Posts tagged ‘Beso de Vino’

Carinena Roundtable Tasting with Snooth

 

These reviews are based on samples provided by the winery or organization acting on their behalf.

 

2011 Beso de Vino Cariñena Selección

2013 Bodegas Virgen del Águila Cariñena Agoston Tempranillo & Cabernet

2009 Castillo de Monseran Cariñena Old Vine Garnacha

2011 Beso de Vino Cariñena Old Vine Garnacha

2012 Alto Cinco Garnacha Cariñena

2009 Monte Ducay Cariñena Reserva

 

 

LOGO DO CARINENA

 

 

Overview

In late June I had the extreme good fortune of being invited to participate in an online tasting of wines from Carignena, a region in Spain.  This event was organized by Snooth and Greg Dal Piaz.  This wasn’t your usual online Twitter based tasting or even one with someone in front of a camera leading the event and doing all the talking.  This was a true roundtable event.  We all connected to a Google+ Hangout with our own audio and video feed.  Whenever one of us talked, everyone’s video feed would switch to the person “with the floor”.  This was my first experience with this format, but I’m sure it won’t be my last.  There are limitations in the number of concurrent video feeds allowed in the session, but for events with under a dozen participants, this platform should be outstanding.

 

If my reviews and notes look familiar, that’s because this was originally published as part of a Snooth article titled “Cariñena’s Ready To Take Center Stage”.  The entire Snooth post is available by clicking here.  I decided since I had a blog ready to post, why not?

 

 

417

 

 

About the region

Cariñena is located in the heart of the Ebro Valley.  Its vineyards cover a total surface area of 14,388 hectares, which include several surrounding towns: Aguarón, Aladrén, Alfamén, Almonacid de la Sierra, Alpartir, Alpartir, Cariñena, Cosuenda, Encinacorba, Longares, Mezalocha, Muel, Paniza, Tosos  and Villanueva de Huerva.  Nearly 1,540 wine growers tend directly to the vineyards, which are undisputedly the region’s main source of income.

 

Cariñena occupies an exceptional geographic location as it’s located on the same transport route that connects the Ebro Valley to Spain’s Eastern coast.  It is directly on the north-south route that structures the Aragonese territory.  This geographical position makes it a strong connection between the Basque Country and the Region of Valencia.  Moreover, due to its proximity to the French border, it’s also an area of great interest from the point of view of trade and cultural relations with Europe.  The motorway linking the Region of Valencia to France through Aragon strengthens even more the strategic value of Cariñena.

 

This wine region (Denominación de Origén (D.O.) is located 42 kilometres to the south of Zaragoza, 290 km from Madrid and 360 km from Barcelona.

 

This information is from the D. O. Carinena website.  Much more information is available by clicking here.  If you want to learn more about the region, climate, wines and history, I recommend checking them out.

 

 

Snooth_Logo_Low-Rez

 

This presentation and the wines were provided by Greg Dal Piaz and Snooth.

 

Snooth is the world’s most comprehensive wine site, hosts the largest online wine community & features reviews & local prices for millions of wines.

 

Mission

Snooth is a revolutionary web-based social shopping experience that is simplifying how people select, learn about, and purchase their favorite wines.

 

Company Overview

Philip James launched Snooth in 2007 with one goal: to make wine info clear, accessible, and freely available.

The idea for Snooth first came to Philip when he began working in the wine industry and realized just how complex wine was — if even the most seasoned wine collectors could become confused, what hope was there for the casual wine lover?

He realized that the wine industry was hopelessly fragmented — with neither a standardized naming system nor a centralized repository of information — and created Snooth to change all of that.

 

Visit Snooth by by clicking here.

 

 

 

My Line Up

Here is my line up for this online tasting event:

Line up for Carinena Roundtable Tasting

Line up for Carinena Roundtable Tasting

 

 

 

2011 Beso de Vino Cariñena Selección

This is a blend of 85% Syrah and 15% Garnacha.  The wine has 13.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium ruby red color.  The intriguing nose has cherries, minerals, white pepper, blackberries, licorice and dried violets.  This is barely medium body with moderate tannins and crisp acidity.  On the palate tart cherries and minerals jump out first with licorice and a floral note coming in later.  The finish has decent length with a cranberry note joining the show.  This needs some food to help keep the acidity in check.  (88 pts)

2011 Beso de Vino Cariñena Selección

2011 Beso de Vino Cariñena Selección

 

 

 

2013 Bodegas Virgen del Águila Cariñena Agoston Tempranillo & Cabernet

This is a 50-50 blend of Tempranillo and Cabernet.  The wine has 13.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to deep ruby red color.  The inviting nose has cherries, cassis, dried herbs, crushed stone minerals, baking spices, dark chocolate, fresh thyme and a touch of cedar.  This has medium body with soft tannins and slightly soft acidity.  Juicy cherries and berries with baking spices coat the palate with minerals and dark chocolate coming in on the back end.  The sappy finish adds some cedar.  I’d like a bit more grip on the back end and finish, as is it gets a touch soft.  (88 pts)

2013 Bodegas Virgen del Águila Cariñena Agoston Tempranillo & Cabernet

2013 Bodegas Virgen del Águila Cariñena Agoston Tempranillo & Cabernet

 

 

 

2009 Castillo de Monseran Cariñena Old Vine Garnacha

This wine has 14.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The appealing nose has cherries, white pepper, vanilla, wild flowers, baking spices and a touch of dark chocolate.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  Spicy cherries and white pepper pop out first on the palate with a floral note coming out on the backend.  The finish has decent length with a touch of earthiness adding some depth.  Not bad but not really showing anything special at this time, I’m sure this will be better down the road.  (89 pts)

2009 Castillo de Monseran Cariñena Old Vine Garnacha

2009 Castillo de Monseran Cariñena Old Vine Garnacha

 

 

 

2011 Beso de Vino Cariñena Old Vine Garnacha

This wine has 13.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The inviting nose has cherries, blackberries, white pepper, crushed stone minerals, mint, vanilla, plums and candied violets.  This is barely medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate zippy fruit and white pepper jump out first with minerals, plums and mint coming in later.  The finish has good length with a nice floral note entering the picture.  This is a solid effort.  (90 pts)

2011 Beso de Vino Cariñena Old Vine Garnacha

2011 Beso de Vino Cariñena Old Vine Garnacha

 

 

 

2012 Alto Cinco Garnacha Cariñena

This wine has 14.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium garnet color.  The impressive nose has cherries, black raspberries, licorice, white pepper, cocoa powder, vanilla and candied violets.  This has medium body with soft velvety tannins and decent acidity.  Rich, ripe berries, spice and cherries coat the palate initially and grudgingly allowing some white pepper and cocoa powder to slip through on the back end.  A candied floral nose enters the picture on the finish which has decent length.  This is an easy drinking wine with slightly low acidity and just a touch of sweetness.  (87 pts)

2012 Alto Cinco Garnacha Cariñena

2012 Alto Cinco Garnacha Cariñena

 

 

 

2009 Monte Ducay Cariñena Reserva

This wine has 13.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  Per Greg this is only$7 but appears to be available only at Trader Joes.  If you see this wine at that price, grab a case, you won’t be sorry.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to deep ruby red color.  The enticing nose has black cherries, raspberries, minerals, baking spices, cedar, white pepper, and dried violets.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate spicy cherries and raspberries hit upfront with minerals and spicy oak coming in later.  The finish has good length with some subtle earthiness and white pepper adding nice depth.  (90 pts)

2009 Monte Ducay Cariñena Reserva

2009 Monte Ducay Cariñena Reserva

 

 

Conclusion

I was already fairly familiar with the region and in fact have had prior vintages of half these wines.  This is a very unique region, some of the wineries are very “old school” and others are adopting the practices of the “new world” regions.

 

Every one of these wines were distinctive.  They had the “personality” and nuances to satisfy any wine lover but would easily satisfy even a novice wine sipper in any friendly gathering.

 

 

 

Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.

 

If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2014 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

Here are posts, newsletters, blogs or other articles that either mention this site or that I have written:

 

Click here or on the “Cliff’s Wine Picks On Other Sites” link in the top right corner to see links to other sites that either have my reviews, my thoughts or other posts I have written.

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Sept 7, 2012 to Sept 9, 2012

 

 

2007 Stefania Haut Tubee – $18.00

This has been a very nice wine over the past few vintages.  This is a bit of a strange wine in that it changes the blend every vintage, sometimes drastically.  The winery uses left over barrels from their main wines, small lots, or whatever is available to create a unique blend.  This vintage is, per the winery 50% Syrah with Cabernet, Merlot, Zinfandel, Grenache, and Mourvedre comprising the other 50%.   For comparison, the 2008 vintage is 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Syrah, 15% Merlot, 10% Zinfandel, 2% Grenache, and trace amounts of Mourvedre, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and PinotGris.

The wine is a dark ruby to maroon color.  There are blackberries, cherries, black pepper, baking spices, cedar, licorice, dried herbs, with hints of smoked meat, and earthy notes on the very inviting nose.  This is medium to full body with ripe, integrated tannins and very nice acidity.  The wine is very nice and refined on the palate, loads of fruit and spice with dried herbs and earthiness in the background.  Decent length on the finish which I wish was a touch fuller.  A very nice bottle of wine for under $20.  Probably needs to be consumed over the next year or two at most.  (90 pts)

 

 

2008 R Wines Pinot Noir Permutations – $12.74

This is a Pinot Noir from the Victoria region in Australia.  It’s been a while since I opened one of these, so today is as good a day as any to unscrew my last bottle.  Earlier bottles have shown some bottle variation.  Some have been VERY earthy, others had nice fruit and spice with just a vein of earthiness.

This wine is a shade or two lighter than ruby with considerable lightening at the edge.  There are cherries, raspberry, baking spices, earthy elements and some fresh flowers on the very light and alluring nose.  This is light to medium body with silky tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate the wine has nice, juicy red fruits and spice with a streak of earthiness in the background.  The finish is a touch short, but all in all this is a nice, lighter bodied Pinot for south of $15.  (87 pts)

 

 

2008 Cosa Obra Proprietor’s Blend – $28.80

This is the initial release from this winery.  This wine is a blend of 90% Syrah and 10% Grenache and it is from SonomaCounty.  This was aged for 20 months in 50% new French oak.

I had a bottle about a year ago and it showed a lot of promise, but I felt it needed another year or two in the cellar to pull itself together and to open up.  I guess I’ll see today if my early guess held up.

The wine is a deep, dark, maroon color.  This smells like a fall day with blackberries, charcoal, smoked meat, hot asphalt, minerals, licorice, toasty oak, vanilla, white pepper, and a bit of cherry.  This is fairly full bodied with solid, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  Big, bold, and ripe on the palate but everything holds together in perfect balance.  Nice meaty, spicy, fruit kick in immediately on the palate with just a touch of earthiness in the background.  A fairly long finish completes the package showcasing the fruit and savory elements with a bit of oak peeking in.  No hurry on this one, and another year in the cellar will be rewarded.  (93 pts)

 

 

2009 Grandes Vinos y Viñedos Cariñena Beso de Vino Seleccion – $8.48

I grabbed a bottle of this to try a couple years ago, based purely on a 90 point score by Wine Advocate.  It turned out the 90 points was by Jay Miller and not Robert Parker, so my expectations were greatly reduced.  This was actually a very enjoyable wine, loaded with acidity, and not syrupy and over ripe.  I actually felt it needed some cellar time for the acidity to integrate.

This is a blend of 85% Syrah and 15% Garnacha, briefly aged for 3 months in French oak.

This is a medium to dark ruby color.  There are blackberries, black cherries, baking spices, white pepper, plums, smoke, and vanilla on the slightly reserved nose.  The wine is a medium body, at most, with soft, ripe tannins and tart acidity.  Very bright, tart red fruit on the palate with spices and a touch of oak in the background.  With a bit of air, more spices and pepper also make it to the party.  Decent length on the finish with the tart, spicy, fruit fading a bit too quickly.  Not your typical, slightly sweet, soft, easy drinker usually seen at this price point from this area.  No complexity, but fairly tasty.  (87 pts)

 

 

2006 Franciscan Oakville Estate Magnificat – $28.49

On a whim, I grabbed a bottle of this wine from the local store when they were blowing them out.  I’ve had Franciscan cabernets in the past and they were generally pretty decent, especially if you found them at less then suggested retail price.  This is their top tier cabernet based blend in their “Prestige Wines” line.  As with most of the “Meritage” wines, the varietal breakdown changes every vintage, in this year the makeup is 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 3% Malbec, 1% Petit Verdot.

The wine is a deep ruby color.  There is cassis, crushed blackberries, dried herbs, cedar, smoke, baking spices, black cherry, and a slight herbal note on the soothing and comforting nose.  The nose is not an in your face style like a lot of the current release Bordeaux styled wines coming out of California.  I’m not saying that is a positive or a negative, just different, since I like both styles.  The wine is medium bodied with fairly solid tannins and very nice acidity.  The wine has a nice fruit and savory blend on the palate with a touch of spicy oak peeking through.  Decent length on the finish, I just wish it had a touch more length.  Once again, a touch of excess oak peeks out on the finish.  With some additional cellar time, the excess oak may integrate, but I don’t think there is enough fruit to help it hide out.  (90 pts)

 

 

Mailing Lists

 

Helioterra

Helioterra is a new discovery for me.  I met the owner/winemaker, Anne Hubatch, when she came back to visit her family in Wisconsin.  We tasted through her whole line up and I was very impressed.  I recommend getting in on the ground floor of this exciting Oregon winery.  Their next release is coming shortly, for more information, visit http://bit.ly/Q5TmSl

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

Cheers!

%d bloggers like this: