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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
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.
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.
Colin C.
Colin C.
9998 - Segura Viudas Brut Cava Aria NV
Good and Cheap!
Jun 09, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This is a great inexpensive sparkler! This wine has a golden/brass appearance and smells toasty. The taste is dry, crisp, and features good alcohol. It's yeasty and toasty with a bit of apple and pear. It's clean with a medium texture.
Holley J.
Holley J.
2003 - Agapito Rico Jumilla Carchelo
Another Solid Value
Jun 05, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
At  $10 a bottle, how can you top this? This winery has produced mostly solid value red wines and this vintage is no exception. It was just as good as I hoped it would be based on the previous two vintages, with black fruit and spice with smooth tannins, just the way I like my reds. Buy a case!
Holley J.
Holley J.
2002 - Agapito Rico Jumilla Carchelo
Yummy
Jun 05, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This was another solid vintage, and I actually enjoyed this wine more than the 2001 but I felt like the 01 was more complex. Overall its a great value - wonderful table red. Strong chocolate and berry notes. Yummy.
Holley J.
Holley J.
2001 - Agapito Rico Jumilla Carchelo
Much Better!
Jun 05, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This vintage is a 180 from the previous year.  This vintage was interesting, not a fruit bomb from my perspective....I got more earth/dirt tones, little fruit, with some alcohol but not as the predominant flavor like the 2000. I didn't try it with food, so I'd be curious about how others have had it.
Holley J.
Holley J.
2000 - Agapito Rico Jumilla Carchelo
Too Hot
Jun 05, 2008
1 star
This wine was too hot to recommend. I decanted this for 4 hours first...not at all impressed, even if QPR is considered. It was very hot on the nose and palate (burned to sniff deeply), and this carried though to the palate. That's about all I can say. Burn this hot wine!
Holley J.
Holley J.
2004 - Vall-Llach, Celler Vall Llach
Excellent
Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This wasn't quite the 2004 but it was still excellent!  It has dark, rich, powerful, dense over-the-top flavor. It's got all kinds of fruit all dark stuff; plums, cherries, blackberries, currant. Delicious cedar and oak, maybe tobacco too.
Holley J.
Holley J.
2001 - Vall-Llach, Celler Vall Llach
Beautiful
Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Beautiful!  It has delicious dark fruit, with hints of dark cocoa and cedar in the toasty finish. A very robust wine that will accompany any beef that has been grilled. Buy it by the case, if you can afford it! I sure can't!
James W.
James W.
2001 - Castano Hecula
Value, Value
Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Plum Jam Nose. Good Mouth Feel. Not over oaked. Nice smooth feel on the palate. Way above average for price range. This is another vintage to buy by the case.
James W.
James W.
2002 - Castano Hecula
Success
Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
The finish was very long, and really tart or sour, almost like a sour orange. Also, black currants. Extremely dry! Delicious. Good wine and not just for the money.  Another successful vintage.
James W.
James W.
2000 - Castano Hecula
Value
Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
There's some sweet-smelling raspberry and cherry. You can also smell something nutty, like walnuts. Taste: sharp tannins playing along the sides of the tongue and the front of my top lip. Good for value.
James W.
James W.
2004 - Castano Hecula
Say no to alcohol in wines -well sort of....
Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star
Color: dark, dark red, fading to a nice ruby at the edges. Nose: very complex and strange: this nose smells like my hair dryer when I switch it from the hot setting to the cool setting -- a sort of cold-metal smell.  Tastes more towards the ruby red fruit, but alcohol is too much.
Vanessa W.
Vanessa W.
2004 - Castano Hecula
Horid
May 29, 2008
1 star
Tastes like donkey dung covered in alcohol.  How Parkers group gave this wine 90 points is beyond me.  This is like drinking bad grappa with cool-aid flavored wine mixed in.  PASS!
Yuichi  S.
Yuichi S.
2004 - Castano Hecula
May 29, 2008
1 star

So So wine.  About $10 or less.  It's just that I may be getting bored with the cheap Spainsh wines.  I've tried cheap Potugese wines even $3 ones that I enjoy as much as  a $10 spanish ones.

Yuichi  S.
Yuichi S.
2004 - Remei, Castell del Gotim Bru
May 29, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
I loved this before so when I saw it at a store, I got more.  It's a medium bodied, wine with dark fruits and nose of smoke, anise, mocha and a hint of oak.  For about $10 a great QPR
Vanessa W.
Vanessa W.
2002 - Vall-Llach, Celler Vall Llach
Best of Spain
May 26, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This wine was exceptionally delicious and delivered amazing complexity to the palate.  This high end Spanish wine was a steal at closeout at my local wine shop, but at the normal price you would still get your moneys worth.  Beautiful vanilla and strawberry and cherries and tobacco on the finish.

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