A little while ago I got sent two bottles of Spanish wine to review for the blog, for some reason, and I’m not quite sure why, but it’s not something I tend to drink very often or know a great deal about, I’ve only reviewed two Rioja's and a Cava for the blog; I haven't even touched on one of my favourite wines, Sherry!
Vińa Pomal Reserva Rioja, 2005.
The Rioja region is in northern Spain where they are permitted to use Tempranillo, Viura, Garnacha, Graciano and Mazuelo to produce their wines, this one however is 100% Tempranillo. This wine will spend 18 months in American Oak with a further two years in bottle before its release; this is a requirement for the Reserva designation.
On pouring you had a deep ruby/purple colour and pronounced aromas of red cherries and red currents, coming through from the background you got some really nice sweet spice, predominantly liquorice. It had just the right amount of fine tannins with just enough acidity to make you mouth water, combine this with the aromas and favours and you got a well structured wine with an interesting complexity to it.
Scala Dei Cartoixa Priorat, 2005.
Priorat is situated in North East Spain, and covers an area of around 19,783h, of which around 5,000h are under vine, compared with a region such as Rioja which has around 49,776h. This gives you an idea of how small a region it is, all the vines are planted on terraced slopes between 100 – 700m above sea level. They are permitted to use Garnacha Tinta, Garnacha Peluda, Carinena, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah in the blend, with yields much lower than is actually permitted.
In the glass it was a much deeper ruby than the Rioja, with pronounced aromas of dark fruit, cherries and plums and loaded with the sweet spice of cinnamon, their was also a touch of minerality coming through from the back ground. You got all of these on the palate coming at you wave after wave; it had wonderfully juicy tannins and great acidity helping to let the flavours linger in your mouth for a long time. This was a stunningly well balanced and complex wine that I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to taste.