jamie goode's wine blog: A few Spanish wines

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A few Spanish wines

Five Spanish wines tasted tonight in an impromptu line-up. Good, solid commercial wines, these. The two Laithwaites wines were nice surprises: I wasn't expecting them to be up to much, but they were really good.

Castillo Labastida Aniversario Rioja 2004
From the Cosecheros de Labastida Co-op, made for Laithwaites. Very deep red/purple colour. Ripe, sweet fruit on the nose which is quite lush, and has a hint of vanilla. The palate is dense and fruit-driven with some ripe, spicy fruit and a bit of tannic structure. It's nice to find this density of fruit and a relative lack of obvious oak in a Rioja. Modern but balanced. 88/100 (7.06 Laithwaites)

Monasterio de Santa Cruz Tarragona 2005
Deep red colour. Ripe sweet berryish fruit here with a nice supple quality and a cherry freshness. This is a delicious fruit-driven style that's ripe and approachable with just a hint of spicy seriousness. Well made. 86/100 (6.55 Laithwaites)

Marques de la Concordia Tempranillo 2005 Rioja
Deep coloured. Savoury, spicy, slightly earthy and midweight, with a drying finish. Attractive drinkable wine. 84/100 (5.99 Tesco, Oddbins)

Bodegas Navajas Vega del Rio Rioja Crianza 2003
Light, bright and quite attractive with red berry fruits, backed up by some earthy, spicy depth. Not profound, but savoury and bright. 83/100 (5.99 Morrisons)

Vina Herminia Excelsus 2005 Rioja
Mid-red colour. Complex sweet, ripe cherry and red berry fruit nose is quite perfumed and harmonious. The palate is sweet and round with smooth, elegant, subtly spicy fruit. It seems to have a fair bit of Grenache character (Garnacha makes 45% of the blend). Not a big wine, but really expressive without that overpowering oak influence so often found in Rioja: this spends less than a year in oak, and is better for it. Impressive. 89/100 (9.99 Oddbins)

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