Spanish Reds Blind Tasting

After many weeks we finally gathered again for a genuine blind tasting round. This means that we agreed on a topic – Spanish Reds from the nineties on – and then covered the labels. The big guessing fun game could begin.


Our first wine was at the same time the oldest of five bottles. We all guessed that. In fact it had a rather light red colour with a slight brown hue at the edges. The 1995 Medina Del Campo from Valcruzal was at best medium bodied. Its taste was quite round and balanced, but at the same time unexciting and a little blunt. Maybe some berry fruit on the palate, but then again nothing clearly identifable, also some earthy notes here and there. With time the body got a little more ample. Lenght was short to medium. I would rate it with 84 points.


Our second wine was obviously much younger; we could instantly tell frome the much darker colour. It was nearly black and had a brilliant shine. After having tried all 5 wines I guessed it a 2000 Ribeira Del Duero, and in fact (lucky me) it was a 2000 Gallery 101 Reserva from Torres de Anguix in Ribera. Its nose was first covered by the vanilla-like smell of American Oak barrels, leaving primary fruit notes undiscovered but later a sweet nose of berries (black currant) and a nougat/chocolate note found its way through the vanilla. On the palate it was medium to full bodied, revealing some fine grained but still adstringent tannins at first, but which mellowed down later. With a little time fruit aromas of black berries also appeared. Slight bitter notes then disappeared and left room for a delicious nut and nougat mixture, fading into sweet berries and vanilla. The length wasn’t bad either. Quite a modern wine from the Duero, not to marmelade like though. 91 points.


Wine number 3 was again very light in colour, nearly reminding orange. We all guessed it a wine from the nineties again, which was right. Oscar even guessed the region right since he called it a Valdepenas. In fact it was a 1996 Don Miguel Alonso Tinto de Mesa from Valdepenas. Its nose was free from any barrel note, instead it was fruity, rather the strawberry kind of fruit – and had a earthy note and a certain kind of smokiness, maybe like smoked ham. On the palate, a (red) fruit basket with a rather pronouced acidity. Here again slightly earthy and smokey, medium weight on the palate. Quite nice to drink with a medium length. Again a nicely balanced wine like number one, but this time with slightly more complexity, without being a great wine though. 87-88 pts.


We didn’t manage to guess right the fourth wine. We all saw that it was a younger one out of the 21st century. It was very dark, with pauillac-like purple hues. The nose showed off some vanilla again, not that strong though. On the palate it showed the fullest body of all 5 wines and instantly stroke with heavy adstrigency. Black berries, liquorice were hidden under the tannins. Later the wine mellowed out a little, and was a little easier to drink. Some cherry notes then appeared, and the wine gained a little in sweetness. The lenght was rather good. This 2005 Mas Torto Vinyes Veilles from Montsant still was a too young wine to drink and has potential to further develop over the next couple of years. 89++


Oskar quickly identified this fifth and last wine as a Ribera del Duero and also as his favorite of the tasting. In fact it had a very elegant colour of red bricks. The nose disclosed a balanced mix of liquorice and sweet berries. On the palate it was medium to full bodied without being overwhelming with power and tannins. In fact it was a truly elegant and sillky texture caressing your palate there. Later the fruit evolved and became more and more clear: it was very ripe blackberry we had in this wine. This 2000 Matarromera Crianza from Ribera Del Duero was in fact very well made, and we felt that it was really close to its peak at this point. Compared to the other Ribera (wine 2) this one was much more elegant whereas the other was more powerful and boisterous. At the same time it appeared clear and monolithic. I shouldnt forget to mention that terrific lenght this wine had. Instantly made you go for a next sip. 92-93 pts.

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