Tag Archives: Valdepenas

Man of La Mancha… couldn’t resist (Valdepenas, Spain)

Madrid is everything that a capital city should be; it’s big, busy, historic, cultural, classy and teaming with life. In late June it is also scorchingly hot. It would have been at least 38 degrees in the shade, almost 10 degrees higher than only two hours north. On the Friday night of the weekend I was invited to have dinner with Didier Belondrade, his partner and a friend, where I enjoyed one of the finest meals of my trip and made me miss Melbourne a lot. Madrid is certainly a party town, and I didn’t get much sleep so on the Sunday evening when I got to Valdepenas I flicked on the Italy England Euro 2012 match and fell asleep after only ten minutes. Valdepenas is town that the DO takes its name from, and is the part of the La Mancha DO, the largest producing wine region in the world. Many in the Spanish wine industry look down on La Mancha as a low-quality commercial area, blaming it for the ills of the wine glut. There is however much quality to be found here providing that the price is right, and it is thanks to this region that so many consumers are drinking Spanish wine around the world. Valdapenas is the premium area of the region, and I wanted to find out what the best this wide, dry and healthy part of Spain had to offer.
Traditional fermentation vats in Valdepenas

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Navarro Lopez – 25/06/2012

Don Aurelio Verdejo Macabeo 2011
Fresh vibrant apples green fruits, very different aromatics to those of Rueda, juicy fruits. Lovely and fresh, light, fruit driven, clean and pure, simple uncomplicated balanced. A touch of R/S to lift the fruit flavours and make things that much easier to drunk several bottles in this heat.

Para Celsus Blanco 2011 (airen and viognier)
Viognier having quite an impact aromatically, quite perfumed floral notes, hints of dried apricots, very tight and lean freshness and fruit. Pure clean light and slightly nutty on the back from some old oak, very light fruit characters on the palate, very soft notes of complexity.

Don Aurelio Rosado Tempranillo 2011
At first quite jubey fruit sweet nose, but then showing some minerality and some slight savoury compounds. Nice fresh off-dry style, round broad soft, good level of R/S to fruiten the wine, good acids to ad to the vibrancy and aperitivo style. Purity of red fruits and some creaminess as well.

Don Aurelio Tempranillo Seleccion 2011 (no oak)
Very soft bright, mellow nose of plums and blueberries. Soft juicy tannins and fruit, freshness from acidity but very easy uncomplicated approachable wine that isn’t sweet, hot, or aggressive at all.

Tierracalar Tempranillo 2011 (Tierra de Castilla) – corked
Quite reductive at the moment, fruit somewhat subdued, interesting floral notes, slightly savoury red and black fruits. Oak making an impact even though it is only blended into non-oaked material.

Don Aurelio Crianza 2009
Nice soft nose, very light with fruit and oak. Full bright red fruits, lot’s of cherry and fresh raspberry blackberry notes, oak barely influencing, just good and approachable.

Premium 1904 2010 (tempranillo and cabernet sauvignon)
Very closed aromatically, needs some more time in bottle, dense dark fruits and subduing oak. Darker fuller more tannic and slightly sweet from oak, very serious and structured but still with some acidity freshness to make the wine approachable now with food. Five years ageing potential.

Vina Trebolar 2009 (tempranillo, cabernet sauvignon and syrah)
Darker more international wine with these varieties, same sweet dark fruits and new oak. Very soft mellow and full with some sweet oak characters, juicy mellow approachable structure, very appealing to a lot of people. Drink now, it’s very good.

Tierracalar Tempranillo 2011 (Tierra de Castilla)
Lovely bright dark fruit, juicy soft slightly sweet, much cleaner.

Navarro Lopez tasting

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Miguel Calatayud – 25/06/2012

Vegaval Plata Varietal Airen 2011
Nice fresh fruit salad aromas, slightly creamy and leesy, green fruits, kiwi. Very fruit-driven approachable balanced, clean and pure in varietal character. Not at all complex, just very friendly and dry, good with food or on its own.

Vegaval Plata Varietal Verdejo 2011
More textural in the mid-palate, broader and a little flatter, good focus and acidity, not enough fruit? Fresh and friendly, certainly, but not enough character. Texture and acids overwhelming a little bit.

Vegaval Plata Varietal Garnacha Cabernet Sauvignon Rosado 2011
Nice clean fresh quiet fruit aromas. Good balance and freshness, clean pure fruit, a little R/S on the back, but solid in the mid-palate with some structure and a little tannin texture as well.

Vegaval Plata Varietal Tempranillo 2010 (faulty wine due to storage)
Very intense nose of dark fruits, mushrooms, floral elements, slightly maderised. Very sweet and raisined fruit, has some acid freshness but no fruit freshness, has some molasses elements as well, but this is not pedro ximenez?? Bottle fault, already peaked, storage?

Vegaval Plata Varietal Tempranillo 2010
Similar nose as the previous one, just showing some more complexity of earth notes. Better fruit freshness, nice maturity of fruit, good balance and finesse. Structure and expression, very interesting for the price.

Vegaval Plata Varietal Garnacha 2011
Quite tight, dusty and a little peppery, but very bold on the nose. Too hot, fruit is a little on the cooked side, warmth is noticeable. Certainly drinkable, but not quite balanced. A tad aggressive and simple at the same time.

Vegaval Plata Reserva 2006
Quite rustic dusty earthy slight mustiness. Quite dark and full, textural influence from some oak and tannin density. Broad and full bodied but not too heavy. Still developing, but great dark fruit core with structure and some complexity.
Miguel Calatayud range

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