Comments on my notes

(17 comments on 8 notes)

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2001 R. López de Heredia Rioja Reserva Viña Tondonia Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
1/27/2019 - rayq wrote:
89 points
I opened a 2001 Tondonia Reserva today to check its progress.
On opening all I got from the nose was a wet mouldy wood note. Not corked I think, more mouldy and dirty. Like I'd fallen while running in the woods in December.
(I'm really selling it here!) Palate was also quite muted. With time open some red fruit flavours appeared but accompanied by a sour cherry acidic flavour.
Not unexpected in a traditional Rioja. The issue is there isn't anything else. None of the complexity I'd expect. No real evolution.
I'm leaving the remainder for a while. The wonderful history of this bodega suggests this will improve considerably.
Point rating relates to how it tasted today.
  • rayq commented:

    3/22/19, 1:21 AM - It's possible but I didn't think so. Certainly very different to a bottle of 2006 a few weeks ago which had quite a lush palate for a Tondonia.

2010 Bodegas y Viñedos del Contino Rioja Contino Gran Reserva Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
5/10/2013 - rayq wrote:
94 points
(barrel sample)
70% Tempranillo from 65 year old vines Graciano and Garnacha with a splash of Viura. This is a simply stunning wine.
It has very ripe fruit but it isn’t over done nor smothered in new oak. It has structure and a smooth full body, nose spice and black fruit.
The finish is very impressive with lovely fruit lingering on the palate. It underwent malolactic fermentation in new French oak but has spent 3 years in used French and American oak. Another three years await in bottle and then it will be released in Magnums only. Roll on 2016!
  • rayq commented:

    11/3/17, 2:23 AM - There is a wine on the market called Gran Reserva in 75cl size. The length of time the reserva spends in bottle and the cellar qualifies it for the GR designation but, to my knowledge, the actual Gran Reserva which is vinified in a different way is only released in Magnum.
    I think 1995 and 96 were exceptions to this.

  • rayq commented:

    11/4/17, 2:24 AM - I have been to many tastings where representatives of the company have told me that the GR is ony released in Magnum.
    I have visited the winery and tasted from barrel on three occasions.
    On these visits I have tasted the wine that was to become the Reserva and the wine destined to be the GR.
    There are multiple sources available on the internet that are under the same impression as me regarding the vinification of the GR.

    There is nothing to stop them from changing their minds of course which would make my information out of date.

    However I would be very sceptical that a poor vintage like 2008 would ever be considered suitable for a Gran Reserva at Contino.
    Legally if a wine spends the appropriate time in cask and bottle it can be labeled as a GR. I have no issue with this.This explains my comment earlier as it's the only way I can understand this situation.
    But traditionally Contino vinified the wine that was to become the GR in a different way and only released it in magnum.

    Hopefully the winery will be able to clarify this situation for you.
    I'm just working off what I have been told and what I have seen with my own eyes over the years.

  • rayq commented:

    11/5/17, 2:46 AM - "I heard often "only in magnum", but never that contino sell there reserva in 0.75l as GR too, only because its legal. First time i read this here and that shocked me a little bit."

    I didn't state this as a fact.
    Like you I'm trying to understand how a vintage that the winery and it's representatives state is only bottled in Magnum comes to be sold in bottles.
    This is the only way I think it could come about.

    Hoprfully you will get a response that is to your satisfaction.

  • rayq commented:

    3/29/18, 1:13 PM - I once saw someone holding a copy of the Mona Lisa but they were not in the Louvre so I was suspicious.

    But if you consider the matter should be closed, who am I to argue.

  • rayq commented:

    4/2/18, 5:28 AM - Thank you very much mimik (sorry don't know your name)
    Have you read my comments above from 11/3/2017 and 11/4/17 ?

    The Contino GR is made in a different way to the reserva. It is made in very good years. 2008 was not a good year. Yet there appears to be a GR.
    The winery told me the GR was only in magnum when I visited.
    A point reiterated by the UK importers and winery reps at countless trade shows and tastings.
    Yet, as you correctly point out, it is available in 75cl.
    There is an inconsistency there I grant you that.
    Perhaps they opened the magnums and re bottled into 75cl?
    Unlikely imo.
    My question is whether it is THE GR or A GR.
    But what really matters is whether you like the wine inside or not.
    For my part I will not be buying any 08 09 or 10 GR unless in Magnum.
    Why should you listen to some random guy on CT when the winery is telling you something different.
    Happy drinking!
    Best wishes.

2007 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée Red Rhone Blend
9/24/2017 - rayq wrote:
92 points
Some wines from this vintage can be slightly pruney and hot but this is just a lovely expression of C9.
Quite a leathery/forest floor note on the nose with a hint of ripe cherry. Notes of mineral and blood. Classic Chateauneuf. In the mouth there is a rich sweet fruit texture, quite grenache like. Perhaps lacks a touch of acidity. This is drinking well right now and while there's no rush I don't think this is for the long haul. I'll finish my remaining bottles in the short term.
  • rayq commented:

    10/17/17, 12:39 AM - Your're welcome. Have gone off this bigger style recently but this bottle restored some faith.

1955 Federico Paternina Rioja Gran Reserva Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
2/19/2017 - rayq wrote:
86 points
(from 37.5cl) The fill was to low shoulder. Colour was promising, pale ruby/garnet.
Nose isn't giving up much. Old musty wood with a hint of traditional rioja in the background. On the palate it's equally dilute. No faults but this is certainly past its best. Interesting but not exciting.
  • rayq commented:

    6/25/17, 11:39 AM - Indeed Paco. Trust me if I could have bought a 75cl I would have!
    Though I've had some love 1964 CVNE VR's from half bottles (some duds too)

1964 C.V.N.E. (Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España) Rioja Viña Real Reserva Especial Tempranillo
5/30/2016 - rayq wrote:
(Half Bottle) Having had a bad experience with a bottle I decided to try another half.
On opening this showed more promise. The nose was not as obviously faulty as the previous bottle. However this went downhill very quickly.
Sickly sweet fruit, lactic notes. Probably VA.
As with the previous bottle that evening the colour was also quite dark, lacking the lovely light red/orange hue of the best old bottles.
  • rayq commented:

    5/30/16, 3:15 PM - Hi Harley
    I don't understand the second part of your comment.

    I have had three halves. The two tried tonight were Flawed.

  • rayq commented:

    5/30/16, 4:15 PM - I wrote "flawed" on both tasting notes.
    I'd like to think people take the time to read the notes not just look at the points/flawed part!

    Anyway, thanks for the tip, I've ticked the box as well.

2005 Domaine Charvin Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red Rhone Blend
3/9/2015 - rayq wrote:
93 points
After a poor performance by the 2003 this wine restores my faith in Charvin. It's a really moreish wine. Typical rich cherry fruit and garrique flavours as well as aromas. Rich with a touch of glycerin but in no way 'thick' or oily, in fact it's quite refreshing. Grenache quite obvious but not alcoholic and 'heady' as it can sometimes be. On the second day it's lovely too, almost, restrained. No rush to drink. Hides the 14.5%alc very well. Nicely balanced. A lovely southern Rhone wine.
  • rayq commented:

    3/9/15, 11:31 AM - It doesn't hit the heights of the 01 but direct from the cellar yesterday it was a very typical C9 and exactly what I was looking for.
    The remaining half today (at room temp) showed no sign of 'burn' nor the stewed fruit notes of the under performing years.
    I think that cuveés with very high Grenache content are best avoided in ripe years.

1998 La Rioja Alta Rioja Gran Reserva 904 Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
7/15/2013 - rayq Likes this wine:
90 points
Nice traditional Rioja nose.
On the palate there is a (familiar and typical) streak of acidity. There is a slightly astringent/sour note on the finish. However this dissipates with time and the last couple of glasses are the best.
I feel that this will never be a great 904 but patience will be rewarded.
  • rayq commented:

    7/15/13, 3:55 PM - Hi,
    I think this will only reveal it's true self in another twenty years, maybe ten.
    The 904's from the 70's are still interesting so I hope that this will be as interesting in another few decades!!
    However the 2001 904 is really great right now, but it will go on, and on, and on!

2004 La Rioja Alta Rioja Viña Ardanza Reserva Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
4/21/2013 - rayq Likes this wine:
91 points
Nose is traditional Rioja, spice, tea, leather. On the palate it's still quite fruity and even a touch 'glossy'. Drinking well now but I think a few more years will make it better and it will last another 20 easily.
A taste of another bottle at a merchants was much more traditional, lots of sweet fruit and old oak and the bottle previous to this was corked.
I found a lot of variability with the 01, I wonder if this vintage will be the same. Though that would be a rash judgement on the basis of 3 bottles!
  • rayq commented:

    4/22/13, 2:08 AM - No, I don't believe it is any of those things.
    There was nothing 'wrong' with the first bottle, it just displayed the characteristics of a more traditional style (also it may have been opened for longer in the store- it was on tasting)
    The possible causes you mention are faults and (apart from the tca) the 04's just showed variation, it's a high production wine.
    The variation in the 01's could be down to what you mention but I have been told (from a merchant here) that there were certain batch(es) the winery were not happy with. Also I bought the 01's on release so doubt it was storage.

  • rayq commented:

    4/22/13, 12:52 PM - Funny you say that about Spain not experiencing such variation, my bottles were bought there!
    I think 01 04 05 are excellent in Rioja.
    I will be visiting LRA for the first time in two weeks and am very much looking forward to it as I enjoy Ardanza 904 and 890.

  • rayq commented:

    4/23/13, 12:46 AM - Yes, visiting shortly. It will be my fourth visit but first time at La Rioja Alta.
    Previous visits have been to Contino, Roda, Pujanza, Lopez de Heredia, Muga, Basilio Izquierdo, Remirez de Ganuza and a few others.
    I wish I had some 95 Ardanza, oldest is 2000 at the moment but have 94,95,97,98 of the 904 and some 95 of the 890.

  • rayq commented:

    4/23/13, 4:21 AM - Hablo un poco (pero solo un poco!)

  • rayq commented:

    4/23/13, 12:57 PM - London

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