Pazo Senorans Albarino Coleccion 2011 Rias Baixas, Spain Is there a touch of botrytis? It is possible I suppose. Quince jelly, lychee and the salty snog of the Atlantic. It is all rather disarming, impossible to pigeon hole - so I won't bother.  Super texture, true character where so many Albarino's can taste rather pointless. Deeply individual and utterly scrumptious. May 2015

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AuthorWine Badger
CategoriesSpanish Wine
Zing.

Zing.

Txomin Etxaniz Txakoli 2012 Getariako Txakolina, Spain A blend of Hondarrabi Beltza and Hondarrabi Zuri. Imagine rolling naked in mixture of lemon sherbet and ground white pepper then hurling yourself headlong into a vat of the ice cold juices of freshly pressed Granny Smith Apples. Invigorating and electrifying. A smattering of honey is beginning to emerge as the wine develops. November 2014 

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AuthorWine Badger
CategoriesSpanish Wine

It seems so long ago now but last weekend I had  the opportunity to stick my snout into some super stuff. A terrific experience that served to reinforce so many things that we know to be true of wine but on occasion forget. There are no good wines, only good bottles. Burgundy is, in one breath, a minefield and the provider of some of the most extraordinary wines in the world. Bordeaux can still be interesting and delicious. Too much oak can ruin terrific juice. Viura can be world beating, seriously. Cabernet Franc can be world beating, seriously. And the Riesling from Donnhoff in the Nahe is enough to make a man weep.

A red wine and a white wine.

A red wine and a white wine.

Bonneau du Martray Corton Charlamagne 2007 Burgundy, France Any fears of premox were quickly dismissed with a swift decant. A hit of melon rind, menthol and lemon wax. Very smart, driven and linear. There is an almost chewy, lip-smacking stoniness to the finish with effortlessness depth of ever-developing flavour as roasted nuts, the initial fruit and stony demeanour club together to construct something really quite marvelous indeed. Steely and majestic. Keep if you're brave enough.

Henri Gouges Les Vaucrains 1er Cru Nuits Saint Georges 2004 Burgundy, France Umm, is this okay? No. Yes. No. Maybe. Hang on. What? Yes. No. Wait....this is a tricky chap. I've had it on the go for over two hours now and am still struggling to construct a concise tasting note. I suppose that is one of the reasons that the wines of Burgundy are so enchanting. It darts in and out of being downright unacceptable and introvertedly fascinating. Initially angular, hard work, thin, herbaceous and lacking in any discernible fruit. Highly spiced, loads of clove. Then, out leaps the macerated sloe fruit and just as it seems as though it is fleshing out it has all been drunk. Bah! Irrevocable truth of the importance of the decanter. Clive Coates says keep and I think all we can do with this one is follow Clive, as Clive knows best.

Spanish whites.

Spanish whites.

Lopez de Heredia Vina Gravonia 2004 Rioja, Spain I think many people could find this fairly repulsive, stinking as it does of a pub ash tray, chips fresh from the Macdonald's deep fat fryer and rotting quince doused in dry sherry. But, oh my goodness, believe me when I beg you to give this a chance, because it is simply delicious. Totally moreish. So fresh and intensely stony. Cream and nuts. Bacchus strike me down with a flaming nebuchadnezzar of Echo Falls, because I think I might just prefer this to the Corton Charlemagne.

 

Bodegas Cambrico Rufete 2006 Sierra de Francia, Spain This has in the past been one of my favourite wines on earth. This effort is sadly, whilst totally drinkable, oxidative which masks the fruit. Musty and I am sad to say fairly uninspiring. Reign in the oak boys and be extra careful with that special juice, it is delicate stuff. 

Wine. Both exceeds expectation and disappoints. 

Wine. Both exceeds expectation and disappoints. 

Chateau Pichon Longueville Baron 2004 Bordeaux, France This is a delightful wine and most definitely the most enjoyable Bordeaux I have slurped in some time. Lashes of mincemeat, blackcurrants and tobacco. Soft, balanced and full of stuffing. No need to drink up here, still time to get even better. Well done Bordeaux and well done 2004!

Donnhoff Norheimer Kirschheck Riesling Spatlese 2011, Nahe, Germany Erotically charged, this wine demands to be drunk for breakfast, lunch and supper and at 8.5% it probably could. Oodles of ripe quince, spring blossom, sweet yellow plum, so juicy with a hit of citrus. Finishes stony, effectively dry and lip-smacking. Astonishing in its beauty and balance.

Domaine de la Butte Haut de la Butte 2009, Bourgeuil, France Tasting today I think this wine has almost been open almost an entire week and yet it is still kicking. Maraschino cherry, liquorice and tobacco. Concentrated, substantial but with a lightness of touch. This is an a utterly super Cab Franc that I would be confident in laying down to see blossom further. 

Back in the winter of 2009 The Badger was busy snaffling his way through the rather bare and wretched landscape of Castilla y Leon and surrounding regions when he stumbled upon a grape he head never heard of before. Prieto Picudo is a tough little nut; small, dark-skinned, tannic and with high acidity. If none of that sounds particularly appealing then you may well be as surprised as I was as to learn just what Prieto Picudo has to offer. Bodegas Margon do very clever things with it, even in the appealingly dry and fruity guise of a barrel aged Rosado. Bodegas Estefania is another place to look for top-notch PP. Their CLAN range offers up some splendid, all be it quite pricey, juice as does Spanish superstar Raul Perez, again at a premium. Then there is Dominio DosTares, the sister winery of Bierzo-based Dominio de Tares who in their Crianza-styled Leione produced one of my favourite PP's tasted to date - the 2005 is still kicking. It was with great alacrity therefore that I popped the cork of a Estay 2011, the entry level PP from the DosTares stable. 

Dominio DosTares Estay 2011 Vino de la Tierra de Castilla, Spain 100% Prieto Picudo. 6 months in oak. This smells all right, plums spring to mind, although that maybe because I have just picked a sackful of the juicy little blighters from the garden. A little meaty note in here too, plus a fair bit of toasty oak. On the palate there is depth, what else should one expect from 90 year old vines? There is more of that toastiness and pretty rough tannin and rather aggressive acidity. Frankly speaking, this is more awkward than my two year old and just as wild and out of control. So I ask myself the same question. Will it ever calm down? August 2014

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AuthorWine Badger
CategoriesSpanish Wine