Category Archives: Spanish Varietals

Longoria Tempranillo 2010

SANTA YNEZ VALLEY | CALIFORNIA | $36
Bing cherry with a hit of blackberry and notes of orange peel, caramel, redwood and smoke. Light-medium bodied, full flavored, well integrated and nice fruit-savory balance with easy tannins. Dances playfully on the palate, delivers complex flavors, and satisfies. As good as it gets for a California Tempranillo. A joy to drink, a really happy wine, and isn’t it just fun to say “Tempranillo”? An excellent wine. (Reviewed 7/20/14)

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Filed under $21 to $50, California, Spanish Varietals

Bodegas Ordonez ‘Zerran’ 2011

MONSANT | SPAIN | $17
Forward cherry and pomegranate fruit with accents of sassafras, sage and citrus peel. Full-bodied, with extracted flavors. Focused, flavorful and adaptable. Dry finish with a pleasant acidic perk. Here’s a charmer: Utterly enjoyable, simple with a purpose, exits suddenly, leaves only fond memories. A guest you’ll ask to return. 50% Garnacha, 40% Mazuelo, 10% Syrah. A good wine. (Reviewed 9/5/13)

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Filed under $20 and less, Spain, Spanish Varietals, Syrah/Shiraz | Grenache | Mourvedre

Arthur Earl Tempranillo 2007

CENTRAL COAST | CALIFORNIA | $31
Young raspberry and cherry with notes of crisp, unripe plum, bay and citrus pith. Full bodied, present, green tannins, a bit tightly wound with sharp acidity. Here’s a fellow, generally uncongenial, who warms when introduced to a meal. Unfortunately, we have a poor wine. (Reviewed 12/7/13)

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Filed under $21 to $50, California, Spanish Varietals

Marques de Riscal ‘Proximo’ 2009

RIOJA | SPAIN | $10
Black cherry and roasted plum fruit with deep flavors of earth, cigar box and orange zest, and a faint note of licorice. Medium bodied, ripe fruit, easy on the palate with supple tannins and soft acidity. Very satisfying with an inherent confidence that comforts. She’s settled into her beauty, she has; that youth shines elsewhere is of no concern, as she will always have this quality, the one we know as “it.” Tempranillo. A find at $25; an absolute must-have at under $10. A very good wine. Provided by Wine Chateau. (Reviewed 12/21/13)

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Filed under $20 and less, Spain, Spanish Varietals

La Cartuja 2011

PRIORAT | SPAIN | $18
Bright cherry on the nose yields to more subtle flavors of mature dark plum, blackberry and black currant fruit with notes of rhubarb, earth, cedar, sage and black tea. Complex yet easy drinking, medium bodies with a dry tannin pucker on the finish. Oh, the adolescent — comes on with a flurry of fire, wreaks mischief and secures attention, but tiring easily. This one, fortunately, has just enough stamina to politely bid a pleasant goodby. 70% Garnacha (Grenache), 30% Carinena. A very good wine. (reviewed 2/2/13)

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Filed under $20 and less, Spain, Spanish Varietals, Syrah/Shiraz | Grenache | Mourvedre

Justin Tempranillo Reserve 2007

PASO ROBLES | CALIFORNIA | $47

Fruit forward with black cherry and dark berry balanced with undertones of soil, graphite, cedar and woody spice, then a hint of sour cherry on the finish. It’s rather a big juice but well proportioned with ample structure to carry the weight. This girl, nearly as wide as she is tall, possesses some stout legs to which she owes her balance. All in all, a very good wine. (Reviewed 5/15/11)

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Filed under $21 to $50, California, Spanish Varietals

San Leopardo Rosso Colli Maceratesi 2006

MARCHES | SPAIN | $25

Lean blackberry, sour cherry and watermelon fruit. Complex with hints of peach, nectarine, cloves, nutmeg, orange peel, pine needles and sage. Well structured, silky tannins, calcium minerality and a slight acidity on the finish. An excellent wine. (Reviewed 7/20/11)

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Filed under $21 to $50, Spain, Spanish Varietals

Black Slate Porrera Vi de la Vila 2008

PRIOAT | SPAIN | $19

Dark berry and prune with cocoa, cola, cardamom, cedar and graphite. Tightly wound tannins and overt acidity open up and soften with hours of decanting. The result, a velvety quaff. Given time to open up, this is a very good wine; impatience, however, will be handed a far lesser wine. Grenache. (Reviewed 9/7/11)

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Filed under $20 and less, Spain, Spanish Varietals, Syrah/Shiraz | Grenache | Mourvedre