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All Posts related to ‘Rioja’

Lavinia Winestore, Madrid

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After having spent some time in Madrid visiting museums and eating tapas, I was on my own for 2 days and had to find a meaningful occupation for myself. Since I already got my dose of art and architecture, I decided to become hedonistic and locate my favorite wine shop Lavinia which I already thoroughly inspected in Paris (they now have shops in Barcelona and Geneva also). Of course, I expected the Madrid mothership to also have a specimen of my favorite toy and I wasn’t disappointed. In the end I spent nearly 3 hours in the store, sipping what “the machine” had to offer. Here are my notes.

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2007 Predicador Blanco, Rioja, Benjamin Romeo. A white cuvée made of Garnacha Blanca, Malvasia and Viura. Weird nose to me: rather floral but reminding cidre and furniture polish at the same time. A bit stinging on the palate, rather high acidity, some wax, slightly alcoholic, a little salty in the finish and a very good length. This is a totally untypical wine to me but I would also agree with you if you think my notes are a bit untypical too. Read the rest of this entry »

1995 Cvne Reserva, Rioja

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Die Farbe dieses CVNE erinnert an dunkles Ziegelrot, das aber zum Rand hin heller wird. Die Nase zeigt sich anfangs zwar beerig aber auch mit leicht portiger-madeirisierter Note. Nach einer halben Stunden verfliegt diese und der Wein riecht prall nach reifen Brombeeren und leicht nach Gewürzen wie Nelke und einer Prise Pfeffer. Read the rest of this entry »

Categories: Rioja,Spain

Spanish Reds Blind Tasting 2009 (ex Rioja & Ribera)

You and I know it; this blog calling itself a blind tasting blog recently generated far too many posts about food stalls and other dispensable topics digressing far away from the serious duty it bears to throw light on the successful and less successful outcomes of the art of winemaking. Yuck :=) … What I actually wanted to say is that it was really time again for a post justifying the name of this blog. And luckily it occurred that our friend Nick offered to host a blind tasting of Spanish red wines. There were 2 simple rules to follow: the bottles shouldn’t stem from any of the 2 main wine regions (Rioja and Ribera) and they shouldn’t be too old. No problem! Offer accepted! Naturally, as abiding by the official wine tasting protocol, all the bottles were properly covered and mixed before the tasting, thus allowing a fair comparison.

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2002 Vietor y Leon Reserva, Valdepenas – Beautiful and brilliant colour. Nose is rather discrete, first only some hints of spice, later some plum fruit but never really getting intensive. Palate starts with light vanilla a.k.a. traces of barrel wood, goes on with Read the rest of this entry »

4 Old Spaniards Tasting

Again we met in a small round for verifying what age has done to some old Spanish reds. We had a small but fine selection of reds: a Rioja from 1981 and one from 1982 -both vintages were supposed to be the best in Rioja from 1975 to 2001, further a Rioja from 1975 which was an average vintage and as a contrast a 1994 Ribera Del Duero, which was a fine year there.

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But first we refreshed ourselves with a 2005 Schloss Johannisberg Erstes Gewächs, or Silberlack as they traditionally name it. A Riesling with light straw yellow color, a rather light peach nose with Read the rest of this entry »

Random Red Wines with Oskar

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It was time again for a nice red wine evening. We didn’t have a real topic and gathered some random bottles of red wine from 1972 to 1997. Here are the notes:

1972 Gigondas, Henri de Villamont

We started with this old Gigondas. Luckily we had no problem with the cork. In the glass it had a nice although slightly blurry red colour. In the nose a little age note with cellar and mushroom. On the palate, lively acidity which probably kept this wine alive. Yet it still appeared balanced and was nicely drinkable but had a rather short finish.
83-85 Read the rest of this entry »

Old Rioja Tasting

Rioja is one of the most prestigious wine regions on this globe. No doubt about it. Luckily Oskar has a great affinity with spanish wines and also collected some nice specimens during the last years. We were all very curious how these old Riojas would come out, especially compared to other „old bottles“ tastings we had like the Burgundies’ for example.
I could do a quick profile of Rioja, but why should when the Winedoctor already has done such fine work on it.

1970 Campo Viejo Gran Reserva

Our starter-bottle was from the Campo Viejo Bodega on which I don’t have much info except its website. It had a brick-red colour with a brownish rim, high clarity with a few floating particles. The bouquet came sweetish with a berry touch and a slight marmelade impression. On the palate it left a very balanced and round impression with perfectly solved tannins. No signs of 37 years of age except a slight bitter note in the end which punctuated a very nice length. This wine came from a good vintage according to Mr Parker (90 points for the vintage) and was still very nice to drink, nevertheless we believer it has seen better days before.

1975 Imperial Gran Reserva C.V.N.E.

Imperial is a brand name from C.V.N.E. (Compania Vinicola del Norte D’Espana) which exists since the 1920’s and has a great reputation for bringing constantly great qualities. The Bodega is known for being a motor of innovation for the Rioja region; it has for example among the first bodegas to bottle its own wine and to build out ageing capacities of its cellar.
It had a very brilliant ruby-red robe with slightly brown sides. It had clearly a more intense colour than the first wine. Its nose was intensely perfumed with berries, without permitting us to identify a particular berry (we guessed bramble-berry though). On the palate it was sweet at first, than fruity with a slight eucalyptus freshness. Its length was enormous, most of all 5 wines, but here again a slight bitter note came through.

1978 Marques De Riscal

Marques De Riscal is a very well known brand/winery in Rioja, since they also belong to the pioneers in that region. This wine seems to be neither a Gran Reserva, nore a Reserva, thus we believe it is a simple crianza. Nevertheless 1978 is supposed to be one good year in Rioja.
It had a ruby red, slightly blunt colour with only a little brown on the side. In the nose some strawberry. On the palate then, it appeared balanced without any adstrigency, yet with a slightly sour touch of red fruits. The final then was average, in particular when comparing it to the last wine.

1982 Vina Berceo Reserva

1982 again a very good vintage for Rioja, delivered to us by this rather unknown bodega (at least to me, and the spanish website didn’t help me much either).
But let’s rather describe the wine itself. It had a rather light colour. The nose was full of berries and with time developped and had a nice peppery touch. On the palate, the berries appeared again accompanied by a complex interaction between vanilla and liqorice. It had a nice length with a certain eucalyptus freshness. The slight bitterness was also there; nervertheless this was in our opinion the most enjoyable of the 3 younger bottles.

1987 Faustino I Gran Reserva

Faustino is a very popular Rioja brand launched by the Bodega Faustino in 1960. The Faustino group is today the biggest wineyard owner in Rioja with 760 hectares and stocks over 12 million bottles of Reservas and Gran Reservas in ist ageing cellars.
1987 was an above-average year in Rioja (82 points according to Mr Parker) but not truly exceptional. The wine was dark in colour but not with full clarity. The nose had a certain eucalyptus freshness and slight berry fruit. On the palate the wine didn’t appear very harmonious and balanced. Acidity, fruit and tannins didn’t come together quite well and drew a nervous picture of a wine which has overpassed ist drinking phase.

This tasting was marked by the 2 oldest bottles in my opinion, and one could say it was a duell between the better vintage (1970 Campo Viejo) and the better name (Imperial), which in the end, we agreed has slightly been taken by the 1975 Imperial. Besides those 2 we were quite surprised by the Vina Berceo which had the most complexity of the 3 younger wines, maybe due to the fact it was the best vintage of all 5.
Something that irritated us a little was a bitter-note that came through in all 5 bottles in a more or less intense way. We tried to come up with reasons for it and guessed that the sweet impression on the tip of the palate, either coming from the oak or being an intrinsic attribute of the tempranillo grape, made this final bitternote – whereever it stems from- much more apparent. We then concluded that, despite the fact that these wines were all exceptionnaly well drinkable and in good shape (no cork fault), they have surpassed their ideal maturity and might have offered greater pleasure some time ago. This wasn’t so obvious to tell for the 2 old Gran Reserva, but most evident for the Faustino which made a quite unbalanced and nervous impression. When compared to the old Burgundies and Bordeaux tastings we already had I would say that, for this time the Riojas couldn’t overtake them, but I’m pretty optimistic that it will happen at a further tasting. Thank you Oskar for the fine supply and see you soon for the next episode.

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