This tasting was devoted to wines from all over Spain. Many of these appear to come from small wineries without websites--in some cases I've substituted reviews or catalog entries for links. Most of these were scored around 90 by Robert Parker. I don't pay a lot of attention to the scoring scales, which is why I don't use them on my blog. I'm more interested in how it tastes, smells, and feels in the mouth, which tends to be more useful in matching a wine to a food or an occasion than a score.
Wine 1: Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad Brut. Ribera del Duero, Spain. From the northwest corner near Barcelona. Two thirds Macabeo and one third Parrellada, this sparkling wine had a bright, fruity aroma with a crisp and yeasty flavor. Very interesting bottle design--a metal ring on the bottom and a metal seal on the side. This would be a fun presentation for some sort of medieval/Renaissance-themed dinner. $23.
Wine 2: 2004 Hermanos Lurton Blanco. Rueda, Spain. Sort of between Barcelona and Madrid. This is a white blend of Verdejo and Viura. Grapefruit pith and peel all over the place. Slightly sweet but surprisingly not tart. Lovely little white to serve chilled in the summer. $12.
Wine 3: 2003 Pazo de Señorans Albariño. Galicia, Spain. Same area as above. There was a slight musky aroma, no oak present, and delectible well-rounded construction. Not complex, but a pleasant and mellow wine. $20.
Wine 4: 2003 Vina Mein Blanco. Ribeiro, Spain. Northeast corner near Portugal. 70% Treixadura, 15% Godello, 10% Loureira, and 5% Albariño. I'm really not familiar with those first three grapes, but I wasn't impressed by the wine. It was thin, no dominant flavors, and maybe just a hint of lemon. $18.
Wine 5: 2003 Bodegas Luan Red "Equis Viñas Viejas". Vino de Tierra Castilla, Spain. Sort of in the center near Madrid. "The wine is a blend of Bobal, Mazuelo (the local term for Carignan), Garnacha (Grenache) and Cencibel (Tempranillo)." Strawberry jam on the nose, with matching flavor but dry and with a short finish. Really Surprising. $10.
Wine 6: 2003 Venta Mazzaron Tempranillo. Toro, Spain. Around the center of the country. There's a touch of toast on the top, with heavy tannins that arrive in mid-taste. Very dry. $12.
Wine 7: 2002 Bodegas Castano Solanera. Yecla, Spain. Southeast. The aroma was alcoholic, with dark berry notes like a Zinfandel or Port. Surprisngly soft tannins. Made from Monsatrell, the Spanish name for Mourvèdre. $15.
Wine 8: 2002 Abadia Retuerta "Rivola". Sardon del Duero, Spain. Northeast Spain. 60% Tempranillo and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. A little too mellow for me--I really wonder if I tasted the same wine as mentioned in the review. There's a chance that the alcohol in the previous wine hampered my tasting ability, but I was still able to pick out lots in the next wine... $14.
Wine 9: 1999 Sierra Cantabria Crianza. Rioja, Spain. North Central Spain. Tempranillo. Big black cherry aroma, soft fruit flavors with hints of vanilla and hazelnuts. Nicely aged with a lovely garnet color. Great wine at a spectacular price. $15.
1999 Fernando Remirez de Ganuza Rioja Reserva. Rioja, Spain. Another Tempranillo from the North Central region of Rioja. Deep purple color with concentrated flavors. Dry and distinguished, and while I was having a difficult time picking out any individual flavor elements, it was an amazing wine. $60.