I had a terrific Tempranillo tasting tonight at the store. The idea was to show how multifaceted the grape is, and how it changes based on terroir and producer style. Here is a recap on what was tasted.
- 2010 Garciarevelo “Tres Olmos” Verdejo – As a warm up while people arrived I poured this excellent Verdejo from the Rueda region in Spain. 140 year-old pre-phyloxxera vines, true story. How is this only $13.99 a bottle? A fantastic, crisp white wine value!
- 2008 Viña Sastre Ribera del Duero Crianza – Love is a word I often use when it comes to the wines of Jesus Sastre. This winery has mad street cred in Spain and a couple of their top wines always compete with Vega Sicilia and other famed wines for the best wines of the region status. The Crianza is wickedly good. This is aged in all French oak. $31.99 btl.
- 2006 Condado de Haza Ribera del Duero – You can’t talk about Ribera del Duero without mentioning Alejandro Fernández, founder of Tinto Pesquera and Condado de Haza. Cool to try this alongside the Sastre as this is raised entirely in American oak. Showed a little more “confit” of fruit next to the Sastre, and showed how American oak is very different than French. $29.99 btl.
- 2010 Telmo Rodríguez “Dehesa Gago” Toro – These wines were a shock to the tasters this evening. Amazing to see how ripe Tempranillo can get, although I had to admit that Telmo does a great job in managing the ripeness of is wines. This had that intense “still in tank wine-y-ness.” A food wine for sure. A good value at $15.99 btl.
- 2006 Telmo Rodríguez “Gago” Toro – Fun to show two wines from the same producer next to each other. Gago comes from four different vineyards and does see some oak aging, although it certainly isn’t whacked like a lot of Toro I’ve tasted (ie Numanthia). Super intense ripeness on this wine too, but this had some more savory elements and is a lot of wine for $31.99 btl.
- 2002 López de Heredia Rioja Reservia “Bosconia” – One of my favorites of the night for sure. Tradition is a word not taken lightly at this winery that dates back to 1877. I know this isn’t from a hyped vintage, but this was one of my favorite vintages for this wine in many years. Elegant to the max. $32.99 btl.
- 2004 Conde de Hervías Rioja – One of the wines of the night for most people. Interesting to taste this alongside the Heredia, both from Rioja Alta. Definitely a different wine altogether though. Over 80 year-old vines, incredible depth of complexity and really built for the long haul. This is a flat out steal at $61.99. Collectors of fine Spanish wine, this should be in your cellar.
- 1999 La Granja Remelluri Rioja Gran Reserva – I thought this was the wine of the night personally. So incredibly elegant and complex with layers of mushroom, mineral, pencil shavings, and cherry. A very long wine, from one of the best properties in all of Rioja, Remelluri. $76.99 a bottle. The equivalent of Grand Cru Rioja.
- 2003 Ostatu “Gloria de Ostatu” Rioja – This was the consensus wine of the night. All you wine nerds looking at the ’03 and saying “hot vintage,” this wine teaches all of us that a judgement on a young wine is incomplete without monitoring it over the course of its evolution. A truly impressive wine from Rioja Alavesa. I remember tasting this when it was young and being concerned about the amount of oak, but the fruit has outlasted that oak, and this wine is just starting to sing. If this were Bordeaux this wine would sell for 5 times the price. $79.99 per bottle.