Archive for the ‘Spain’ category

Ermita Veracruz Verdejo 2006

January 13, 2009

img_5260The prolonged period of hot weather here in Perth screams out for fresh summer whites, like this lovely Verdejo. From an area where great fluctuations between day and night temperatures help the grapes to retain their acidity, it offers tons of  fruit and vibrancy. And with the further addition of proper viticultural practices, modern wine making and a healthy level of  ambition, the Benito brothers are bringing this variety to the next level. Aromas of citrus peel, ripe melon, white flowers and minty herbaceousness on the nose, the wine has a succulent, fruit driven palate balanced with crisp and minerally acid. Nice labelling and screwtop closure finish the deal. 88 points

Source: Swanbourne Cellars /Must Winebar  Price: $25  Drink: Now


Cellers Fuentes Priorat Finca El Puig 2002

January 9, 2009

img_52361The revival of Priorat is repeatedly embodied in wineries as Cellers Fuentes: founded in the ’90s, backed by foreign capital, lead by the passion of a young winemaker playing around with mouthwatering old-vine material. This approach has clearly paid off, with the Gran Clos and Finca El Puig having conquered their place between some of the region’s greatest wines as L’Ermita and Clos Mogador. The 2002 El Puig is a blend of 45% Garnacha, 23% Cariñena, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 2% Syrah, aged between 12 and 16 months in predominantly French oak. Deep crimson in the glass the nose unveils its origins straight away, with an amalgam of  fragrant berry fruit, herbs, liquorice and hints of leafs and leather, following through to a full-bodied palate with ripe fruit, some earthiness and ample minerality adding freshness and balance. This wine actually showed much better the day after opening, proving the point that most big and bold Priorats deserve serious decanting. 90 points

Source: Vintage Cellars  Price: $50  Drink: Now-2011


Palacio de Fefinanes Albarino 2007

December 15, 2008

img_5102Since the foundation of the Galician DO of Rías Baixas in 1988, the demand for Albariño has skyrocketed. In fact, it has risen so much that two more sub-zones have been added to the original three. However, the Val do Salnés in the northern end of the appellation is still the most important one with ideal cool – but wet – growing conditions. This Albariño is from Palacio de Fefiñanes, based in the centre of this area and the oldest winery in the DO. It has gained a steady following since its introduction in Australia by Xavier Grau about 5 years ago, a classic that nowadays can be found in any good restaurant or shop. Not bad for a variety that was struggling to survive three decades ago! Straw yellow in the glass, it has an intense, classic perfume of flowers backed by notes of citrus peel, grapefruit, apple and apricot, leading onto a layered, succulent palate that shows taut acidity and ample peach flavours towards the long finish. This is exactly the wine you’d wish to drink with good seafood on a warm summer day. 90 points

Source: Toro Wines  Price: $45  Drink: Now-2011


Capcanes Lasendal 2005

December 13, 2008

img_5109Although the history of Celler de Capçanes goes back to its foundation in 1933, the real success story started when Flor de Primavera – a Kosher wine made on request by the Jewish community of Barcelona – was scored 95 points by Spanish critic Jose Peñin after its release in 1995. Rated as Spain’s third best wine, it placed this cooperation firmly on the map as a producer of high quality wines. The combination of huge old vine resources, modernisation of the cellar and the rise of Montsant as one of Spain’s fashionable DO’s, has further consolidated its reputation. The s0lid range is mainly based on the local stars Garnacha and Cariñena, in most wines supplemented by smaller amounts of Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. The 2005 Lasendal is a perfect example with Garnacha (85%) and Syrah (15%) featuring in this exciting wine, both allowed to shine by sensible use of oak. Deep purple in colour, its nose shows fragrant aromas of blackberry, raspberry, redcurrant, pepper and herbs, following through to a palate driven by juicy fruit and velvety tannins, with vibrant acidity adding intensity, balance and nerve. This delicious wine amply demonstrates Capçanes is a producer to watch, even more so now wines from this emerging region are still reasonably priced. 88 points

Source: The Spanish Acquisition  Price: $40  Drink: Now-2011


M2 de Matallana 2005

December 10, 2008

The M2 de Matallana is Telmo Rodriguez’s second Ribero del Duero wine. From a region where sheer physical weight seems to have become the final goal for many winemakers, M2 de Matallana offers a welcome variation. Although this deep purple coloured wine has still seen 50% new French barriques for 14 months, it effortless combines power with elegance. The nose offers intense aromas of cherry, raspberry, blackcurrant, spice, leather, tobacco and smoky minerality, following through to a medium to full-bodied palate with subtle fruit, smooth tannins and ample acidity. This wine shows refinement, balance and complexity, and regarding its quality and friendly price I would put some aside to drink over the next 7-8 years or so. 92 points

Source: The Spanish Acquisition  Price: $75  Drink: Now-2015+

Cillar de Silos Torresilo 2005

December 9, 2008

The popularity of Spanish wines is unstoppable with an ever growing number on offer in both retail and restaurants. Rediscovered varieties from exciting terroirs such as in Priorato, Montsant and Bierzo are currently leading the way, seemingly undergoing the same revolution as Ribero del Duero with new projects mushrooming everywhere. The latter is nearing Rioja’s reputation as the country’s leading Tempranillo producer, its wines marked by incredible concentration, firm tannins and mineral acidity. The rule that these characteristics are magnified in the most prestigious wines can be safely applied as far as Ribero concerns, and Torresilo is no exception. This wine has a near impenetrable deep purple colour and shows a complex nose on which aromas reminiscent of fragrant redcurrant and black cherry are amalgamated with spice, tobacco, licorice and earth. The palate is nothing but big and bold with sweet and concentrated fruit, powerful tannins and fresh acidity nicely balanced. The purity of the fruit in this blockbuster is instantly appealing and seductive, and although this wine is apparently build to age, I would only give it a couple of years to further flesh out and drink it within the next six years or so. 93 points

Source: The Spanish Acquisition  Price: $125  Drink: Now-2015

Other vintages: 2000


Roda Reserva 2004

December 8, 2008

Spain, finally. I’ve had some good  Spanish wines lately and this was one of them. I reckon Bodegas Roda doesn’t need any introduction, however, if you’d like to read a bit more I refer to the excellent tinto y blanco for a detailed profile of this already iconic Rioja producer. Regarding the Roda Reserva 2004, the usual viticultural and wine making principles apply with the final blend for this vintage consisting of  81% Tempranillo, 14% Graciano and 5% Garnacha. The relatively high proportion of Graciano in this deep purple red coloured wine adds a lovely fragrance to a nose displaying aromas of fresh berry fruit, cherry, plum, violet, lavender, vanilla, chocolate, spice and a handful of earth. The full-bodied, dense and tightly knit palate reveals a similar bright fruit profile with more profound oak characters, balanced acidity and velvety tannins that seem to grow forever on the long finish. You can drink this wine now to enjoy its gorgeous primary fruit or cellar it for some years to let the inner Rioja speak. 92 points

Source: The Spanish Aquisition  Price: $85  Drink: Now-2012+