Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Sembro Tempranillo, Vendimia Seleccionada 2012, Ribera del Duero, 13.5%, €14.99, imported by Wine Alliance and widely available.
Some wines you only ever get to know briefly, a shakehands and a pleasant meeting and soon you don’t remember the name. This one makes more of a mark, goes that bit deeper. It has something special. From the heart of the Ribera del Duero it brings an expression of authenticity. I won’t easily forget the name of this magnificent Tempranillo.
Colour is a dark red and the pleasant aroma is of red fruits. On the palate it is fruity and smooth and then you have an excellent dry finish. After four to six months in new oak, there is some spice but it is pleasingly moderate. Very Highly Recommended.
The Osborne family, better known for their sherry, has been connected to the wine trade since 1772, are the producers.
Just had a quick look at the region in the World Atlas of Wine (available in Bradley’s) and was surprised to see that Swiss pharma company Novartis, “founded a vast property” there in 1996. More traditional wine names, including recent investors Torres and Faustino, have joined Osborne as Ribera investors.
Indeed, the region itself has only recently taken off, as “there were just 24 bodegas in the region when the DOP was created in 1982”. Going by this Sembro, we can expect more good things from Ribera del Duero in the years ahead.
Monday, January 7, 2013
La Pinaleta Crianza, Rioja 2009 Limited Edition 23,500 bottles, 13.5%
The blend: Tempranillo 80%, Garnacha and Mazuela 20%.
The colour and nose (pretty intense) are typical of the modern Rioja style and the blend (above) gives a light, elegant and fruity wine. The attractive palate and persistent finish means it has that all important second glass appeal.
A few months before Christmas, Wine Alliance introduced some excellent new Spanish reds including: Las Pizarras Si O Sy Syrah and Yaso Tinto de Toro. This classy Crianza is from the same Osborne stalls. Perhaps, if we ask Wine Alliance nicely, the importers will add this one to the portfolio.
Very Highly Recommended. VHR
* Called to the fantastic Baigorri vineyard during a drive in La Rioja last summer and wasn't at all empty handed when I left, having been served by a lady who learned her English while staying on the Clash Road in Little Island. Am now engaged in sampling some of the fruits of that trip and will let you know in due course. Watch this space!