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Sue Courtney

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Re: Wine Focus for March 2017: Wines of Spain

by Sue Courtney » Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:30 am

Ok. So I am in my local wine shop. There are 47 Spanish wines on the shelves. 9 have screwcaps.
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Re: Wine Focus for March 2017: Wines of Spain

by David M. Bueker » Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:22 am

Sue Courtney wrote:Albarino is becoming quite trendy with diversifying NZ wine producers but this delicious Spanish number sets a benchmark for them to aspire to I think.

Gotas de Mar Albarino 2015, Rias Baixas, Spain
Sunshine in colour with a striking lemon verbena and tropical fruit bouquet then crisp, racy and teeth tingling in the palate but underneath quite textural with bright flavours reminiscent of stonefruit, mandarin, ginger and aromatic herbs. Very refreshing on the night.
13.5% abv. Cork closure. NZ$22.99.

What's more it really stands out with its striking blue bottle with three wide white-silver bands on the lower body. Impressed all round.


Sounds delicious. there are a few US producers trying out Albarino. So far I have been unmoved by their efforts. I do hope they keep trying. Perhaps older, more established vines will help turn up the quality.
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Re: Wine Focus for March 2017: Wines of Spain

by Joe Moryl » Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:54 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:
Sue Courtney wrote:Albarino is becoming quite trendy with diversifying NZ wine producers but this delicious Spanish number sets a benchmark for them to aspire to I think.

Gotas de Mar Albarino 2015, Rias Baixas, Spain
Sunshine in colour with a striking lemon verbena and tropical fruit bouquet then crisp, racy and teeth tingling in the palate but underneath quite textural with bright flavours reminiscent of stonefruit, mandarin, ginger and aromatic herbs. Very refreshing on the night.
13.5% abv. Cork closure. NZ$22.99.

What's more it really stands out with its striking blue bottle with three wide white-silver bands on the lower body. Impressed all round.


Sounds delicious. there are a few US producers trying out Albarino. So far I have been unmoved by their efforts. I do hope they keep trying. Perhaps older, more established vines will help turn up the quality.


I honestly don't understand why there is a market for CA wines, made from Albarino or some of the more obscure Italian grapes, which sell for double of the price of good examples from the old country.
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Re: Wine Focus for March 2017: Wines of Spain

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:04 pm

I could not agree with you more Joe. I would love to observe a well stocked store in the US and observe which styles/kinds of wine move off the shelves.

I feel like a rant but do not want to upset Tom :lol: .
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Re: Wine Focus for March 2017: Wines of Spain

by Joe Moryl » Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:11 pm

2013 Quinta da Muradella, Alanda Blanco, D.O. Monterrei : Encouraged by Dale's notes on some very fine examples of Galician wine, I decided to open a bottle from this pioneering Monterrei producer. Another organic grower, bottling unfiltered wines fermented using ambient yeast (this is not mentioned on the bottle - nice to see producers not trying to make a selling point out of this). An intriguing blend of 30% Dona Blanca, 30% Treixadura, 30% Verdello and 10% Monstruosa (my first Monstruosa wine - apparently it has big grapes). Mid golden, with a somewhat reticent mineral nose. Some reviews call this wine 'liquid stone' and there is some mineral character, but overall it isn't as severe as I was led to expect. There is some red cherry and under-ripe pineapple fruit, followed by some nutty notes, with minerals on the decent finish. Not as fresh or bracing as I was expecting, but a food wine that might appeal to others more. 13% abv.
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Re: Wine Focus for March 2017: Wines of Spain

by Sue Courtney » Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:51 pm

Joe Moryl wrote: An intriguing blend of 30% Dona Blanca, 30% Treixadura, 30% Verdello and 10% Monstruosa (my first Monstruosa wine - apparently it has big grapes).
Three of these four grapes are new names to me.
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Re: Wine Focus for March 2017: Wines of Spain

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:37 am

New names to me too. One can always rely on Joe to find a wine out of the ordinary so well done :D .
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Re: Wine Focus for March 2017: Wines of Spain

by Jenise » Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:21 am

Joe Moryl wrote: I honestly don't understand why there is a market for CA wines, made from Albarino or some of the more obscure Italian grapes, which sell for double of the price of good examples from the old country.


We recently had an especially lush and complex old vine Albarino from the only such planting of the grape in Oregon. Ransom Winery, it was. Around $20 and worth that.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Wine Focus for March 2017: Wines of Spain

by Jenise » Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:26 am

Btw, last night we had another Rioja Rosado from The Box That's No Longer Missing In The Garage. A 2014 Ostatu that a note from 2015 indicates was so overblown with acidity it was hard to drink. Well, they've turned into gems, quite lovely in fact: bone dry and filled out in all the corners with evolved, complex flavors.
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Re: Wine Focus for March 2017: Wines of Spain

by Joe Moryl » Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:10 am

Sue Courtney wrote:
Joe Moryl wrote: An intriguing blend of 30% Dona Blanca, 30% Treixadura, 30% Verdello and 10% Monstruosa (my first Monstruosa wine - apparently it has big grapes).
Three of these four grapes are new names to me.


Many people recognize Albarino as being the premier white grape of Galicia, but a lot of the vineyards in that part of the world are mixed, with all sorts oddities possible. The first three are familiar to me, but I never heard of Monstuosa before - and I was surprised to find it doesn't even appear on this list: http://www.vinetowinecircle.com/castas/ The Muradella Alanda comes from various plots in Monterrei, but they also produce some single-vineyard wines (some mono-varietal) that are supposed to reflect specific terroirs.
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Re: Wine Focus for March 2017: Wines of Spain

by Joe Moryl » Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:20 am

Jenise wrote:
Joe Moryl wrote: I honestly don't understand why there is a market for CA wines, made from Albarino or some of the more obscure Italian grapes, which sell for double of the price of good examples from the old country.


We recently had an especially lush and complex old vine Albarino from the only such planting of the grape in Oregon. Ransom Winery, it was. Around $20 and worth that.


Your response got me pondering what west coast Albarinos are available here on the east coast. Going to wine-searcher it appears there are more of them than I expected, some pretty cheap, e.g. Klinker Block at around $14. I guess my impressions on from reading Tom Hill's notes, which often leave me thinking: 1) that sounds pretty interesting, 2) probably not available in my market, and 3) yikes, look at that price. He seems to find the good stuff. BTW, there is another OR Albarino that makes it to the east coast from Abacela, FWIW.
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Re: Wine Focus for March 2017: Wines of Spain

by Joe Moryl » Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:21 am

Jenise wrote:
Joe Moryl wrote: I honestly don't understand why there is a market for CA wines, made from Albarino or some of the more obscure Italian grapes, which sell for double of the price of good examples from the old country.


We recently had an especially lush and complex old vine Albarino from the only such planting of the grape in Oregon. Ransom Winery, it was. Around $20 and worth that.


Your response got me pondering what west coast Albarinos are available here on the east coast. Going to wine-searcher it appears there are more of them than I expected, some pretty cheap, e.g. Klinker Block at around $14. I guess my impressions on from reading Tom Hill's notes, which often leave me thinking: 1) that sounds pretty interesting, 2) probably not available in my market, and 3) yikes, look at that price. He seems to find the good stuff. BTW, there is another OR Albarino that makes it to the east coast from Abacela, FWIW.
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Re: Wine Focus for March 2017: Wines of Spain

by Robin Garr » Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:36 pm

Campo Viejo 2014 Rioja Tempranillo ($12.99)

Dark reddish-purple, only slightly more red at the edge. Typical scents of simple Rioja, fresh Bing cherries cloaked by aromatic vanilla. Bright red-cherry fruit on the palate, shaped by a brisk mix of fresh-fruit acidity and soft tannins, with a touch of vanilla joining the fruit in a medium-long finish. Food-friendly and appealing, with rational 13% alcohol. U.S. importer: Pernod Ricard USA, Purchase, N.Y. (March 15, 2017)

FOOD MATCH: The label suggests "pasta, poultry and fresh light cheeses, grilled chicken, small bites (light cheese, grilled vegetables." We put it up against roasted vegetables, fennel, celery, onions, garlic and grilled fennel-scented Italian sausages.

WHEN TO DRINK: This simple Rioja is not a long-term ager, but I wouldn't worry about keeping it under good storage conditions through 2020.

VALUE:
It's certainly a good value in the lower teens, but shop around if you can, as Wine-Searcher.com shows a $10 U.S. retail average, with a few vendors going as low as $8 or $9.

WEB LINK
This page shows all of Campo Viejo's Rioja wines. Click the Tempranillo bottle image on the left to open more information about this wine.

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Re: Wine Focus for March 2017: Wines of Spain

by Robin Garr » Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:38 pm

Bodegas Volver 2014 "Tarima" Alicante Monastrell ($12.99)

Made from organic grapes grown on 40-year-old vines, unfiltered and unfined and aged in French oak, this is a dark, almost opaque deep-purple wine. Raspberries and blackberries show first in the aroma, woven with more subtle scents of cinnamon and roses. It's tart and quite tannic on the palate - a characteristic of Monastrell (Mourvèdre in France), but there's abundant black fruit, too, adding distinct currant jam as it crosses the palate, lingering with astringent tannins in the long finish. The 14.5 alcohol shows itself in a touch of heat, but the wine is big enough to carry it. U.S. importer: Cutting Edge Selections Inc., Mariemont, Ohio; Jorge Ordoñez Selections (March 11, 2017)

FOOD MATCH: It went well with locally produced grass-fed beef, and it really needs a foil like beef or lamb or high-fat cheese to bring it down to size.

WHEN TO DRINK: It's drinking well now in spite of the tannins, which will probably outlive the fruit. I'd drink it up in the next two or three years.

VALUE:
For a change, my local price actually beat the $15 average U.S. retail shown on Wine-Searcher.com. It's certainly a good value anywhere in the middle teens, and if you're in a position to shop around online, you may be able to find it for ten bucks or less.

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Re: Wine Focus for March 2017: Wines of Spain

by Jenise » Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:00 pm

Joe Moryl wrote:Your response got me pondering what west coast Albarinos are available here on the east coast. Going to wine-searcher it appears there are more of them than I expected, some pretty cheap, e.g. Klinker Block at around $14. I guess my impressions on from reading Tom Hill's notes, which often leave me thinking: 1) that sounds pretty interesting, 2) probably not available in my market, and 3) yikes, look at that price. He seems to find the good stuff. BTW, there is another OR Albarino that makes it to the east coast from Abacela, FWIW.


IIRC, Klinker Brick is a Lodi-based winery. Not surprised at the price--grapes are relatively cheap there. Where the Ransom Albarino compared favorably with some of the better Spanish Albarinos I've had, and at a similar price. Didn't know of Abacela's--maybe same vineyard source as Ransom's. I didn't research their claim about 'only', just repeated it. :)
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Re: Wine Focus for March 2017: Wines of Spain

by Sue Courtney » Fri Mar 24, 2017 4:35 pm

Jenise wrote:
Joe Moryl wrote: I honestly don't understand why there is a market for CA wines, made from Albarino or some of the more obscure Italian grapes, which sell for double of the price of good examples from the old country.


We recently had an especially lush and complex old vine Albarino from the only such planting of the grape in Oregon. Ransom Winery, it was. Around $20 and worth that.


How interesting. There is a Ransom Wines in NZ that is also on the Albarino train.
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Re: Wine Focus for March 2017: Wines of Spain

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:39 pm

The Doctors from Marlborough do have a nice GV.
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Re: Wine Focus for March 2017: Wines of Spain

by Robin Garr » Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:14 pm

"Cream Sherry" might make us think of elderly aunts who keep a half-bottle of ancient Sherry in a dusty cut-glass decanter on the sideboard. This offering from Alvear, however, is much more interesting than that, and very reasonably priced.

Alvear non-vintage Cream (sweet Oloroso) Montilla-Moriles Pedro Ximenez ($14.99)

This sweet Oloroso “cream” Sherry, a blend of dry Oloroso and sweet Pedro Ximenez wine aged in solera for at least 10 years, shows a clear, dark copper-brown color in the glass, with glints of bronze against the light. Delicious aromatics, fresh cracked walnuts and a background whiff of brown sugar. Unctuous and rich, walnut and brown-sugar flavors follow the nose in a full-bodied flavor shaped by surprisingly bright and tart lemon-squirt flavor that saves the sweet wine from cloying as it becomes more evident in the very long finish. Rich, sweet flavors cloak hefty 18 percent acidity, typical of Sherry. U.S. importer: Cutting Edge Selections, Mariemont, Ohio; Jorge Ordonez Selections. (March 24, 2017)

FOOD MATCH: The winery calls it “a comforting winter drink” and suggests enjoying it with “sweets, desserts and coffee.” Winter’s ending here, but we enjoyed sipping it after dinner with nuts and cheese.

WHEN TO DRINK: On the one hand, it’s not an ager. On the other, it will last forever, probably without evolving much. Drink it now or drink it later, but don’t count on its value to increase with time.

VALUE:
My local price matches the the $15 U.S. average retail reported by Wine-Searcher.com. It’s certainly a decent buy in the middle teens, and particularly worthy at the shops tagging it in the $12-$13 range.

WEB LINK
Click here for the producer's fact sheet for Alvear Cream.

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Re: Wine Focus for March 2017: Wines of Spain

by Sue Courtney » Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:19 am

Robin Garr wrote:"Cream Sherry" might make us think of elderly aunts who keep a half-bottle of ancient Sherry in a dusty cut-glass decanter on the sideboard.

Um, I'm probably perceived as an elderly aunt by my nieces and nephews :roll:
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Re: Wine Focus for March 2017: Wines of Spain

by Robin Garr » Sun Mar 26, 2017 4:42 pm

Sue Courtney wrote:
Robin Garr wrote:"Cream Sherry" might make us think of elderly aunts who keep a half-bottle of ancient Sherry in a dusty cut-glass decanter on the sideboard.

Um, I'm probably perceived as an elderly aunt by my nieces and nephews :roll:

But I'm only speaking of elderly aunts who keep a half-bottle of ancient Sherry in a dusty cut-glass decanter on the sideboard. If you don't do that, then you're not one of those elderly aunts. ;)
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Re: Wine Focus for March 2017: Wines of Spain

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:55 pm

2004 Finca Allende Rioja Allende.

Cellared 6 yrs, $34 Cdn, de Gregorio family, very old estate, "red clay, high iron". 4 hour decant, some sediment. Good natural cork.

C. No sign of any age, medium cherry intensity.
N. Took a while to open up, cherry, blackberry, oak, smokey, plum on day 2.
P. Initial entry thought is old world for sure, same fruits as above..blackberry especially. Very good acidity, lengthy finish, soft tannins, some ripe fruit after 4 hrs. I think mature but "might use 2 more years" from across the table. Oak is still prevalent with savory notes, solid concentrated fruits (plum).
Did not fade overnight with tons of ripe fruit obvious and more silky in style. Winner!
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Re: Wine Focus for March 2017: Wines of Spain

by Robin Garr » Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:24 pm

Alvear non-vintage Cream (sweet Oloroso) Montilla-Moriles Pedro Ximenez ($14.99)

This sweet Oloroso "cream" Sherry, a blend of dry Oloroso and sweet Pedro Ximenez wine aged in solera for at least 10 years, shows a clear, dark copper-brown color in the glass, with glints of bronze against the light. Delicious aromatics, fresh cracked walnuts and a background whiff of brown sugar. Unctuous and rich, walnut and brown-sugar flavors follow the nose in a full-bodied flavor shaped by surprisingly bright and tart lemon-squirt flavor that saves the sweet wine from cloying as it becomes more evident in the very long finish. Rich, sweet flavors cloak hefty 18 percent acidity, typical of Sherry. U.S. importer: Cutting Edge Selections, Mariemont, Ohio; Jorge Ordonez Selections. (March 24, 2017)

FOOD MATCH: The winery calls it "a comforting winter drink" and suggests enjoying it with "sweets, desserts and coffee." Winter's ending here, but we enjoyed sipping it after dinner with nuts and cheese.

WHEN TO DRINK: On the one hand, it's not an ager. On the other, it will last forever, probably without evolving much. Drink it now or drink it later, but don't count on its value to increase with time.

VALUE:
My local price matches the the $15 U.S. average retail reported by Wine-Searcher.com. It's certainly a decent buy in the middle teens, and particularly worthy at the shops tagging it in the $12-$13 range.

WEB LINK
Click here for the producer's fact sheet for Alvear Cream.

FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Look for vendors and compare prices for Alvear Cream on Wine-Searcher.com.
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Re: Wine Focus for March 2017: Wines of Spain

by Robin Garr » Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:24 pm

Poema 2014 Catalunya Red Wine ($5.99)

A blend of Garnacha, Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon, this is a clear, dark reddish-purple wine with a clear garnet edge. The simple aroma is focused on raspberries and strawberries, leading into a fresh, crisp red-fruit flavor. It's light in weight on the palate, with clean fruit flavors structured by tart, zingy acidity, soft but persistent tannic astringency, and balanced 13 percent alcohol. U.S. importer: Kobrand Corp., Purchase, N.Y. (March 24, 2017)

FOOD MATCH: The back label suggests pairing it with "full-flavored foods and spicy cuisines." We tried it with a rich, lightly spicy roasted-vegetable and barley soup.

WHEN TO DRINK: This doesn't strike me as a long-term ager. I'd drink it up over the next year or two while the fruit is fresh, and look for later vintages to drink next year.

VALUE:
My local price was a blowout sale compared with the $11 U.S. retail shown on Wine-Searcher.com, but it's certainly a decent value in the $10 range.

WEB LINK
Here's an importer fact sheet on the Poema wine.

FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Find vendors and check prices for Poema Catalyuna Red on Wine-Searcher.com.
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