23 July 2006

Tasting Notes for July 22, 2006

This blind tasting covered Spanish and Portuguese wines. And with the exception of the rosé, I didn't identify a single one correctly. Of course, I have never claimed any expertise in that region, and I did get a couple of grapes right, just not the producer.

Note: I think most of these wines would be better with food. On their own I wasn't terribly impressed.

Wine 1: 2004 Torres Viña Sol. Penedes, Spain. Made from Parellada grapes. Light and fruity, but I found it to have a bitter aftertaste. $10.

Wine 2: 2003 Viña Mein Blanco. Ribera del Duero, Spain. 70% Treixadura, 15% Godello, 10% Loureira, and 5% Albariño. Alcoholic, bitter, thin. Not sweet, but there was that sugary flavor to it that tasted slightly chemical. $18.

Wine 3: 2004 Hermanos Lurton Rueda Blanco. Castilla y Leon, Spain. 60% Verdejo and 40% Viura. Light, medium bodied, but there was an off flavor that was difficult to pinpoint. $13.

Wine 4: 2004 Pazo San Mauro Albariño. Rias Baixas, Spain. Pungent citrus aroma and flavor, dominated by lemon and very ripe grapefruit. I loved this one. $22.

Wine 5: 2005 Marques de Riscal Rueda Bianco. Rueda, Spain. Full bodied and fruity, not sweet. Some grapefruit flavors. Good bargain at $11.

Wine 6: 2003 Condesa de Leganza Tempranillo Rosé. La Mancha, Spain. Lovely salmon color, earthy aroma, delicate unripe strawberry flavors. Not my favorite, but not bad either. $10.

Wine 7: 2004 Torres Sangre de Toro. Catalunya, Spain. Made from Garnacha and Cariñena. A creamy red with Pinot Noir-style feel and flavor. Interesting. $10.

Wine 8: 2003 Riscal Tempranillo. Duero, Spain. Mild tannins, some berry flavors but ultimately a little flat. $14.

Wine 9: 2003 Quinta do Vale Meão Meandro Douro Red. Douro, Portugal. 30% Touriga Nacional, 30% Tinta Roriz, 25% Toriga Franca, and 15% Tinta Barroca. Never heard of these grapes? If you've ever drunk Port, you probably have sippled some blend involving these grapes. I'm not as fond of them in their unfortified state, but this does have some of those spicy and raisin flavors you expect. Think of a thin ruby Port and you're halfway there. $20.

Wine 10: 2001 Osborne Solaz Shiraz-Tempranillo. Spain. An unusual blend of Shiraz and Tempranillo. Full tannins, dry, but with thin flavor. Maybe a little age or breathing would help. $11.

Wine 11: 2004 Dow Vale do Bonfim Douro Reserva. Douro, Portugal. No website found. Made by a Port producer, this is again an unfortified Port. 40% Touriga Franca, 40% Tinta Roriz, and 20% Tinta Barroca. Dry and a little bitter. Very strong tannins. Definite age needed. $13.

Wine 12: 2002 Castel de Remei Gotim Bru. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Tempranillo. I picked out the Cabernet Sauvignon in this one. It's got firm tannins on top of a Bordeaux-style construction, but obviously it's a little different. Black cherry dominates the aroma and flavor. $12.

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