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Hoke

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Re: Spanish Wine Mania!

by Hoke » Thu Jul 27, 2006 7:20 pm

Arienzo has yet to impress me.


Arienzo is part of the original Domecq family operation up the Alavesa. Although they have good access/sources of vineyards, which gives them the opportunity to produce good quality crianza and reserva wines, I also don't think they often live up the promise.

I had the privilege (albeit many years ago) to participate in the annual blending and declaration of vintage (along with some truly incredible and lifelong memorable food and wine experiences while there). The passion was there, truly; but the family consesus approach tended to lean cautiously (too cautiously, I think) to what was safe and mainstream, resulting in fairly bland and not terribly complex wine.

The consummation of the blend (then; don't know how they do it now) required key family members and business leaders to gather from all over the world, assiduously taste as many of the competitors as possible for two or three days, then spend a couple of days assessing the consitituents of the blend and putting them together over and over again in different mixtures until the agreed-upon blend was arrived at.

Since we started with 104 varying constituents, over a vast range of volume quantities and vineyards and styles, it was a daunting (but fun) task. And was a superb learning experience for yours truly. But it wasn't staged to acheive "the best of the best'---it was done to create a dependable commercial product: safe but not exciting.

And Joe Perry is young, and he wants excitement! He wants drama!! He wants to reach the heights!!!
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Re: Spanish Wine Mania!

by JoePerry » Thu Jul 27, 2006 7:32 pm

James Roscoe wrote:In other words Joe, is there a list of the generally accesible Spanish wine that fall into one of the following three categories: Spoofulated and undrinkable; spoofed but drinkable; unspoofed? If Manuel is able to pop his knowledgable head in here I wouldn't mind listening to his sage advice as well. I generally avoid Spanish wines as most of the stuff at the $15 - 20 range is pretty oaky and I am not into beaver food.


My updated (and biased) list.

Here’s my key:

$ calculations 0 = $9-15 $ = $15-50. $$ = $50-100. $$$ = 100+
T = Traditional, M = Modern, UM = Ultra Modern
GR = Gran Reserva

1st Tiers:
La Rioja Alta “Marques de Haro” GR (not really feasible $$$+++)
La Rioja Alta “890” Gr (T) $$$
(pre-1989) Marques De Murrieta Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial GR (T) $$
CVNE “Imperial” GR (T) $
CVNE “Vina Real” GR (T) $
R. Lopez De Heredia “Vina Tondonia” GR (T) $$
R. Lopez De Heredia “Vina Bosconia” GR (T) $$
Artadi “El Pison” (UM) $$
Muga “Prado Enea” GR (T) $
CVNE “Real de Asua” (M) $$
(pre-1970) Paternina “Conde de Los Andes” GR (T) $$
Finca Allende “Aurus” (UM) $$

2nd Tier:
La Rioja Alta 904 GR (T) $
Artadi “Pagos Viejos” (UM) $$
Remirez de Ganuza (M) $$
Marques de Murrieta “Dalmau” (UM) $$
Contino “Vina del Olivo” (M) $$
Riojanas “Monte Real” GR (T) $
Contino (M) $
Roda I (M) $$

3rd Tier:
Paternina “Clos Paternina” (M) $$
Bodegas Franco-Espanolas “Royal” GR (T) $$
Marques de Riscal “Baron de Chirel” (UM - Cab) $$
Marques de Riscal Gran Reserva (T/M) $
Sierra Cantabria Privada (M) $
Muga “Torre Muga” (UM) $
(Pre-1996) Bilbainas “Vina Pomal” GR (T) $
Señorio de San Vicente (M) $$
Roda II (M) $
Palacios Remondo “Herencia Remondo"(M) $$
Remelluri GR (M) $
La Rioja Alta Ardanza/Arana/Alberdi (T) $
Riojanas Vina Monty Reserva (T) 0
Muga Reserva (T) $
Labastida (T) 0
(old) Monticello “Vina Monty” GR (T) $

4th Tier:
Ramón Bilbao GR (T) $
Breton “Alba de Breton” (M) $
Rioja Santiago “Gran Enologica“ GR (T) $
Marques del Pomeral GR (T) $
Marques de Caceres GR (T) $
Berberana “Vina Alarde“ GR (T) $
Gonzalo de Berceo GR (M) $
Palacio “Glorioso” GR (T) $
Valsacro Dioro (UM) $
Bodegas Lan Lanciano (UM) $$
Marques de Caceres “Gaudium” (UM -Cab) $$
Campillo Reserva Especial GR (T) $
Bodegas El Coto “Coto del Imaz”(M) $
Martinez Lacuesta GR (T) $
Bodegas Palacio Cosme Palacio y Hermanos (M) $

5th Tier:
Gonzalo De Bereco (T) $
Campo Viejo GR (T) 0
Marques de Grinon (M) $
Fustino I GR (T) $
Torre de Ona “Baron de Ona” (M) $
Martinez Bujanda “Conde de Valdemar“ (T) $
Barón de Ley “Vina Imaz” GR (M) $
Marques de Arienzo GR (T) $

Unranked because I haven’t tasted them: Roda “Cirson“, Benjamin Romeo, "La Vina de Andres Romeo", Bodegas Lan “Culmen de Lan”, Muga “Aro”, etc.
For wines like the Vina Bosconia, Vina Tondonia and Cune Imperial which are the Reserva (not Gran Reserva) just stick them in the next tier.

The above is not perfect as vintages in different microclimates are a factor. Also, some wines are better than others within their given tier.

Best,
Joe
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Re: Spanish Wine Mania!

by Hoke » Thu Jul 27, 2006 7:39 pm

Pretty good rundown, Joe.

Might quibble with a couple, but pretty good.

I'd put the Conde de Valdemar a little higher probably. Although you probably dropped it down because they've been loading up pretty heavily on oak lately, huh?
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Re: Spanish Wine Mania!

by JoePerry » Thu Jul 27, 2006 7:41 pm

Jenise wrote:Joe, okay, fair enough. You took the right approach to be sure, I was just wondering if something had changed.


Nope. I'll be happy to drink them, but I've had too much variation to buy them. Plus they leak (or used to) like a sieve, which makes me nervous.

They can be quite good when on. I've also never had the Janus, but I'd love to try one (hint-hint).

Best,
Joe
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Re: Spanish Wine Mania!

by JoePerry » Thu Jul 27, 2006 7:42 pm

Hoke wrote:Pretty good rundown, Joe.

Might quibble with a couple, but pretty good.

I'd put the Conde de Valdemar a little higher probably. Although you probably dropped it down because they've been loading up pretty heavily on oak lately, huh?


Exactly. I'm mad at them so they get the low spot on the Totem.
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Re: Spanish Wine Mania!

by JoePerry » Thu Jul 27, 2006 7:47 pm

Hoke wrote:And Joe Perry is young, and he wants excitement! He wants drama!! He wants to reach the heights!!!


What was it you said to me last time?

"Adventure - peh.

Excitement - peh.

A Riojedi craves not these things."


Best,
Joe

(BTW, you gotta do something about those earhairs and the green tint to your skin; I realize I wont look as good when I reach 900, but still...)
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