Thursday, 27 September 2012

A Trip to Spain with Tesco

The guys from Tesco Wine very generously sent me one of there Spanish Celebration cases the other week, and for the price I have to say I was rather impressed, the case was 3 reds, 1 white, 1 rose and a sparking (Cava unsurprisingly) made up with 2 of each. The wines were, in no particular order;

2008 Marques de Monistrol Vintage Cava
Made from a blend of Xarello, Macabeo and Parellada, has plenty of citrus flavours and a tart acidity, was drinkable but not my favourite and not one that I would buy.

2006 Vina Albali Gran Reserva Selección Privada 
Produced from 100% Tempranillo and is then aged in American oak for 24 months, which helps this wine develop some amazing characteristics. In the glass it had a wonderfully deep ruby/garnet colour, with very pronounced, yet delicate aromas of sweet spices and leather notes, these came through on the palate with a touch dark fruit to round it out. I have to say I thought this wine was absolutely stunning.

2005 Gran Artizan Gran Reserva Monastrell Syrah
As the name says, this is a blend of Monastrell and Syrah and has spent 18 months in oak, and another couple of years in the cellar before being released. In the glass you got a deep red/purple colour, with aromas of dark fruits and peppery spice, these all came through on the palate. There was also a good amount of acidity and quite a lot of fine tannins. Personally I don’t think it was all quite in balance with everything.

2011 Faustino Rivero Rioja Blanco
I’ve never been the biggest fan of white Rioja, but I have to say I rather impressed with this one. It loads of apples and pears both on the aroma and on the palate, plenty of nice acidity to go with the fruit, helping to make it a very enjoyable drink, definitely a better alternative to Pinot Grigio.

2011 Faustino Rivero Rioja Rosado
This wine has quite a deep (for a rose) raspberry colour, with beautiful aromas of red berries, Strawberries and Cherries, these all came through on the palate, there was also a touch of sweetness, making this an off-dry wine. Again not my favourite style of rose, but was quite an enjoyable drink, and the others all enjoyed it.

2006 Lagunilla Rioja Reserva
This Rioja is a blend of Tempranillo and Garnacha, which helps to give it great depth and complexity of flavour. In the glass it had a deep ruby colour, with quite pronounced aromas of dark fruits and plums, these all came through on the palate with a touch of spice coming through from the background. Great acidity and lovely fine tannins all go to make a beautifully balanced and complex wine that I definitely enjoyed.

I have to say I was rather impressed with this case, there were some really good wines and when you actually work out the bottle price, £5.50 each, it works out at excellent value that I'd happily recommend.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

A Deep Rich Zinfandel from Seghesio in California

As I mentioned in my last post, I did a tasting in New York at the beginning of the year, and the other wine that I really thought that was worth mentioning, was the 2010 Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel.

The original vineyards in the Alexander Valley were planted in 1895 with Zinfandel by Eduardo Seghesio, who was an Italian immigrant from Piedmont and had left for America in 1886, where he met his wife Angela. The winery was completed in 1902 and over the coming years they bought further plots of land which they planted with more traditional Italian grapes. Over the years they bought more and more vineyards, including Eduardo’s previous employers,Italian Swiss Colony, which caused them problems through the era of prohibition. Upon prohibition being repealed they opened the doors to the winery and started there comeback, they continued to produce wine under Eduardo’s wife Angela’s stewardship, until her passing in 1958. The winery continued to be run by their son’s, who had until the mid 1970’s moved the business to producing bulk wine, and with much success. Then in 1983, the first wines bottled and sold under the Seghesio brand were produced by fourth generation winemaker Ted Seghesio all from estate grown fruit, today they are part of the Crimson Wine Group.

The Zinfandel grape is a distant relation to Primitivo and one of my favourite varietals, and I have to say this one did not disappoint, with this wine though they also blend in small proportion of Petit Syrah just give it another dimension.

In the glass you got a deep/opaque inky purple colour, with wonderfully pronounced aromas of dark berry fruit and a touch of spice. On the palate these came through in great depth, with flavours of blackberries, blue berries followed by the spice. The tannins were juicy but in balance with the fruit flavours and just enough acidity helped make the length of flavours last for what seemed like forever.

As I’ve already mentioned, Zinfandel is one of my favourite grapes, and this wine certainly did not disappoint, it is most definitely one that would highly recommend and will definitely be making a repeat purchase of.