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Dale Williams

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WTN: Spanish wines in Scarsdale

by Dale Williams » Fri Jul 07, 2006 11:21 am

A convivial group gathered last night at Meritage in Scarsdale for a Spanish-themed dinner. The restaurant did a fine job with the task of a tapas dinner, with waaaaay too much food circulating. More than a dozen tapas/canape/appetizers circulated, some of my favorites were the Serrano ham, the grilled calamari, the endive with marinated white anchovies (a wine killer, but worth a detour to water), and gambas ajillo (shrimp). My stuffed pork chop was good, I told my wife Meritage is on the list of places to take her.

A couple of whites to start the evening:

2004 Naia Des (Rueda, I think)
Barrel-fermented Verdejo. Rich tropical fruit, wood in the background, good acidity. Refreshing and fun.

2004 Conreria d'Scala Dei "Les Brugueres" (Priorat)
Nose of musk and melons, sweet round tropical fruit on palate. Reminds me a bit of a decent white CdP, but I'm not a huge fan of white Rhones. B/B-

1989 Marqués de Murrieta "Ygay" Rioja Gran Reserva Especial
I think my last bottle of this. I was a little hesitant about bringing this- I liked the first release of this, but some very VA-dominated bottles appeared en masse in NYC a few years ago- I wasn't sure if this was from first batch or my repurchase. Some bottle funk, and some noticable VA. But the VA stays within my tolerance level, just a very lifted nose. Sweet red cherry and plum fruit with a tiny dash of spice on the palate, good acidty. Pulls itself together nicely at end when the volatile acidity has faded. B+

2002 Artadi Pagos Viejos -oaky, oaky, oaky, and disjointed. Short finish. C/C+

1995 Murua Rioja Gran Reserva
Ripe red plums, mature, fading on finish. B

1995 Remelluri Rioja (from magnum)
Funky nose, a little bretty in my opinion. Raspberry fruit and oak, a tad disjointed. Someone says it opens up, but not into anything I really care for. Everyone else likes better than I. C+

1999 Artadi Rioja Pagos Viejos
Much better than the '02. Oak has integratred nicely. I think this is as good as it's going to get. Not a big fan of modern Rioja in general, but this is a very good example. B/B+

2001 Finca La Estacada "Black Label"
light sweet fruit, medium bodied but with some green tacky tannins. B-

1995 Valduero Primium Reserva (Ribera del Duero)
Sweet fruit but a little empty. B-/B

2001 Muga Selecton Especial Reserva
Needs some time for oak to integrate, but good fruit base. B/B+

1998 Numanthia
Oak sticking out a little, but nice raspberry fruit underneath. A little chocolate and coffee. Not my favorite style, but well done. B+/B

2001 Remirez de Ganuza Rioja
Obviously modern, but extremely well-done. Integrated oak, smooth, ripe. B+

2001 Clos de L'Obac
Beefy, rich, nice wine. A-

2002 Finca Sandoval
A little closed down compared to a year or two ago. Sweet rich Syrah. B+

2001 Molino Real (Dessert)
My palate was shot, but I quite enjoyed this. B+

NV Masia Serra Ino
My palate was shot, but I didn't enjoy this. C+

1990 Quinta do Vesuvio
Sweet, forward. A little simple,but enjoyable. B/B+

1992 Quinta do Vesuvio VP
More evolved, with a lot of raisiny/toffee notes. B+

Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.  
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JoePerry

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Re: WTN: Spanish wines in Scarsdale

by JoePerry » Sat Jul 08, 2006 5:01 pm

Thanks for the notes, Dale.

Artadi is a producer that has snowballed from 1994 to the current releases. The 1994 El Pison and Pagos Viejos were excellent, but from there it has just gotten sweeter and heavier.

Interesting about Remelluri - remember when that was "the" Spanish winery for, like, six months five years ago? Not much has been said since then, eh?

Best,
Joe
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Jenise

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Re: WTN: Spanish wines in Scarsdale

by Jenise » Sat Jul 08, 2006 5:39 pm

The 1994 El Pison and Pagos Viejos were excellent, but from there it has just gotten sweeter and heavier.


Someone recently compared one to Australian Shiraz. Otto?
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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Dale Williams

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Re: WTN: Spanish wines in Scarsdale

by Dale Williams » Sat Jul 08, 2006 7:38 pm

Joe,
while the '02 Artadi was quite poor, I did like the '99 (a wine I found way too oaky on release, and was quite prepared to hate the other night). Surprised myself.

Yeah, I remember the Remelluri buzz, but thought it was mostly about the white.

Would have been nice to have a LyH there, but I have no more and prices have mostly passed me by now. It was only 2-3 years ago one could pick up 25-30 year old Bosconias and Tondonias for $30-40, they're more than double that now. While prices have gone up on everything, seems like Spain in particular. No more $15-20 Gran Reservas.

Jenise, I could see the comparison for the El Pison, maybe.
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Re: WTN: Spanish wines in Scarsdale

by Otto » Sun Jul 09, 2006 7:08 am

Jenise wrote:
The 1994 El Pison and Pagos Viejos were excellent, but from there it has just gotten sweeter and heavier.


Someone recently compared one to Australian Shiraz. Otto?


It might have been me. I've certainly described Aalto PS 2001 as Penfold's Grange-like, and I find the Pagos Viejos made rather in the same vein (a little bit more red berry oriented and "elegant" if you can call this sort of wines elegant at all), so yes, I very well might have said so. I just don't remember doing so.
I don't drink wine because of religious reasons ... only for other reasons.

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