May 21, 2018
Veronica Ortega Mencia ROC

VERONICA ORTEGA Mencia “ROC” 2013

Dark plums, black raspberries, white pepper, lavender and cocoa on the nose set the stage for this particularly strong, well structured Bierzo. Deep dark berry fruits + a little pomegranate syrup combine with white pepper, dried violets and lavender and dry Provence herbs in the mouth. Intense, full-flavored and age-worthy. Compared to excellent Red Burgundy with these descriptions. Flavors are different though – Bierzo is more wild and care-free to me. Enjoy this wine with roast pork shoulder, spiced/grilled salmon and roast root vegetables. More Information Bierzo is the region. We are in Northwest Spain, where cool-climate Galicia meets inland […]
May 17, 2018
La Bruja de Rozas

COMANDO G La Bruja de Rozas 2016

All Garnacha (Grenache), 50-80 year old vines, in the high altitude, rocky & rugged Sierra de Gredos mountains outside of Madrid. La Bruja de Rozas, the “entry level” multi-vineyard sourced Grenache from Comando G Winery, is just fantastic. Fermented in concrete tank then aged in super-big, mostly neutral oak barrel. Very pretty and intense, showing wild strawberry and plums, lavender, rosemary, thyme and Turkish spice smells and flavors. Medium body and acidity, intensity of flavor, lip-smacking fruit and, overall, a strong, pure, perfectly ripe style. This is buy-a-case worthy. Comando G La Bruja de Rozas 2016 is on my Best […]
March 14, 2018
Torremilanos Montecastrillo 16

TORREMILANOS Ribera del Duero “Montecastrillo” 2016

This Great Value, 100% Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) from the tenderloin for great red wine in Spain would make a fantastic House Wine (or restaurant By The Glass wine if you’re in that business). Smell and taste ripe red and blue berries and kisses of peppery spice and mint. Medium acid, gentle tannins and a medium full body…more complete than most $12 red wines on this planet. Buy yourself a case. I was introduced to Torremilanos last month at a tasting event. They make delicious, honest, great value wines. Their vineyards are Demeter certified biodynamic and are a stew of limestone, […]
February 20, 2018
Planetes de Vin 2013

PLANETES de VIN Priorat 2013

50-50 Garnatxes and Carinyenes (Catalan for Grenache and Carignane) aged “en amfora.” (Amphora-clay vessels. Use of Amphoras to hold wine date back to Roman times). The mountainous Priorat region in Catalonia is one of the world’s special places to make strong red wines. This fruit-driven wine smells and tastes of strawberry preserves, raspberry sauce, dried violets and whole pink peppercorns. Medium/full bodied, gentle tannins and fresh acidity. Has the balance of an acrobat.
February 20, 2018
maranones garnacha 13

MARAÑONES Garnacha “Marañones” Vinos de Madrid 2013

50-70 year old, head-pruned Garnacha vines outside of Madrid. While large producers dominate the old vine Garnacha industry here by making delicious, strong, simple, $15ish/bottle wine, Marañones lifts its foot off the pedal just a little to capture richness AND complexity. The result is a definitively superior wine that is still a bargain for around $28/bottle. Smell and taste strawberry preserves, Ruby Port, roast coffee beans, cherry bitters and dried thyme & sage. It sports very good richness and multiple layers of both fruit and land.
January 30, 2018
Hazana Rioja 15

Bodegas ABANICO – HAZAÑA Rioja 2015

Hazana Rioja “Vinas Viejas” is 85% Tempranillo, 15% Garnacha. The “Old Vines” are up to 70 year old, dry-farmed vines in the Rioja Alta section of Rioja. It shows dark red wild berry fruits, white pepper, a little new leather handbag and black licorice stick flavors. But mostly berry and pomegranate fruit. Bold-flavors, easy-going tannins and almost no oak influence (10 months in French & American oak…Google “Rioja Oak Aging” for a quick and easy lesson on Rioja & oak), this friendly and honest Rioja is an absolute no-brainer. I agree with the winery’s comment that this is “a perfect […]
January 17, 2018
Sere Montsant 16

Vendrell “Sere” Montsant 2016

80% Grenache, 20% Carignane from Vendrell’s organic vineyards in the Montsant D.O., 75 miles west of Barcelona. Dark plum, raspberry and strawberry smells and flavors are joined by cracked black pepper, fine chopped dry herbs and black tea. Medium tannins and body, no oak to speak of and medium/low acidity. More character and personality than most reds priced in the low teens.