Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Random Reds

I seem to be drinking faster than I'm writing, which means I'm getting a bit behind with my posts. In an attempt to address this worrying drinking/blogging imbalance I thought I'd use a single post to deal with a few wines en masse. Here, along with a tasting note or two, are the grapes I've been imbibing recently...

La Paz La Mancha 2008 and Vina Albali Gran Reserva 2001 (pictured above): Two wines from La Mancha, the largest wine growing area in the world, each costing about a fiver. The first, a blend of tempranillo and syrah, the second, from Felix Solis, a 100% tempranillo. Both packed decent punches at dinner but neither inspired. These were my second and third attempts at La Mancha wines, following a previous experiment last month, and I can't say I'm impatient for more.

Lauriers Tempranillo 2006 (right): This was interesting - a tempranillo wine from the Languedoc-Roussillon region in the south of France. Picked up from a farmers' market in Canterbury, its aroma was nasty: not unlike feet. Weird, then, that it tasted pretty good; dry, but also rich, and balanced. It was one-note, but it sounded fine.

La Bascula's The Charge 2006 (left): Back to Rioja, courtesy of the discerning dispensing machines of The Sampler. This one was a blend of 70% tempranillo, 25% Garnacha and 5% Graciano. Liquorice, chocolate on the nose, a thick mouthfeel with rich plum, and a dry finish. The description said "Black and red fruits bombard the palate like a calvary charge", and indeed they did.

Cero De La Mesa Rioja Crianza 2006 (right): The first time I had this lovely bottle from Waitrose was during a warm autumn picnic on top of the Sussex South Downs. Regrettably, it was empty far too soon and I only wish we could have dragged an entire case up the hill. My second bottle, more recently, was opened very cold and tasted a little harsh to begin with, before warming and opening up to the point where the soft, plummy fruit balanced the dry, slightly tannic finish, just like I remembered.

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