Spain and Portugal at Craftsman

Tasted Sunday, November 27, 2011 by Dave Dalluge with 273 views

Introduction

Craig Vanderah organized one of his monthly tastings for Spanish and Portuguese wines at Craftsman in Minneapolis. There were 16 of us altogether, organized into two tables for a five course tasting menu and an assault of mostly young Spanish wines. Wines came fast and furious and I did the best I could to keep up on the notes, but I can't say I'm overly proud of the results. At some point I think the tannin just overwhelmed my palate. Hopefully others at the dinner can fill in the details and correct any issues with my notes.

Flight 1 (22 Notes)

  • 2008 Domaine Corinne et Jean Pierre Grossot Chablis 1er Cru Les Vaucoupins

    France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru

    I only had a small pour due to arriving late, but this seemed crisp, balanced and great.

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  • NV Mata I Coloma Cava Reserva Familia #3

    Spain, Cava

    Pale yellow color. Served very cold. Some nice lemon/citrus aromas on the nose. The taste is crisp with some nice minerality, but this really flattens out on the finish.

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  • NV Caves des Moines Blanc de Blancs Brut

    France

    I had a very small pour and this struck me as simple and sweet. Maybe others will add their thoughts.

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  • 1987 R. López de Heredia Rioja Blanco Gran Reserva Viña Tondonia

    Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja

    Deep gold color. On my first whiff I was worried this might be corked, but it was still captivating so if so it was at a very low level. The nose offered a kaleidoscope of aromas with orange, honey, petrol and much, much more. Really captivating stuff that for some reason reminded me of a well aged white Burgundy. Still packed with fruit on the palate, but with plenty of structure and layers of expansive flavors. Also showing some nice acidity and great length on the finish. A real treat, and a wine worth seeking out if the price is right.

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  • 2008 Vincent Dauvissat (René & Vincent) Chablis 1er Cru La Forest

    France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru

    This was great, showing expressive aromas dominated by grapefruit/citrus. Very clean on the palate with tons of flavor. Barely mid-weight with nice acidity. Long, satisfying finish. Drinking really well right but will surely improve with time in the cellar.

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  • 2005 Domaine Jacques Prieur Meursault Clos de Mazeray

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault

    I only had a small pour of this, but it was one of my favorite wines of the night. Pale yellow color. Stunning nose with aromas of lemon and orange along with some mineral. Sensational on the palate with great texture, perfect balance, plenty of acidity and great length on the finish. This will certainly improve in the cellar for a few more years, but it's also drinking fine right now.

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  • 2010 Txomin Etxaniz Getariako Txakolina

    Spain, País Vasco, Getariako Txakolina

    I have no idea what his is, but it was pretty nice despite being a little sweeter than the other whites. Not showing much on the nose. Plenty of flavor in the mouth with good balance. On the simple side, but enjoyable nonetheless.

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  • 2001 Quinta do Crasto Douro Vinha Maria Teresa 93 Points

    Portugal, Douro

    When first opened/tasted this reminded me of my first taste of the '94 Phelps Insignia. By dinner it had closed down considerably but was still pretty tasty. The nose gives a brooding but captivating mix of dark fruit, black olives and figs. On the palate this has a silky texture and is bursting with flavors of dark fruit, cocoa, and oak. Well balanced. Nice finish.

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  • 1998 R. López de Heredia Rioja Reserva Viña Bosconia 91 Points

    Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja

    Soaring nose dominated by ripe fruit. Silky smooth on the palate. Maybe a little tart and showing plenty of red fruit with and some cola flavors. Very long finish.

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  • 1996 Bodegas Las Orcas Rioja Solar de Randez Reserva 93 Points

    Spain, La Rioja, Rioja

    The nose is dominated by exuberant red fruit with a slight hint of VA. Silky smooth on the palate with great red fruit flavors from the attack through the long lingering finish. Fully resolved tannin; this ones ready to go right now. One of my favorites and a favorite of the entire table. Great stuff.

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  • 2006 Bodegas AAlto Ribera del Duero P.S.

    Spain, Castilla y León, Ribera del Duero

    A small pour courtesy of the other table. Not showing much at all on the nose. On the palate this is big and ripe with tons of fruit, oak and vanilla; devoid of discernible structure.

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  • 2001 Bodegas Alejandro Fernández La Mancha El Vinculo Reserva

    Spain, Castilla-La Mancha, La Mancha

    All I got was the dregs, so no tasting note. Hopefully someone at the other table can give a full report.

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  • 2005 Anima Negra Àn 88 Points

    Spain, Balearic Islands, Vi de La Tierra Mallorca

    Blackish-red color. Brooding nose of dark fruit. Smooth in the mouth but a little on the thin side with black fruit and cocoa flavors. Still very tannic.

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  • 2005 Cambrico 575 Uvas

    Spain, Castilla y León, Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y León

    Another small pour. The nose is very ripe, almost liquor like with some VA.

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  • 2007 Mas Doix Priorat Salanques 91 Points

    Spain, Catalunya, Priorat

    This is another wine packed with dark fruit and almost liquor-like ripeness. Has enough structure to keep it drinkable, but probably needs 3-5 years in the cellar to see if any complexity develops as the fruit recedes.

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  • 2006 Terra de Verema Priorat Triumvirat 93 Points

    Spain, Catalunya, Priorat

    Beautiful nose with tons of dark fruit. A little rustic on the palate from the rough tannins, but terrific flavors from the attack through the long, lingering finish. Full-bodied and packed with fruit, but with enough structure. Really nice stuff.

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  • 2005 Clos Mogador Priorat Manyetes

    Spain, Catalunya, Priorat

    Big and ripe, but showing absolutely nothing. No nose. Nothing but a blast of fruit and oak on the palate. I have no idea what to make of this one.

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  • 2007 Bodega Numanthia Toro Numanthia

    Spain, Castilla y León, Toro

    I thought this was slightly corked. In the mouth it was huge with a wall of tannin. It's way too early to be pulling corks on this ones.

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  • 2005 Terres de Vidalba Priorat TOCS

    Spain, Catalunya, Priorat

    This seemed decent, but I think my palate was shot by all the high tannin wines, because all I got here was tannin. Likely needs a long time in the cellar.

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  • 1994 Warre Porto Vintage 95 Points

    Portugal, Douro, Porto

    Popped and poured. This was spectacular from the moment it was poured. Beautiful nose with tons of dark fruit, figs and raisin. Even better on the palate with just layers and layers of flavor. Drinking surprisingly well right now, but should be almost immortal if cellared properly. I'd been waiting almost 15 years for this and it was well worth the wait. Great wine.

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  • 2000 Warre Porto Late Bottled Vintage 91 Points

    Portugal, Douro, Porto

    This was pretty good too, but suffered considerably from being poured next to the '94. The nose had good fruit aromas, but also a touch of VA. Drinking really well right now, and I see no reason to hold these. A little lighter and more straightforward than the '94, but still most enjoyable.

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  • 2005 Mas Doix Priorat Costers de Vinyes Velles 94 Points

    Spain, Catalunya, Priorat

    More remnants from the other table that made their way to me. An odd way to finish the night after the port, but this really impressed me. The nose gives an expressive melange of coffee, dark fruit and figs. Almost elegant on the palate with great textures and vibrant fruit and a really nice finish. A beautiful way to finish the night.

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Closing

Thanks to Craig for organizing this. It was a ton of fun to taste through a bunch of wines I've never tasted before, and in many cases never even seen bottles of.

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