Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Spanish Reds

Uno, Dos....

Tried these two Spanish reds, here are some tasting notes:

Jean Leon Terrasola
Crianza
$16.95
*** out of 5
After-taste of cherry cough syrup. Generally I like Tempranillo so maybe this was the secondary grape? From the Cataluna region.

Description
A blend of 88% Tempranillo and 12% Monastrell (Mourvèdre). This wine is always dominated by Tempranillo, but the secondary grape is selected based on the performance of individual varieties from vintage to vintage.

Interesting fact: The wine's namesake, Jean Leon, was a Hollywood Restaraunteur who in his later years left everything behind to sail around the world in his yacht. Which explains the compass rose on the label, I guess. Maybe this one would taste better on the boat?

According to the Epicurious Wine Dictionary
crianza
[kree-AHN-zah]
The Spanish term meaning "breeding" or "upbringing." "Con crianza" or "vino de crianza" on a wine label refers to the AGING a wine receives. The exact rules are defined by the governing body of each DENOMINACION DE ORIGEN (DO). If a DO has no specific rules, a crianza wine must receive a minimum of 2 years aging either in a tank, an oak barrel, or a bottle. Many of the DOs require that 1 of the 2 years be in oak barrels. By contrast, red RESERVA wines require a minimum of 3 years of aging with at least 1 year in oak barrels;



Montecillo Reserva
$19.00
**** out of 5

Really en
joyed this. Also made of tempranillo grapes, this wine was harvested in the Rioja Alto area.

Tasting Note

Ruby-red, rustic appearance; cherry and cigar smoke aroma; medium intensity red cherry flavours; moderate tannins and balanced acidity, velvety texture.
Most Rioja wines are aged in oak barrels and then in the bottle.
The climate and soil type of La Rioja, can be split into three regions with slightly varying climates. The areas are known as Rioja Baja (low) Rioja Alto (high) and Rioja Alavesa. These three areas produce wines of different qualities. The Rioja Alavesa area makes most of its wine from the tempranillo grape. This combined with the climate and soil of the area produces a fruity wine which is normally drunk while still young. The heavier reds come mostly from the Rioja Baja area. These high alcohol deep flavoured wines are the characteristics most associated with Rioja. Most of the Rioja Baja wines are produced from the gamancha grape variety. The wines considered the stars of La Rioja are mostly those found in the Rioja Alta area. Wine from Rioja Spain
So next time I will look for the Rioja Alta area on the label.

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