Category Archives: Spain

Tempranillo from Ribera Del Duero

The Ribera Del Duero region of Spain is well known for producing excellent reds.  This DO is located in Northern Spain along the Duero River, and is home to many well known wineries, including one of Spain’s most famous, Vega Sicilia.  The wines from this region typically are full-bodied and flavorful, and also deep in color.  I recently tried two wines from Ribera Del Duero which I thought were quite exceptional.  The first I tried was a Crianza from Bodegas Pascual.  This 100% Tempranillo from their Buro Selection had a deep dark ruby red color to it with hints of tar and spicy black cherry. It was a full bodied wine with excellent structure and had a nice smooth,  spicy finish.  The Wine Advocate gave this wine a score of 92, and at a retail price of $26, this was a great deal for a very well made wine.

The second wine I tried was a 2001 Gran Reserva from Bodegas Balbas.  I was very impressed with this wine, which was composed of 90%

2009 Bodegas Pascual Buro and 2001 Bodegas Balbas Gran Reserva

2009 Bodegas Pascual Buro and 2001 Bodegas Balbas Gran Reserva

Tempranillo and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.   I first decanted this wine for a little while, which allowed for the wine to open up and present itself.  It had a deep dark red color with a bit of sediment in the glass, and it had a nose of ripe cherry and toasty oak.  An elegant structure of tannins and acids led to more cherry flavors and hints of chocolate and spice.  It had a nice smooth finish, and was a very well-balanced wine. It paired very nicely with grilled rib eye steak, and easily could be paired with a variety of meal options. Wine and Spirits gave this wine a score of 96, which I completely agree with.  At a retail price of $85, it is worth every penny.  I look forward to trying more wines from both Bodegas Pascal and Bodegas Balbas, and would definitely recommend both of these wines.




Tempranillo from Costers Del Segre

Raimat 2007 Tempranillo

Raimat 2007 Tempranillo

I recently tried a great Tempranillo from Spain. Most of the time people think of Rioja or Ribera del Duero when thinking of good Spanish wine, but this wine came from a region known as Costers del Segre. Costers Del Segre was established as a DO (Denomination of Origin) in 1986, and is located in Northeastern Spain west of Barcelona. The region has a continental climate with long dry summers, which is ideal for growing grapes. This tempranillo was a 2007 produced by Raimat. Owned by Cordoniu, a large sparking wine firm located in Penedes, the wine estate was originally created by Manuel Raventos, who transformed 3,200 acres of stony land with an old castle into a successful vineyard. The castle was renovated and is currently the home of the Raventos family. Raimat also takes care of the land, and focuses on sustainable viticulture practices. The wine presented itself in a bright ruby red color, with spicy black fruit and a hint of smokiness on the nose. The wine had a good structure of acids and tannins with a spicy finish of blackberries and currents along with some more of that smokiness. It was a great glass of wine, and I think it would be great with a spicy dish, or grilled red meat. Aside from this Tempranillo, Raimat has a large range of wines to choose from, and I would definitely recommend checking them out.



Latah Creek Riesling & More

The month of April has been quite a busy one for me, unfortunately I’ve been mostly busy with things keeping me

2009 Latah Creek Riesling

away from blogging.  However, on a more positive note I think that Spring may have finally sprung, and the best way to celebrate the arrival of spring is by drinking some good wines.  There is nothing like relaxing on the porch with a nice refreshing glass of wine, especially in the warm weather.   About a week ago with temperatures pushing 80 degrees, I thought a Riesling would be nice, so I tried a 2009 by Latah Creek.  Latah Creek is a winery located in Spokane WA, and just recently celebrated 30 years in the business.  They have quite a lineup of wines, which includes a Huckleberry Riesling, and  they are also known for producing some great Merlot.   This Riesling was clear in color with a hint of pale green to it.  On the nose I got aromas of honey and apricots, and it had nice acidity on the finish, with hints of tropical fruit along with just a touch of sweetness.  It really was the perfect glass of wine for a hot day.  Also, at $8 retail it was a fantastic deal for the price. 

Another wine  I recently tried was a 2009 Viura from Rioja, Spain.  Viura, also known as Macabeo, is one of the most widely planted white wine grapes in Rioja.  Aside from on its own, you can find Viura blended with Garnacha Blanca and Malvasia in White Riojas.  This particular bottle called Vetiver was 100% Viura  and produced by Bodegas Ontanon.  This wine was a clear pale yellow in color, and had hints of tropical fruit and toasty oak on the nose.  It was smooth on the palate with mellow acids and a creamy finish.  This was aged in oak for 6 months, and the oak definitely stood out, but overall it was a refreshing wine, and also would be good on a hot day.

I also tried a red wine just recently that seemed to be good for the arrival of Spring.  This was a 2009 Col Di Sasso, produced by Banfi.

2009 Banfi Col Di Sasso

Col Di Sasso which is Italian for “Stony Hill”, is from the Tuscany region of Italy and is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese.  This was a very pleasant wine, and it had a bright ruby red color, with a nice earthy leathery nose with light fruit.  It had a nice smooth finish with good acids and tannins with a hint of ripe red cherry.   This was a perfect companion witthe grilled tri-tip steak that I had with it. 

So if you haven’t yet, make sure you break out some of your favorite wines and celebrate the arrival of Spring!



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