Tag Archive | "spanish wine"

Spanish Red 3-way Round-up – Review

Spain is clearly one of the most exciting wine producing regions of the world right now – it has a knack for producing world-class wines that come to us at prices that are easy on the wallet and that are – quite frankly – making many other producers in the world scratching their heads, trying to figure out how to compete.

Even though I’ve come to love and embrace certain spanish grapes like Tempranillo and Verdejo, Spain also does a great job with many bordoreaux grapes as well.

2004 Aurelio Cabestrero los800 – W.E.P. Rating – 80%

Technical Data:

  • Winery: Bodegas Los 800
  • Grapes: 82% Garnacha, 18% Carinena, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah
  • Region: Priorat D.O.
  • Aged in 6-months in French and American Oak
  • Maceration of 24days at temps between 26-28c
  • Vineyards – 800 meters above sea level
  • Price: $20

Nose: Blueberry, cherry, star wars action figure plastic, and sidewalk chalk. white pepper, bell pepper and some burnt asparagus tips.

Taste: Sour cherries, rhubarb, brussel sprouts, bacon smoke, sawdust, grapefruit pulp with straps of leather belting down the back of my palate. The finish becomes a bit too disjointed for me and doesn’t have the “hang-time” that I enjoy.

Nose: blueberry, cherry, star wars action figure plastic, and sidewalk chalk. white pepper, bell pepper and some burnt asparagus tips.
taste; sour cherries, rhubarb, brussel sprouts, bacon smoke, sawdust, grapefruit pulp with straps of leather belting down the back of my palate.

2006 Prima – W.E.P. Rating – 100%

Technical Data:

  • Winery: Bodegas y Vinedos Maurodos
  • Grapes: 90% Tinta de Toro, 10% Garnacha
  • Region: Toro
  • Vine ages 5-25yrs old
  • Age for 12 months in 2nd and 3rd fill French and American Oak
  • Price: $15

Nose: Leather, plums, blueberry, black cherry, some pie crust and a slight hint of pomegranate.

Taste: Some medicine cabinent action – halls cough drops, with black fruits and blueberry-laden leather pelts. Good acid makes this a very food-friendly red table wine that’d be a no-brainer for any tomato-sauce-based dish. Good, clean finish that lingers quite nicely some black licorice, pepper hints. This wine mellows out a lot if you put the cork back on for another day or two and try it – the vanilla and carmel components come on very strong.

2007 Elias Mora Toro – W.E.P. Rating – 90%

Technical Data:

  • Winery: Bodegas Elias Mora
  • Grapes: 100% Tinta de Toro
  • Region: Toro D.O.
  • Age for 6-months with 100% new American Oak
  • Harvest: September
  • Clarified with egg whites
  • Unfiltered
  • Price: $15

Nose: Tar bubble, tobacco, dark chocolate, sweaty sock, black plums, white pepper and a hint of corriander.

Taste: Hints of wild game covered in blackberry jam and white pepper – the finish is quite long, the tannins are nice an firm and give way to an overall smooth mouthfeel. This is a great wine for the money – a bit of the old-world style which may turn off some of the new world fruit-bomb lovers.

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1998 Gran Oristan Reserva

Bodegas Juan Ramon Lozano is a premium wine producer in Spain which sources its fruit from a few key regions: La Carrasca, La Numancia, El Corral, El Ventorro and Los Andreus. It features some of the more popular spanish grapes such as Granacha, Macabeo, Verdejo and Tempranillo – this wine is Tempranillo-based.


With an alcohol level of only 12.5% – this wine presents itself in a rather old-world, low alcohol fashion which I’m personally a big fan of. 

Nose: Blueberries and blackberries mixed with some vanilla spice, rubarb and faint hints of elderberry blossom. I also pick up hints of black licorice and bubbleyum.

Taste: Good fruit on the front which gets dry across the mid-palate. It finishes with black pepper-dusted plums and cherries. Hints of eucolyptus also linger quite nicely on the finish – this is a pretty well-balanced wine which is drinking rather well at this time – it has had wide-spread availability around the country, so finding a bottle shouldn’t prove too difficult. 

It’s not the best spanish wine I’ve had, but at just under $12, it is breaking into being a value-play.

W.E.P. Rating: 90%

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A pair of great Spanish Whites for under $12

Wine lovers are always on the lookout for great values in wine and in today’s challenging economic times that yearning is stronger than ever. Thankfully, we have a lot of great wine-producing areas that are churning out the good vino at prices that will allow us to maintain our wino-lifestyle – one of the primary regions doing that right now is Spain. 

In this review, I take a look at two white wines that are extremely food-friendly, reasonably priced and are ones that I think will really be an eye-opener for those who suffer what I refer to as a wine-rut. A wine-rut is what we get stuck in when we – for whatever reason – fail to branch out and check out wines from other regions and perhaps even made from grapes you haven’t heard of or tried.

I know that areas like Chili and Argentina have created a buzz amongst wine drinkers for the past few years, however, Spain – right now – is producing insanely good wines for insane prices.


2008 Adegas Gran Vinum Nessa – W.E.P. Rating: 110%

  • Grape Variety: 100% Albarino
  • Alcohol: 12.5%
  • Region: Rias Baixas
  • Fermentation: 100% Stainless
  • ph: 3.24%
  • Total Acidity: 6.3%
  • Brix at harvest: 19.6
  • Annual production: 5,500 cases
  • Price: $12

Nose: Lemon peel, grapefruit pulp, kiwi, limestone, hints of fabreeze and clear river-water.

Taste: Bring on the citrus train with boxcars loaded with lemon, lime and grapefruit. This wine has great acidity and finishes quite nicely. It’s well balanced – not hot at all going down the hatch and I get a nice sour taste on the very backside of the palate. 

2008 Valde Pedro Escudero Valdelainos – W.E.P. Rating: 110%

  • Grape Variety: 100% Verdejo
  • Alcohol: 13%
  • Region: Rueda
  • Fermentation: 100% Stainless
  • Price: $12

Nose: Apricots, honey, grapefruit skin, ball bearings. 

Taste: Killer grapefruit component on the front attack which is wrapped ever-so-loosely by some honeycomb cearal. Excellent acidty which is kept in check by layers of apricot, starfruit and kiwi. The finish lingers on for hours – a complete no-brainer of a wine buy.

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2006 Grandes Vinos Vinedos Besame Kiss Me

Winery Link

I’m a huge sucker for great wine values so you’d have to be here to really grasp the look on my face after tasting this latest $10 gem of a bottle. All the way from Spain, comes the Grandes Vinos Besamse “Old Vine” Granacha which almost literally blew me away.

Granacha is a grape which, unfortunatley, doesn’t get as much play as it should in the USA – especially here in Washington State. I can tell you, however, that it is a grape everyone should pay more attention to and clearly one you need to seek out and try.

It’s said to be a strong grape which has a thin skin and has very little pigment – it does do well in extreme heat and is Spains most planted grape variety.

Our friends at American Northwest Distributors got a deal on this wine as an exclusive which means if you live outside of this state you may have a hard time finding it – I’m going to try and working something out with them, however, to make it widely available.

Technical Data:
Grape Variety: 100% Granacha
Aging Time: 9 months in French Oak
Vine Age: 80yrs old – planted in 1923
Price: $10

Nose: Shoe leather, black cherries and vanilla for days…skittles, blueberries with some edlerberry and babreeze…

Taste: Rose pedals, blueberries and serious cherries..leather belt action rounds out the finish.. long finish – easily one of the best $10 bottles i’ve ever had.

Overall Summary:
I really love this wine – I can’t recall the last time I had a wine anywhere near its pricepoint take me on the tasteful journy my tastebuds went on with this wine. I’m feelin’ it, loving it and wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone. It’s well structured, balanced and will do all sorts of favors to well-seasond and hearty foods – drink now through 2011.

-Duane Pemberton

W.E.P. Scale Rating: 150%

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La Legua 2006 Tempranillo

Tempranillo is to Spain as Malbec is to Argentina – each grape is really taking its own root into each of those cultures which have been migrating out to other countries of the world. Thankfully, there are many wine distributors who do a good job of seeking out some of the harder-to-find wines and bring them to this country.

La Legua is a Spanish winery who’s committed to producing top-quality wines at prices that everyday folks can afford yet still bring excellent amounts of pleasure to one’s palate.

Its 2006 Tempranillo is acually blended with 4% Garnacha, and represents a decent Q.P.R. (Quality-to-price-ratio).

Technical Data:

Grape Types: 96% Tempranillo, 4% Garnacha
Vinification: 20 day maceration in tank
Elevage: 5 months in tank
Notes: Produced from 25 year old vines just 7 kilometers north of Valladolid.
Price: $9-$12

Nose: Oak chips soaked in moldy plums and covered with cherries, anise, black cherry, wet sock, celary stock.

Taste: Wet sock stuffed with oak rotton plums. A touch on the over-oaked side with a hint of bacon fat. The finish is pretty good but gets a bit disjointed for me at the very end.

Overall Summary:
For the $9 I paid for this wine, it’s a pretty solid effort and a fun tempranillo to drink for the money. If you’re at all curious about this grape variety and don’t want to sink a ton of money into trying it then give this one a whirl.

W.E.P. Scale Rating: 90%

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