Archive for the ‘Spain’ Category

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Castro Martin A2O Albariño 2011A20

Vintage: 2011

Style: Dry white

Country: Spain

Region: Rias Baixas

 

Overview: Albariño, the variety no one knows but everyone should. Even when buying this bottle of wine the shop keep gave the underhanded remark, ‘A bit of Albariño action, hey?’ suggesting that drinking Albariño is some bizarre fetish. Perhaps here in Australia we have chosen to forget about Albariño’s existence after the whole Savagnin fiasco (Don’t talk about the war).  Without going into too much detail some growers in Australia were sold ‘Albariño’ cuttings which turned out to be the obscure French variety Savagnin.

Albariño originates from Portugal where is it called Alvarinho and is widely grown in Galicia, Spain which is where this wine is from. It is a fresh, vibrant variety which is a perfect match to seafood and sometimes likened to Viogner because of its stone fruit charecters.

 

Tasting note: Elegant and austere on the nose, stony with undertones of talc, jasmine and a touch of oiliness. Fresh lemon pith and lime on the palate, pure fruit with a lick of stone fruit richness. The elegance of the nose is rediscovered on the palate with sandalwood like perfume, white flowers and enduring acidity.

 

Final Say: This wine displays the very best of what Albariño has to offer. $35 a bottle.

 

Score: 18 out of 20

For any questions or feedback feel free to email me on spittingoptional@gmail.com

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Orden Tercera Verdejo 2011

Posted: December 11, 2012 in Spain
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Orden

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Orden Tercera Verdejo 2011

Vintage: 2011

Style: Dry White

Country: Spain

Region: Rueda

 

Overview: ‘Tis the season to scramble around frantically with the hordes, pointing at useless objects such as a vase that doubles as a fully functioning dinosaur robot yelling in pure panic, ‘Do you think such-and-such would like that?’ ‘Tis the season to fumble around on the internet buying presents from Bulgaria, hoping and praying that it gets here in time for Christmas. ‘Tis the season to put reindeer antlers on your pets and lower their self-esteem by forcing them to pose for you so that you can exploit them for your homemade Christmas cards.  ‘Tis the season to put your feet up and enjoy a damn fine drop from Spain.

Verdejo is an aromatic, elegant variety that matches well with seafood and light chicken dishes and is predominantly grown in the Rueda region of Spain. It’s a great alternative to varieties like Riesling, Verdelho and Semillon.

 

Tasting note: A lifted, fresh nose which includes aromas of straw, peach and melon. On the palate there is the typical talc character with hints of white flesh nectarine and jasmine flowers. The finishes clean and flinty yet creamy at the same time.

 

Final Say: Chill out, and have a glass of Verdejo. $26 dollars a bottle.

Score: 18 out of 20 (90 out of 100)

 

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Jack Davis

Toscar Monastrell 2011

Posted: October 30, 2012 in Spain
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Toscar Monastrell 2011

Vintage: 2011

Style: Medium to full bodied red

Country: Spain 

Region: Alicante 

Overview: The comedian Dylan Moran, once said: “There are two types of wine, essentially, and everybody knows this. There’s the one where you drink it and go, “Mmmm, well that’s ok, can we get 8 of those please? Give us 8 of those.” There’s the other one, you know, where you go “Ga…bt…jesus, WHAT is that?” Very, very occasionally I concede you will hit a subtle one. You know, where you go “Ga…ba…ah, actually that’s not that bad, that is. It’s quite nice.”

This wine did that very thing to me. When I first tasted it I thought it to be bitter and a little astringent. Now, normally in this case I would find another wine to drink but this time I was in the bath and could not be bothered, so I persevered. I found that with time this wine completely changed! At first it freaked me out; I thought my expectations were dropping, that I was getting a little too lenient, that I wasn’t being tough enough on obvious faults! But I actually found that as this wine ‘opened up’ this bitter, green character developed into a lovely, strawberry yoghurt flavour and when left open over night this wine became totally balanced and integrated.

The reason why I wasn’t expecting this was the price of the wine. I was expecting to open this little cheapie and have a nice quaffer but, as the Spaniards have done to me before I was surprised by how complex this wine became with contact to oxygen.

It you do buy this wine I insist you decant it before even tasting it, for at least 2 hours.

 

Tasting note: Plum and dried herbs on the nose. A plummy palate, smoky spice, fresh strawberry mingling with strawberry yoghurt. Good length, a decent buy for the price.

Final Say: $12-$15 a bottle, a great value wine. Will need decanting or some time in the cellar, maybe 2 to 3 years.

 

Score: 16 out of 20

 

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Jack Davis

 

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Picante Grande Meseta Tempranillo Shiraz 2010

Vintage: 2010

Style: Medium bodied red

Country: Spain 

Region: Central Spain 

Overview When selecting this wine I was choosing something that I believed would be a simple drink. Nothing mind blowing or overly complex, just a nice drink that I could sit down, put my feet up and enjoy. It was probably the price tag that made me think this, $11.99 I think I bought it for. The wine in the glass, however punched well above its weight, floored me, put me down for the count and made me feel guilty that I was drinking this on my own and not sharing it. I should have seen it coming really, those Spaniards are notorious for making great, inexpensive red wines. Where I really discovered the great potential of this wine was when I matched it with food, the spice and fresh fruit came to life when paired with fennel seed and pepper crusted pork.

Tempranillo and Shiraz are great partners. I’ve seen many, great cheap wines of this blend out of both Spain and Italy. Both have different dimensions of fruit and spice that lend to one another. This wine does not see oak which adds vibrancy and freshness which can sometimes be missing in a red wine.

This wine has the Spitting:Optional guarantee. Try it and if you don’t like it I will not give you back any money but subject you to a stern talking to.

Tasting note: An attractive, floral nose with tones of strawberry, blueberry and white pepper these characters carry on to the palate with savoury spice, crushed rosemary and finishes with grainy tannins. It is reminiscent of a good, entry level Cote du Rhone.

            .

Final Say: Looking for an inexpensive wine to impress with? Look no further, pick it up for between $11 and $15 and enjoy.

 

Score: 18 out of 20 (90 out of 100)

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Elefante Tempranillo Shiraz 2010

 

Vintage: 2010

 

Style: Medium-full bodied red

 

Country: Spain 

 

Region: Castilla la Mancha

 

 

 

Overview: The strong Australian dollar has wreaked havoc on our attempts to export wine into other countries. On the other hand however, it has made it cheaper for distributors to export international wines to our own shores. As a result there are some great, reasonably priced international wines floating about at the moment and this wine is one of them. Elefante means elephant in Spanish, der, however the symbol for the Elefante wines is a bull. I’m not really sure what the meaning is there, perhaps something is lost in translation. Perhaps it’s some deep metaphor. Like this wine is so large like an elephant that it is a bull. I should write anecdotes for Buddhists. I really don’t know, I tried this wine when it was first launched in 2009 and while impressed by its value for money, the Elefante/Bull confused me, it still does. So much so, even as I write this I am perplexed. Someone please help me solve the Elefante/Bull code before my brain heads into a mess of trucks, horns and hooves.

 

Long story short, this wine is absurdly good for the price. Very funky packaging lets it jump off the shelf. From reading the wine making practices it seems some good quality fruit goes into these wines. The Tempranillo vines are ‘Goblet’ bush vines which are low yielding. Low yields= fruit intensity (in most cases).

 

 

 

Tasting note: Lifted cherry and white pepper on the nose. Flavour of cherry, spice and pepper at the forefront of the palate supported by grainy, chewy tannins. Not too rich and not too serious. Quite elegant and balanced

 

 

 

Final Say: Looking for a cheap crowd pleaser? Give this little blend a go. You can’t go wrong for $10-$12 a bottle.

 

 

 

Score: 16 out of 20

 

 

 

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Jack Davis

 

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Martinsancho Verdejo 2010

Vintage: 2010

Style: Dry White

Country: Spain

Region: Rueda

 

Overview: I was once told that any variety beginning with ‘V’ is a hard sell. This was about five years ago, I disagreed then and disagree now. While I admit this may have been true in Australia 15 years ago and while I agree varieties like Viognier, Verdelho and Verduzzo will never sell the volume that Sauv Blanc, Shiraz and Chardonnay do I believe as we become more educated about these ‘strange’ varieties we learn exactly where they will fit in our wine collections. After all the are almost as many varieties starting with ‘V’ then there are starting with any other letter (this may be an exaggeration but there are around 27 varieties that start with ‘V’).

Verdejo is a variety that is typically grown to make an oxidised, Sherry-like wine. In Rueda, Spain they use the variety to make a great table wine which is slowly gaining popularity. When made as a table wine Verdejo herbaceous and has lovely tropical characters. I have read that it ages quite well but I have never had a chance to taste a cellared Verdejo.

 

Tasting note: A tropical nose, white nectarine and pineapple. White stone fruit on the palate, rich and full initially yet delicate and elegant on the finish. A great food wine.

 

Final Say: The Martinsancho Verdejo is often used referred to as a benchmark Verdejo, I agree wholeheartedly. Eat with seafood of creamy chicken dishes and you’ll appreciate this variety all the more. It sells for approx. $35 a bottle.

 

Score: 17 out of 20 (85 out of 100)

 

For any questions or feedback feel free to email me on spittingoptional@gmail.com

Also, check out the Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spitting-Optional/314535381931908?sk=wall

Jack Davis

 

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Enrique Mendoza La Tremenda Monastrell D.O 2008

Vintage: 2008

Country: Spain

Region: Alicante  

 

Overview: What do Monastrell, Mourvedre and Mataro all have in common? Well they’re all the same variety only named differently. The variety is believed to originate from Spain where it is named Monastrell or Mataro. In France it is grown in the Rhone Valley, Languedoc and Roussilon where it is known as Mourvedre or Mataro. And what do we call it in Australia? Whatever we damn well please. Around the world it is typically used as a blending variety, commonly blended with Grenache, Shiraz and Cinsault however when done right it makes a very impressive wine on its own. It typically displays characters of blackberry, cherry, pepper and leather but can also be very aromatic; its nose alone can sometimes be its greatest asset. While the saying goes ‘take time to smell the roses’ I’d much rather ‘smell the Monastrell’.

With a name which sounds like a Latin pop star and his number one hit song this wine perfectly captures what I love about Monastrell. So without further ado I present to you Enrique Mendoza performing La Tremenda Monastrell.

Tasting note:

            A nose of cherry, leather and pepper, very fresh for a 2008. The palate is awash with characters of strawberry, cherry, spice and pepper. The tannin structure is great in this wine, nice and chewy and lingers in the mouth.

           

Final Say: Probably the wankiest tasting note I’ve written yet, so how about we rename it my Ode to Monastrell. It’s a great wine to try if you love your fuller bodied reds but want to try something a bit different. It sells for around $30 a bottle.

 

Score: 17.5 out of 20 Freakin’ awesome. (88 out of 100)

For any questions or feedback feel free to email me on spittingoptional@gmail.com

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Jack Davis

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