerals and quite frankly, a lot going on.  There were powerful tannins in the finish which coat the inside of the lips.  You can feel the heat in the back of the throat as cinnamon spice came out in the aftertaste.  Make sure to drink this cool.  ** Now-2014.


2007 Casa Castillo, Valtosca, Jumilla – $26
Imported by Eric Solomon.  This wine is 100% Syrah sourced from 22-year-old vines at the Valtosca vineyard. The soils are sandy and at 750 meters.  It was aged for 12 months in new French oak barrels.  The color was a medium+ black cherry.  The light nose revealed sweet spiced vanilla, blue fruit, along with low-lying darker aromas.  The flavors were focused in the mouth with darker black fruit and minerals followed by textured tannins in the finish.  The aftertaste had good acidity.  *** Now-2020.


2010 Bodegas Monasterio de Corias, Seis Octavos, Calidad de Cangas, Asturias – $18
A Jose Pastor Selection imported by Vinos & Gourmet.  This wine is a blend of Carrasquen, Verdejo Negro, and Mencia.  Alcohol 12.5%.  The nose was light and delicate with spiced, fresh berries.  In the mouth the somewhat tart red fruit was integrated with the acidity and tickles the tip of the tongue.  There were black and red fruit in the middle becoming juicy towards the finish.  There were minimal spiced tannins which became grapey and a touch citric.  There was red fruit and some pepper notes in the aftertaste.  *** Now-2015.


2011 Bodegas Leceranas, Monte La Sarda, Vieilles Vignes, Tierra del Baja Aragon – $12.50
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  This wine is 100% Garnacha sourced from 50+ year old vines located at 500-600 meters.  It was fermented then underwent malolactic fermentation in stainless steel.  Alcohol 14%.  The light+ nose revealed plummy red fruit and ripeness.  In the mouth there were raspberry fruits, spices, minimal tannins, and a focused finish.  ** Now-2014.


2009 Soligamar, Crianza, Rioja – $17
Imported by C+P Wines.  This wine is 75% Tempranillo and 25% Garnacha aged for 12 months in French and American oak barrels.  Alcohol 11.5%.  The color was a light to medium grapey garnet.  The light nose revealed plummy, balsamic aromas of dark red fruit.  In the mouth there were medium weight red fruit which followed the nose.  Then black red fruit, a clean modern aspect, soft expansiveness, and a drying finish with textured tannins.  ** Now-2015.


2009 Tampesta, Finca los Vientos, Tierra de Leon – $15
Imported by Peninsula Wines.  This wine is 100% Prieto Picudo sourced from vines on soils of clay at 730 meters.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The color was a light to medium ruby garnet.  The nose revealed fresh blue black fruit and was almost yeasty.  In the mouth the flavors were tighter with lighter body and blacker fruit.  There was a dry structure and lighter weight flavors towards the finish.  There was a red tingle.  Almost tastes like it was co-fermented with white fruit but it isn’t.  Black minerals come out with air.  **(*) 2014-2018.


2010 Traslascuestas, Roble, Ribera Del Duero – $15
Imported by Moonlight Wine.  This wine is 100% Tempranillo which was aged for six months in American and French oak.  Alcohol 14%.  The color was a medium purple ruby.  The light nose bore vanilla and blue fruit then it became a little pungent or perhaps assertive with aromas of spice.  In the mouth there was dry, blacker fruit, dry tannins, a wood note, and almost tastes like it should be hot.  But the flavors were clean with some density, and good acidity.  The finish revealed more black fruit and a little, powdery tannins.  ** Now-2017.


2011 Zestos, Old Vine Garnacha, Vinos de Madrid – $10
Imported by OLE.  This wine is 100% Garnacha sourced from 40-50 year old vines at 870 meters.  Alcohol 14%.  The nose was fresh with berries and fresh herbs, along with tart, black fruit.  In the mouth it was a little powdery, showing some young tartness, tang, and a little [can’t read my handwriting].  Easy to drink and well done for the price.  ** Now-2016.


A Spanish Wine for Snowy Weather

December 27, 2012 4 comments
Advertisement from 1930, Image from Bodegas Bernabeleva

Advertisement from 1930, Image from Bodegas Bernabeleva

Bodegas Benabeleva has its origins in 1923 when Dr. Vicente Alvarez-Villamil purchased the estate outside of Madrid near the Cerro de Guisando mountains.  The estate name translate to “path of the bear” and is named after the nearby Toros de Guisando.  These bears (or bulls or pigs) were carved in the 2nd century BC by the Celtiberians as a dedication to the sacred forests.  Dr Alvarez-Villamil believed this area would be ideal to cultivate Garnacha.  With the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 production ceased but the family continued to maintain the vineyards.  In 2006 two of his great-grandchildren, Juan Diez Bulnes and Santiago Matallana Bulnes, decided to produce wine from the family vineyards.  For the winery logo they drew inspiration from an old photo of Dr. Alvarez-Villamil’s daughter Luis on one of the bears.  They began to work with consultant Raul Perez and winemaker Marc Isart Pinos.  They produce wine from the 35 hectares of estate vineyards along with purchased fruit from nearby vineyards.  The vineyards are located on tawny sands with decomposed granite rock.  The parcels differ in size, orientation, and altitude.  The vineyards are worked manually and are enriched from the estate cattle.  Beyond manure only copper and sulfur are used but only if needed.  The fruit is hand harvested with plots vinified separately in mostly wooden tanks.  Maceration typically exceeds 30 days for the red wines with aging in French oak barrels of various sizes.  Only some new wood is used.

Luisa, Image from Bodegas Bernabeleva

Luisa, Image from Bodegas Bernabeleva

Jamie of Chambers Street Wines recommended I try this bottle from Boegas Bernabeleva and I am so glad that I did.  This is an attractive wine which is engaging from the very first glass.  I usually taste a new wine over two nights but it was impossible to resist drinking this one.  For over the evening it remained expressive and serious.  At $14 I would make this a daily drinker.  The Camino de Navaherreros is available at Chambers Street Wines.


2011 Bodegas Bernabeleva, Camino de Navaherreros, Vinos de Madrid – $14
Imported by The Rare Wine Co.  This wine is 100% Garnacha sourced from estate and purchases which range between 40-80 years of age.  The vineyards are located at 700-900 meters on soils of granitic sand.  There is 25 day maceration with whole clusters in wood, stainless steel, and concrete tanks followed by aging in large upright old wooden vats.  Alcohol 14.5%.  The aromatic nose reveals fresh, acidity driven red fruit.  In the mouth there are lifted flavors of dry, red fruit, cranberry and pomegranate, a little powdery quality, but definitely fresh with a hint of red pepper.  Definitely lovely.  *** Now-2014.

Four Wines From Spain

January 13, 2012 2 comments

Of these four wines I strongly recommend the Joan d’Anguera which may be drunk now but will develop over the short-term.  The Alvaro Palacios is a good wine in need of age.  The Zestos is a decent drink but there are better wines for the price.  The Altovinum is an alcoholic bomb that should be avoided. The Zestos and Altovinum were purchased at MacArthurs with the Joan d’Anguera and Alvaro Palacios purchased at Soul Wine.

2010 Zestos, Vinos de Madrid – $10
Imported by Ole.  This wine is a blend of 50% Tempranillo and 50% Granacha.  This shows redder fruit with a hint of mushrooms and some tartness midpalate.  There is decent acidity.  On the second night, hints of dark, racy flavors develop along with notes of cherry.  There are fine+ coating tannins.

2010 Altovinum, Evodia, Calatayud – $9
Imported by Eric Solomon/European Cellars.  This wine is 100% Garnacha sourced from vines up to 100 years old.  It is aged for five months in stainless steel.  There is a lifted nose of smoke and pine, which is actually a bit odd.  In the mouth there are gobs of ripe fruit, blue flavored, with the strong notes of smokey pine continuing in the mouth.  There are strange candied flavors midpalate.  This medium-bodied wine has good texture.  The balsam nose continued on the second night.  Lorelei commented “Pepperoni pizza” when she smelled the wine.  Not recommended.

2009 Joan D’Anguera, Planella, Montsant – $20
Imported by De Maison Seletions.  This wine is a blenc of 45% Carignan, 35% Garnacha, and 20% Syrah sourced from 15-50 year old vines grown on chalky clay soils.  The wine was aged for 11 months in French and American oak.  There is a riper, violet nose.  In the mouth the slightly soft fruit has flavors of ripe black fruit, and some spice.  in the middle the flavors become berry-like and a somewhat chewy in nature.  It finishes with stone notes and dusty tannins.  On the second night the finish is sweeter with fine tannins mixing with a minerally aftertaste.  This is well done and the aftertaste is enjoyable.  Will develop over the short-term.

2009 Alvaro Palacios, Camins del Priorat, Priorat – $23
Imported by The Rare Wine Co.  This wine is a blend of 60% Carignan.  30% Garnacha, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.  The wine was aged for 3-4 months in barrique followed by aging in tank and cask. This remained a bit tight with its red, structured fruit, and some minerals.  There are fine, coating tannins.  The acidity is well-integrated.  It is a good, contemporary wine that needs age.