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Ed L.
Ed L.
2003 - Bodegas LAN Rioja Edicion Limitada
Muscular Rioja With Finesse!
Apr 18, 2011
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Unlike any Rioja I've tasted; a modern-style romp of fruit with smooth layer of oak running throughout.  Impeccably smooth tannins
Jon-Michial
Jon-Michial
2003 - El Nido, Bodegas El Nido
Bravo, El Nido!
Nov 03, 2010
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
I thought Jumilla made "pedestrian" wine.  I thought this region of Spain served up plain, ordinary juice, appealing only to the locals.  Boy was I wrong!  The 2003 El Nido was such a surprise.  It's hard to get a hold of, but well worth it! Ruby in color this Cab/Mourvedre blend delivers a powerhouse bouquet of black fruit and nuts.  Cherries and chocolate dominate the palate with hints of clove and sage.  A beautiful, well balanced tannic finish makes this Spanish red a special treat.  Drinkable the moment you open the cork, even better 2-4 hours in a decanter.  
jorray
jorray
2004 - Vinos Pinol Portal Crianza
Sesame seeds!
Nov 03, 2010
1 star 1 star 1 star
The Portal Roble, 2004, is built of equal 20 percent portions of cabernet sauvignon, garnacha, merlot, tempranillo and syrah. In the glass, it is a deep red burgundy, moving to opaque as you move midway into the glass.Aromas right out of the bottle are major deep and rubbery-funky... think ripe, aged helium balloons. On the palate, the sensation moves from helium balloons to ripe sesame seeds, slathered over slim pieces of cracker. Along with that comes a balance of deep fruit and tannins, moving the sesame finish into a long, long encore. This one starts with three stars with a plus for intensity and intrigue... I'm gonna let it decant a bit. My hunch is that will blow off some of the freakier elements and leave the plush, vanilla, aromatic deep fruit. We'll see... For now, three plus stars out of five.After just a few minutes with air, the sesame reduces a bit, bringing deep fresh raspberry into the fruit mix. The intensity remains. It's just gonna move me to four stars, meaning I'd stay with it for an evening. And trust me, this one can use a couple years aging on its bones.More reviews at http://spiritofwine.blogspot.com
jorray
jorray
2005 - Mas Que Vinos Ercavio Roble
Essence of grape-aid
Nov 03, 2010
1 star 1 star
In the glass, Ercavio Roble Tempranillo, 2005, is medium deep red, ruby at the edge.Aromas are moderately powerful, mostly reminding of grape Kool-Aid with a pinch of oak dust.On the palate, a hint of Welch's grape-aid remains, but wrapped in a comfortable robe of catchy tannins and a touch of acid. Fills the cavities of your mouth and brings those grapes into a long finish. Touch of blueberry. Two stars, because I wouldn't rush to seek it out again, with a plus for its promising finish.More reviews at spiritofwine.blogspot.com
jorray
jorray
2004 - Venta Mazzaron
Delicious furry, tannic experience.
Nov 03, 2010
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
The 100% tempranillo Venta Mazzaron is deep red/ruby in the glass, though almost opaque in the middle.Aromas are potent, funky, bold and old-worldy. Creamy, oil-slicked, oak-encrusted vines. Maybe some graphite, maybe some bacon. Seems high-calorie and high-octane just to breathe it in!On the palate, an intense, furry, tannic experience that lives up to the smell. New world fruit is carried to the roof of your palate, but bold, smooth yet aggressive tannins cause it to pucker your teeth and creep around your mouth. The finish goes on and on, creating an almost minty-impact in your mouth (without the mint aromas). Blockbuster! This is right on the knife's edge of five stars, but let's give it four stars with a plus for ageworthiness. This wine is all I need for an evening of oenophilic pleasure! Absolutely screaming, phenomenal value at its ridiculously low price point.More reviews at spiritofwine.blogspot.com
jorray
jorray
2005 - Olivares, Bodegas Monastrell Altos de la Hoya
Great value.
Nov 03, 2010
1 star 1 star 1 star
Review: The Altos de la Hoya Monastrell is medium/dark muddy red in the glass. It sports an aroma of candy-coated apples dipped again in oil of oak. Deep, sweet and even somewhat brooding. Suggests a sweet, full, pungent sip.On the palate, it is a bit chewier, leaner than expected. Less sweet fruit. More dirty grit in the tannins, a brambly wood texture, with severe blackberry fruit. Finish is tannic. Definitely wants more time to settle out. Three stars out of five with a plus for the future. This is one to watch. Incredible value.More reviews at spiritofwine.blogspot.com
jorray
jorray
2006 - Descendientes de Jose Palacios Petalos del Bierzo
Aromas everywhere!
Nov 03, 2010
1 star 1 star 1 star
This Descendientes De Jose Palacios Bierzo Petalos is an interesting Spanish wine, made from old vine Menzia grapes.In the glass, it is medium/deep red, more ruby than purple.Aromas stampede from the glass - aromas all over the place... here and there... purple, fruity, violets, sweet beach sand, yum!On the palate, a first grab of tannic grape at the very front of your mouth - think Chateau Welch's Grape Juice that's been steeping in clean,fibrous terrycloth. That terrycloth resolves into a solid robe of mid-red fruit all around your palate. At that point, it's more to red currants and berries than grape juice. Finish is clean, minerally, almost crisp, without being too acidic.Interesting. Three stars out of five. I want to try it again - someday. Not sure what age will do.More reviews at spiritofwine.blogspot.com.
Todd H.
Todd H.
2007 - Bodega Numanthia Termes Termes
Jan 11, 2010
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Cory G.
Cory G.
2001 - Montecillo Rioja Gran Reserva
Aug 18, 2009
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Medium-light red with tones of purple, leading to a red rim that fades to milky pink at the rim.  The nose is full of a slightly sweet, luxurious fruit core surrounded by delicate floral aromas.  The balance stays true on the palate and the soft plum and cherry fruits are surrounded a nice layer of cedar and spice.  The oak is well integrated and this is drinking great now!
Glenn R.
Glenn R.
2004 - Hornillos Ballesteros, Bodegas Mibal Seleccion
Very fine "Nuevo" Ribera del Duero
Aug 13, 2009
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Despite the use of mostly American Oak, this Ribera del Duero is made in a decidedly modern style.  Almost black in color with a huge attack of black fruits and new oak aromas, this nevertheless tastes more like classic tempranillo than the bouquet would lead you to believe.  Loads of rich, silky black fruit flavors with hints of leather, coffee and chocolate, and a nice finish that is a bit more tannic than  one would find in traditional Spanish wine.  The tannins are sweet and ripe, however, and the considerable new wood treatment does not overwhelm the fruit, as I thought it would when it was tasted on release. 
During a tasting of non-Riserva Riberas, most 5-10 years old, we concluded that all but the most over-oaked of these 100% Tempranillo wines seem to shed their "woodiness" with a bit of bottle age (8-12 years seems to be the best time to drink them).
 
Glenn R.
Glenn R.
2000 - Vega Sicilia Alion
Very fine Ribera, just beginning to mature.
Aug 13, 2009
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
100% Tempranillo aged in mostly new French Oak. 

This Crianza from the owners of Vega Sicilia is almost 9 years old, and the wine has already shed its tannin and "new-wood" aromas.  It now shows a pretty bouquet of leather, bacon fat and raspberries.  On the palate, a rich silky mouthfeel with an intense core of black raspberry and cherry fruit with hints of coffee and cocoa.  Long, elegant finish, it carries its high alcohol (14%) seamlessly.  The folks at V-S claimed that they wanted to make Alion in a claret style, but this wine is more Burgundian than anything else.  Really 4.5 Stars.  Splendid! 

If this wine is typical, I would say that Ribera del Duero Crianzas from good vintages are best between 8-12 years from the vintage.
Cory G.
Cory G.
2005 - Torres Celeste Crianza
Jul 13, 2009
1 star 1 star 1 star
Very dark, with a unique fragrant nose of crushed purple flowers and an intoxicating sweet element on top.  Blueberry city on the palate, with flavors of the crushed berries.  Very dense, surprisingly tannic in the mid to rear palate, this probably needs a couple more years in the bottle to smooth out.  Very nice.
Barbara W.
Barbara W.
9998 - Codax, Martin Burgans Albarino
Heaven
May 02, 2009
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star

Being a minimalist at times, one word to describe this wine: Yummy

Jennifer M.
Jennifer M.
2007 - Salneval Albarino
Mar 11, 2009
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Crisp, Minerally white wine.  I tried this wine at a wine tasting on Saturday.  For not being much of a white wine drinker, I really enjoyed this one!  It is a great wine to pair with fish or just to drink on the deck on a nice spring or summer night.  A great drink to enjoy with others or while reading a good book!
John  S.
John S.
2006 - Marques de Caceres Rioja Rosado (Rose)
Ridiculous Value Rose
Mar 06, 2009
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This is an absolutely stunning value rose from Spain.  This has a beautiful pinkish hue and an incredibly aromatic nose.  Watermelon, strawberries, white peach, and a soft floral note all play well together.  On the palate crisp, clean, and fresh, with great acidity and rich minerality.  This is a perfect wine for the Spring and Summer months ahead.  It is an excellent apertif wine and will go great with grilled foods.  I swear if I was served this in a black glass that it was a red wine; it has that much complexity!
John  S.
John S.
2007 - Bodegas Ateca Atteca
Great Spanish Value
Jan 30, 2009
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
I was very impressed by this wine. If you like Big, Bold, Spanish grenache this wine is an unbelieveable value.  A deep, dark purple wine, with a magenta rim.  Loads of dark black fruits, blackberry, raspberry, casis, and strawberry. A good dose of toasty oak and smooth tanins make this an easy wine to drink.
Mike Supple
Mike Supple
2006 - Hijos de Juan Gil, Bodegas Juan Gil
Jan 09, 2009
1 star 1 star
Dark purple core with a pink rim. Cranberry, tea and blackberry aromas with a hint of sulfur and some toasty oak. Thin on the palate (in flavor) with rather big tannins. Burnt licorice and black fruit flavors. Finishes gummy.
Gary T.
Gary T.
2006 - Bodegas Ateca Atteca
classy bottle from Spain
Sep 30, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Manuel D.
Manuel D.
2004 - Comenge Ribera del Duero
Sep 11, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Kevin R.
Kevin R.
2004 - Pingus Flor de Pingus
suggested by the french laundry
Aug 10, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
I enjoyed a half bottle of this wine at the French Laundry in June of 2008, while on an epicurean excursion through California's wine country.  This wine was, by far, the best wine I tasted that week, before, or since.  I am in love with the Pingus.  It paired with everything nicely, deliciously full bodied but not overpowering or heavy. 

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