Monthly Tasting Group: Spain

Estelle, St. Paul, MN

Tasted November 17, 2019 by rocknroller with 54 views

Introduction

This was the monthly large tasting group event. The theme was Spain. We had a healthy group of 16 for this tasting in two tables of eight. This was a new restaurant that has only been open a short time. They did a nice job with the service and their Mediteranean and Tapas styled dishes. We had some excellent wines tonight showcasing the diversity of Spanish wines.

Flight 1 - Table One (11 notes)

White - Sparkling
2006 Henri Goutorbe Champagne Grand Cru Brut Millésimé France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru
89 points
Light gold color. Drank a glass over 40 minutes next to the '08. Sour apple, apple, chalk, melon, baked pear, mineral and bitters. This was a little tired and lacked the energy and brightness of the '08.
White - Sparkling
2008 Henri Goutorbe Champagne Grand Cru Brut Millésimé France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru
92 points
Pale gold color. Drank a glass over 40 minutes next to the '06. This was very and bright and rather elegant, especially compared to the '06. Very fresh, dough, pear, stone fruit and crisp minerality. Good depth and lift. Very nice indeed.
White
2015 Pazo de Barrantes Albariño Rías Baixas Spain, Galicia, Rías Baixas
87 points
Light gold color. Followed a glass over an hour. Green tea, herbal and very floral, cat pee, citrus, lychee on the nose. This is one of those totally in your face wines, both on the nose and palate. The palate is acidic and rather bracing, tea, herbal, cat pee, grapefruit, lychee and some stone. If you like an aggressive NZ Sauv Blanc then you'll like this.
White
2011 Bodegas Rafael Palacios Val do Bibei As Sortes Spain, Galicia, Val do Bibei
90 points
Light gold color. Drank a glass over an hour. This was moe like a Lopez white in character. There was a lot of interesting notes on the nose with lacquer, white fruits, jasmine tea and pear. The palate is full body with a soft more oil infused texture; melon, jasmine, pear, lacquer and mineral. Very good with our tapas.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2001 Faustino Rioja I Gran Reserva Spain, La Rioja, Rioja
93 points
Very dark red color. Decanted for 3 hours with some additional slow-O time; drank a glass over 75 minutes. Personally, I've always found this wine to be very complex and alluring. Tonight was certainly no different. Gorgeous on the nose with funk, damp earth, saddle leather, and a touch of horsebarn, dark fruits, kirsch and plum with oak overtones. The palate is satiny on the texture, full bodied with good balance, receptive tannins and dark fruits; plum, black cherry, and hints of cassis over the leather, earth, crushed rocks and wood. This just so old school, and I love it.
6 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2001 La Rioja Alta Rioja Gran Reserva 890 'Selección Especial' Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
95 points
Very dark red/purple color, no bricking. Splash double decanted and removed cork about an hour before serving. Drank a glass over 90 minutes. This was one of those wines that I will just call sublime. Everything is just in sync and engaging. Theres a gorgeous mix of dark red and black fruits, tobacco, leather, mouthwatering acidity, silky texture and tannins, dried earth and spice, with perfect balance and a long finish. This has a lovely mix of depth and elegance. Absolutely in the middle of the window, this doesn't need much air and it seems like there is plenty left in the tank. 94+ to 95pts.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2003 R. López de Heredia Rioja Reserva Viña Tondonia Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
89 points
Very dark red color. Followed a glass over an hour. Spicy, woody, dried wood, dried black cherry, pomegranate, and fair bit of heat as well. My gut impression of this wine hasn't change much over the last 18 months. I just think this is the vintage. I'm curious and somewhat skepitcal of the notes that say this was better on the second day, but maybe it really does need some more love to come around. If I had them I might try opening one the day before and see for myself.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2005 La Rioja Alta Rioja Viña Ardanza Reserva Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
92 points
Very dark red color. PNP, drank a glass over an hour. Very good, cherry and darker fruits, deep, underbrush, spice, cigar wrapper, well balanced and drinking nicely. The La Rioja's across the board were the stars tonight. 92+pts.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2005 La Rioja Alta Rioja Gran Reserva 904 Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
93 points
Very dark red color. PNP, drank a glass over an hour next to the '05 Ardanza. Another outstanding 904 for La Rioja. Beautifully sleek and alluring; gravelly minerals, cherry, dark berries, spice, fine tobacco with hints of tar, great texture and acid too. This was lifted and energized and it's only going to get better. 93+pts.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2008 Conde de Hervias Rioja Spain, La Rioja, Rioja
90 points
Very dark red/purple color. PNP, drank a glass over 45 minutes. Fairly big and more modern styled, smoky, charred, black fruits, vanilla, oak. Tasty; needs a little air to get going.
Red
2011 Bodegas Ostatu Rioja Laderas del Portillo Finca El Portillo Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alavesa, Rioja
88 points
Brief note. This was ok, way too young, dark and brooding, very spicy right now, lots of oak to shed. Needs a number of years.

Flight 2 - Table Two (small pours) (6 notes)

Red
1968 Faustino Rioja I Gran Reserva Spain, La Rioja, Rioja
94 points
Dark red with a light maroon tinted bricking. Very small pour over 15+ minutes. Here's the unicorn of the night; and oh this was impressive. This has a splendid nose, so complex and perfumed, savory, pain grille, really perfumed with potpourri and dried herbs, leather, roses, cherry that retains some vigor. While the nose is the absolute star, the palate is consistent with the nose and still has much to give as well. The cherry fruit is impressive, a mix of tart and surprisingly bright as well as dried cherry notes, medium bodied, completely integrated, leather, spice, cedarbox, and a balsamic note. This was a sheer delight, and it just kept going while smelling my empty glass. It would have been fun to be able to sit down with a couple people and enjoy this over a couple hours. This was totally in my wheelhouse, a wine of grace and beauty; and I suspect I may be underscoring what seemed to be a stellar bottle. Thanks to Arjun for sharing this gem. 94pts(+?)
Red
2008 La Rioja Alta Rioja Viña Ardanza Reserva Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
93 points
Very small taste. No details; very good, even better than the '05 which was drinking extremely well too. More depth and power to the '08.
3 people found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
1996 Bodegas Mauro Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y León Vendimia Seleccionada Spain, Castilla y León, Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y León
Small taste. I must have been drinking a different wine from my friends JCguthrie and Chablis28 tonight. This struck me exactly as it did 5 years ago when I thought it was over the hill then. My impression was that it was tired, oaky and showing its alcohol again. I'll reserve my score but it would be less than the 88 I gave it back then.
Red
1994 Bodegas LAN Rioja Reserva Culmen Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
flawed
This was lightly but clearly corked, but when it just sat for a while, there was an amazing perfume of red fruits and roses and the essence of beautiful wine was apparent. Unfortunately, the damn cork taint would reappear with any swirling at all and the palate was dulled. I hope to get another chance at this someday.
Red
2005 Telmo Rodríguez Ribera del Duero Matallana Spain, Castilla y León, Ribera del Duero
90 points
Small taste. This was fairly ripe and extracted, Black fruit, new world style, but balanced.
White
2003 R. López de Heredia Rioja Blanco Viña Gravonia Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
93 points
Very small pour. This was my favorite of our white tonight. Savory, white flowers, fantastic minerality with great penetration, mulled spices, white fruit, tangerine, ground nuts, full bodied, a little oil to the texture yet quite lithe, long and resonant finish. Loved it.
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