jamie goode's wine blog

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Carchelo: two modern Spanish reds from Jumilla

I've been trying quite a few Oddbins wines of late. My impression is that the buying is pretty good across the board now - before, Oddbins did well in the new world, but was a bit of a shocker when it came to France. Now even France seems to be improving. Here's a pair of modern Spanish reds from Bodegas Carchelo, that, refreshingly, are fruit driven and unspoiled by too much oak. The packaging is distinctive, too. Don't cellar for too long: these are sealed with white plastic corks.

Bodegas Carchelo Altico Syrah 2007 Jumilla, Spain
Very sweet, almost liqueur-like blackberry, dark cherry and blackcurrant nose with subtly cedary, earthy notes. The palate is sweet and lush with ripe, soft, jammy fruit and a subtle earthiness in the background. The oak (4 months in French) is in the background. While it's a very ripe, almost late-harvest style, there's still some freshness. Quite delicious, although it is super-ripe. 89/100 (10.99 Oddbins)

Bodegas Carchelo 'Carchelo' 2008 Jumilla, Spain
A blend of 40% Monastrell, 40% Tempranillo, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. Sweet herby, minerally, spicy edge to the lush, sweet raspberry and cherry fruit nose Very seductive. The palate shows lovely spicy, minerally definition to the sweet fruit. Lovely purity of fruit, unencumbered by oak (it spends just 2 months in French oak). 89/100 (8.99 Oddbins)

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Monday, October 01, 2007

Two new-wave Spanish wines

Two Spanish wines tonight, in a distinctly modern mould.

Juan Gil Monastrell 'Silver Label' 2004 Jumilla, Spain
Monastrall (aka Mourvedre) is the grape variety here, from 40 year old low-yielding vines, fermented with whole bunches, given extended maceration, and then aged in French oak. The result is a deep-coloured wine showing ripe blackberry fruit on the nose with a herby, slightly pruney edge. The palate shows ripe, lush fruit backed up by spicy tannins, with a subtly bitter, plummy, almost rubbery tang. There's a savoury, slightly bitter herby character to the finish that stops it from being too sweet and cloying, and makes it more of a food wine. 89/100 (8.50 D Byrne, Great Grog)

Mustiguillo Finca Terrerazo 2005 Vin de la Tierra el Terrerazo, Spain
This ambitious wine comes from Utiel-Requena, best known for its budget specials, and where the Bobal grape is dominant. Winemaker Toni Sarrion has decided do something special with this oft-derided variety, and has blended 70% Bobal with 20% Tempranillo and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, giving the wine 19 months in new French oak. This is a wine that needs some understanding. Initially, the nose seems dominated by new oak, with the fresh red and black fruits somewhat dominated by woody, spicy notes. In the mouth, though, while the oak is still dominant, there's a lovely freshness to the bright dark cherry and red berry fruits, together with some prominent tannins and high acidity. There's chocolatey, rather bitter plummy fruit on the finish. It's not much fun to drink at the moment because of the excessive oak, tannins and acid, but this will probably age really well. It's almost Tuscan in flavour profile. 91/100 (21 Cooden Cellars, Flying Corkscrew, Noel Young)

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