Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Stuff I drank Recently - or the good the bad and the Candidato

I have had very mixed results in my latest quaffings but some highlights, and low lights, are listed below.

Jumilla Juan Gill GOS Monastrell 2004 - big fruit bomb from a Parker fave, this wine will get more play in my house during summer grilling season but certainly worth having a couple of bottles kicking around now - BCLDB #195834 $12.99

Jumilla - Hijo de Juan Gill 2003 - the big brother of the above wine and it is huge - tastes like they crammed 2 bottles into one, huge red fruits but good length and carries robust food well. Might be a tad overpriced at $24.99 but still worth the buy, a drink or hold wine. BCLDB #195859.

Jumilla - Panarroz 2003 - made by the famous Bodegas Olivares this is another Parker fave, with lots of silky fruit and soft tannins, of course it's a Parker fave because it retails for less than $7-9 in the US, at $15.90 here I'm on the fence for value but it is a beautifully crafted "New World" red. BCLDB #198879.

3 good Spanish Reds so I pressed my luck on

Candidato Bodegas Martin Bujandez Tinto Oro 2002 - awful, stinky no fruit and we couldn't even finish the bottle. One week later I saw that it had been reduced in price to $7.99 but even at that price it isn't worth it. BCLDB #523811

Speaking of price reductions the benevolent MotherShip has done a few 25% mark downs this month but for the most part they aren't really worth the money even after discount ( see comments for more buyer beware) but a couple of wines worth buying are:

Ribiero del Duero Crianza 2001 - Legaris - this boutique end of the giant Codornui company produces lovely "New World" Tinta Fina and is on sale for $18.99. BCLDB #114108

Douro Esteva - Ferreira 2001 - nice soft tannins and black fruits make this a very nice everyday quaffer on sale for $9.49. BCLDB #537126

And for the big ticket:

Rioja Gran Reserva - Marques de Riscal 1998 - from one of Rioja's great estates this wine is drinking superbly now and will hold nicely for another 2 years (but better now I think), complex aromas of cedar, spice and ripe red fruits with a still evident backbone of American Oak and a long, almost dusty finish. This wine cries out for grilled meats or Sunday roast and is a steal at $39.99 ( I hardly ever call $39.99 a steal). BCLDB #476523.

On another interesting sidenote I recently drank white wine with dinner, Raclette which deserves its' own post:

Pfaffenheim Riesling 2003 - 2003 was the record hot weather vintage in Europe and this riesling is a good example of bone dry Alsatian white. Lemon peel and vaseline on the nose this wine has excellent weight and lovely minerally, smoky, apple-lime flavours. It was great with the raclette and would also be great with roast poultry or spicy Asian dishes.

Enough for now, I have to phone Pete's daughter to have her tell me where "Daddy hid the Note Bene" before Sunday.


  1. Gimlet6:52 PM

    I’m at a quandary, I vilify Robert Parker because, I guess, it is fashionable to do so in our educated wine circle. We like a lot of the same wines (gasp). The Mason-Dixon line gets drawn however at the $25.00 price point. In the US that probably represents a $45 retail price point. I’ve read comments where low price wines are criticized because they lack structure, finesse, elegance, etc. and that they were all about fruit and accessibility . They lacked the dimension of the richer fare. This fairly and justifiably states the obvious. Low cost wine makers can’t afford cooperage, can’t afford low rates of yield; they express the simple processes by which they are governed in order to come in at the lower rates.

    So when Parker barks about a wine on a web site or shelf talker that is in the common man’s financial ballpark , I listen. These are the wines that I drink most frequently and the hell of it is I enjoy the shit out of them. Parker likes the big fruit, the lush sometimes overreaching nature of these wines, the lack of pretension, and so do I at $10-$25 a pop. I reserve more serious judgment and difference of opinion from Parker at the high caliber price points because I am looking for different things.

    I will press on with my cheap treat rejoinder and add to what Wine Guy has been spewing, and he’s been known to spew…

    Vina de la Tierra del Castillo, 2003 Tikalo “Rubens” Tempranillo
    100% Tempranillo. Rich and ripe with succulent fruit. Dusty velvet in a plum holster. $14.99
    BCLDB + 163444

    Jumilla, 2004 Mad Dogs and Englishmen, Shiraz Cabernet Monastrell
    Hey not a blend that would normally wake me up out of a good night’s sleep but a solid effort here. Bright brambly fruits, a meaty gamey edge, plums and blackberries all round with a slightly tart finish. When my wife threatens to withhold my allowance I mention that I’m going to buy this and the vault swings open every time. Consistent, just like Manny Ramirez run production.
    Syrah really (not Shiraz) 30%, Cab 20%, and 50% Monastrell (Mourvedre) $12.99
    BCLDB + 195834

    Douro Tinto, 2002 Quinta do Vallado
    A blend of up to 20 varietals, this is great value. Heck it’s $19.99 so that’s a buck a grape type , not a bad ratio at all. Blackberries, plum, red licorice , chocolate, and light spice. Fully fleshed and robust with a moderate to long finish. I’ve got to try more Portuguese reds now.
    BCLDB + 591198

  2. Note - MadDogs is $15.99 not $12.99 - don't know if that just happened but, like Manny Ramirez' run production, it ain't cheap.

    Another consistent Spanish red, and Parker fave, is Palacio Glorioso Rioja Crianza - BCLDB 341649, $16.99

    2 more "25% off Dogs" from normally reliable houses:

    Remole Toscano IGT from Frescobaldi, BCLDB 105429, $9.99 and La Braccesca Sabazio Umbria IGT from Antinori, BCLDB 576504, $11.99

    Both these wines were as tired as Big Papi after legging out a triple.

  3. Oops - that's $14.99 for MadDogs.