Tag Archives: Rioja

Valenciso – 12/06/2012

Blanco 2010 (70% viura, 30% garnacha blanca, 9 months Russian oak, 20% new)
Very delicate aromas, white peach, mandarin, some white floral aromas, slightly creamy. Wonderful structure, finesse and elegance straight down the palate, slightly closed and reductive in a very nice way, awesome purity of fruit with minerality and very delicate oak influence. Russian oak very interesting. Wonderful drinking wine with great character.

Tinto (Reserva) 2005 (100% tempranillo)
Nice bright ripe red fruits, sour cherry, some nice ripe tomato characters, a little tobacco leaf, wild raspberries, hints of floral but some good earth components. Bright tight light freshness, intense ripe fruit most definitely, but very delicate and fine, purity of fruit and terroir. Again, pretty simple when you look at it, non-interventionist winemaking but so complex, balanced and ageable.

Tinto (Reserva) 2006 (100% tempranillo)
More closed and rustic, dense impenetrable, darker fruit somehow, but not riper. Deeper earthier notes, more savoury and picking up some vegetative spice elements, tight intense, very concentrated tannins that should open up beautifully over some time. Structure and acidity locked up at the moment.

Valeciso red and white wines

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Baigorri – 12/06/2012

Rosado 2011 (50% tempranillo, 50% garnacha)
Bright red intense colour. Some earthy savoury notes, slightly smoky, cured meats, roasted onions. Texture, some fullness of fruit, dark red fruits, plenty of depth but not sweet.

Blanco Fermentado en Barrica 2009 (95% viura, 5% malvasia)
Ripe tropical almost like varnished oak chips (??), honeyed, citrus notes. Quite warm, very textural, retaining some freshness and acidity, quite precise and intense, honey wax.

Crianza 2008 (90% tempranillo, 5% garnacha)
Dark earthy red ripe currants, soft full freshness, good clarity, American oak softens and gives the tannins a nice cream sweetness, vibrancy and approachability. Classic tempranillo wine.

Reserva 2006 (100% new barrel malolactic and ageing for 18 months)
Dark florals, savoury, earthiness, density, some interesting Turkish delight elements, lovely and full, great depth concentration of fruit, nicely integrated oak, plenty of potential for ageing.

Garnacha 2009
Quite dense black fruits, crushed violets, amazing concentration, very full and volumous, velvety generous texture, vibrant fresh fruits, chewy and delicious.

De Garage 2007 (probably tempranillo)
Insanely well structured, very tight focused tannins, finesse and intensity, concentrated, warmer vintage, would be interesting to see the 2008. Youthful, amazing quality from the old vines, very low yields providing depth and concentration.

Baigorri tasting

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Bodegas Muriel – 12/06/2012

Muriel Rioja Blanco 2011 (viura, verdejo, sauvignon blanc)
Marlborough SB again, grapefruit, passionfruit, guava, kiwi. Sweet fruits, simple acids, tight freshness, aromatic, full flavour, some richness of texture.

Muriel Rosado 2011 (tempranillo, garnacha)
Some rose water, faint fairy floss Turkish delight, strawberries and cream. Fruit sweet and sugar sweet, broad, flabby and pretty fat on the back palate, solid freshness and drinkability.

Muriel Joven 2011
Very intense aromatics, tight toasty chocolate black fruit plums, a little unstable. Roasted capsicums, tomato, dirty red and black fruits, quite hot and aggressive, almost unpalateable.

Muriel Selecion 2010
Cooked meats, roasted notes, imbalanced oak. Sweet overripe fruit, juicy volatile sweet tannins, meaty and dirty, what you expect ordinary Spanish wine to taste like, only turned up to 11.

Muriel Crianza 2007
Sweet new world American oak nose, vanilla creamy toasty, rubbery red fruits. Bold fruit, plenty of volume, sweet texture on the back palate, great punter wine, pleasing to the masses. Probably good value.

Vina Eguia Rioja Crianza 2008
More restrained but also more intense nose, closed dark fruits, concentrated possibly because of the vintage. Intensity on the palate, quite focused but also powerful and forward in terms of fruit. Better balance and structure, more acceptable.

Muriel Reserva 2007
Aromatically challenged, subdued oak hidden red fruits. Bold and intense, too extractive and stretched out, pummeled and pounded into submission, very little freshness. Is it the fruit or the winemaking? Maybe both?

Vina Eguia Reserva 2007
Sweet black fruit, generous bold mellow, good character and approachability, great drinking but not too oaky.

Muriel Gran Reserva 2004
Quite traditional nose, earthy tarry carmelised balsamic, dense earthy very textured, intense and bold, sweet and sour, layered and old-world.

JME 2008
Bold and hot, stinky and fecal, intense dark fruit, sweet juicy and opulent, quite simple heavy fruit, oak not really influencing.

Real Compania Blanco 2011
Sweaty sweet juicy bright fresh honey, very textured, you can really taste this wine.

Real Compania Verdejo 2011
Soft gentle generous freshness, good focus, tightness balance and acidity, not oppressive or too sweet.

Real Compania Garnacha 2011
New world South Australian black fruits, slightly more savoury than an Aus example. Extremely sweet fruit.

Real Compania Tempranillo 2011
Completely volatile, are my standards too high now? Absolutely no varietal character. I need to get back in the market again, my tastes have become too refined and not realistic.

Muriel Blanca Mesa 2011
Simple alcoholic water. What is the point of drinking this? Oh yeah, it’s alcohol.

Muriel Vino de Mesa 2011
Offensive nose, simple fruit palate. Cheap wine and a three day growth. ‘Nuff said.

Picante Grande Meseta Tempranillo Shiraz 2010
Well balanced clean, good fruit, approachable, good texture, red fruits some spice notes. Good value wine.

Elefante Tempranillo Shiraz 2010
Dense earthy red fruit nose, fresh vibrant fruit, mouth-filling and generous, vibrant fruit. Pure minerality and intensity.

Calo Tempranillo Rioja DOCA 2010
Nice intense dark fruits, very plummy and cherry. Very fruit-sweet juicy fantastically good fruit.

Calo Reserva Tempranillo DOCA 2007
Old world sweet juicy dark earthy black fruits, coconut caramel chocolate. How could you be disappointed with this, great character, really full fruit, soft and generous, structured and delicious.
One of many large tanks at Bodegas Muriel

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Ramon Bilbao – 11/06/2012

Mar de Frades Finca Valinas Albarino 2010 (Rias Baixas)
Lovely ripe tropical fruit, apple, floral, some minerality. Textured sharpness, ripe and slightly viscous. Nice balance and approachable fruit. Good character, pleasant drinking and good with food. Need to understand the variety and region better.

Monte Blanco Verdejo 2011 (Rueda)
Riper more candied notes, slightly sweaty in a sauvignon blanc way. Ripe tropical New Zealand sauvignon blanc style of wine, looks almost volatile in its sweaty characters. Good aromatic white wine with ripe approachable fruit, good as an aperitif but lacking in finesse, crispness and minerality. Ditto above.

Ramon Bilbao Crianza 2009 (12 months in barrel, 9 months in bottle)
Fairly bright red fruits and some dusty earth notes, cherry and slightly green strawberries. Tight compact and fruit-driven, fresh and relatively elegant, sweetness of tannin from the American oak, slightly vanilla and caramel. A tad hot in the mouth.

Ramon Bilbao Reserva 2006
More intense focused fruit nose, more oak influence, dark floral notes and some sweet balsamic elements. Light and tight, juicy dark fruit still on the fresh side, good structure and balance, focused tannins, oak not interfering too much, has some more potential.

Ramon Bilbao Gran Reserva 2004
Fruit completely shut down on the nose, oak dominating and not inviting at all. Sweet fruit, almost candied on the palate. Quite juicy and plummy, fairly broad and lacks the focus of the Reserva. Quite simple for a wine of this quality.

Ramon Bilbao Vina Turzaballa Gran Reserva 2001 Rioja
Shy nose, in a trough, starting to show some bottle mature notes, some leather and dusty elements. Better concentration of fruit and more expressive structure, good combination of red and black fruits, plenty of life in the wine yet.

Ramon Bilbao Selecion Limitada 2009 Rioja
Ruby and dark fruit nose, very bold fruit, dense and juicy, very ripe and sweet, extended maceration and newer oak. Bold, very young, international-style Spanish wine, not really Rioja.

Mirto 2006
Lives up to its name, as it smells like myrtle, hazel, vegetative elements. Very intense concentrated fruit, really low yielding very ripe berries, a lot of time in new oak, designed to be left for many years. Stay away, it’s difficult to see where the wine might go in the future.
Ramon Bilbao fermenter

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Bodegas Roda – 11/06/2012

Sela 2009 (mainly tempranillo, a little graciano. 12 months in barrel, young vines)
Intense purple colour, but still bright. Blackforest, black cherry, vibrant florals. Juicy juby very soft mellow, some creaminess from the oak. Bright intense sweet red and black fruits, generous smooth tannins and some brightness of acidity. Fairly modern style.

Roda 2007
Darker denser and earthier. Deeper tannins, much more brooding and masculine, textural heavier oak influence. Youthful crunchy tannins, some nut and vanilla notes from the oak and grape tannins, mature and extractive but not heavy, fat or fruit-sweet.

Roda 1 2006 (always 100% tempranillo)
Even darker colour but not too intense and black. Denser darker fruit nose, black olives, dried spices, wild plum. Very deep intense, noticeable influence from the oak, but in an extremely mature and delicate way. Very savoury, not a lot of overt juicy black fruits, all extremely well integrated. Quite grainy rough manly texture, but not aggressive or oppressive and oaky. A wine that will benefit a lot from ageing.

Cirsion 2009 (100% tempranillo, only made in certain years)
The darkest and most intense heavy colour of them all. Sweet coconut chocolate vanilla, black fruits plum and very intense blueberry notes. Very youthful and modern looking, ripeness and concentration are key.

Corimbo 2010 (Ribera del Duero)
Creamy red currant fruits, caramel elements, lovely and intense fruits, quite toasty. Tight tannins, quite juicy and full, fruit intense. Quite warm for the time being, but not ready for release just yet. Prefer the Ribera fruit to the Rioja fruit.

Corimbo 1 2009 (Ribera del Duero)
Dark really bright and juby black fruits on the nose. Blackcurrant juice, super intense. Much heavier tannins and depth, but with a very mellow smooth finish. So young for now, will really benefit from bottle ageing. Full-flavoured generous breadth and depth, bang for buck, powerful example.

Roda tasting

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