Odd mixed tasting of Spanish, Italian, and Chilean wines.
Wine 1: 2005 Tiefenbrunner Pinot Grigio. Alto Adige, Italy. Probably the best Pinot Grigio I've ever had. A little sweet, but with surprisingly decent body. A little lemon, firm tartness. $16.
Wine 2: 2004 Las Brisas. Rueda, Spain. I tasted this back in June of 2005, and enjoyed it enough to pick up a bottle. It remains a decent bargain white wine--full bodied and fruity, with some grapefruit flavors. Slight bitter edge, but not tart. Perfect for shellfish. $10.
Wine 3: 2005 Cavalchina Bianco di Custoza. Verona, Italy. Mostly Trebbiano, some Cortese and Tocai. Slight sweetness, but sort of flabby. Ultimately dull on the tongue. $15.
Wine 4: 2003 Morandé Terrarum Chardonnay. Maipo Valley, Chile. Clean and thin, some apple aromas. Really a rather neutral wine. Apparently Morandé is ceasing US distribution. $12.
Wine 5: 2004 Piccini Chianit. Tuscany, Italy. I had this a week ago, and it still remains a great bargain Chianti. $9.
Wine 6: 2004 Las Rocas Garnacha. Calatayud, Spain. Lovely little Spanish Grenache. Aromas and flavors run towards ripe strawberries with some plum. Light and refreshing, should be good for a wide range of foods. Just turn the bottle around so you don't have to see the big Comic Sans text on the label. $10.
Wine 7: Bodegas Tikalo 2004 "Rubens" Tierra de Castilla Tempranillo. Ciudad Real, Spain. Some toasted bread aromas on top. Well balanced, light and fruity--odd for a young, inexpensive Tempranillo. Medium tannins. Another great bargain. $10.
Wine 8: 2003 Venta Mazzaron Tempranillo. Castilla de León, Spain. Little heavy and tannic. Dark plum flavors, but very dry. I'd like to try this again after some decanting or breathing. $14.
Wine 9: 2005 Bodega Finca Luzón. Jumilla, Spain. Syrah and Monastrell blend. Black cherry aromas. Good fruit, but exceptionally well balanced. Medium tannins, short finish. $10.
Wine 10: 2003 Mas Donis Barrica. Montsant, Spain. A Grenache and Syrah blend. Light flavor, heavy tannins. A smooth finish, but a little watery. Needs some more punch to it. $14.