Welcome to the WBW #35, Spanish Value Wines, round-up! Here are the stats for this edition. We had around 41 blogs, many with 3 or more wine reviews. It seems folks took the opportunity to buy several wines since the price range was so good. We also had a very international event, with entries from Australia, Spain, Belgium, Hong Kong, Canada, the US, and Great Britain. There were around 7 or 8 bloggers who were completely new to the event, so welcome!
Most people enjoyed their wines although a few folks, myself included, ended up with a clunker. I did a little research and it seems that the wines people enjoyed most were imported by Jorge Ordonez or Eric Solomon/European Cellars. My personal favorite was from Jorge Ordonez. So in most (but not all cases), when searching out a Spanish bargain wine, search for an importer you trust. Other wines that people seemed to love, with a different importer, are the Marques de Caceres line, including the Viura, Rosé, and Crianza.
We had more reds than whites, and fewer cavas and sherry than I anticipated. There’s a slew of wines I intend to try now. What I found to be the neatest thing about hosting, though, is my trips to all these different and new blogs. My RSS feed reader will be overloaded in the future, but I look forward to keeping up with all the new blog folks I’ve now found.
The full round-up is after the jump, organized by Whites, Reds, Mixed, and Cava, Sherry, and Rosés.
Thanks to everyone for participating! We really enjoyed hosting and look forward to
whatever Lenn has up his sleeve Lenn’s choice of Naked Chardonnay for the WBW 3–year anniversary edition next month.
Jeff from the Good Grape: A Wine Manifesto starts off our WBW Roundup with a wine that epitomizes the theme of this month’s event. With a hotel room, a trash can ice bucket, a Trader Joe’s dinner, and some wine, Jeff found a bottle of $4.99 Marques de Caceres Viura from Rioja that he thought would have been a value at even $10.99.
Deb from Key West (I’m so jealous) fell for the bright 2006 Naia Verdejo ($11.99) label, but enjoyed the wine just as much. A super wine for the back deck and superb summer nights! Deb also writes for Wine Sediments, and for that she reviewed the 2006 Salneval Albariňo ($9.99) from Rias Baixas. For Deb, this was another inexpensive, hit the back deck type of wine. I think I need to go visit Deb in Key West – her deck sounds like a great place to hang out!
Sonadora of Wannabe Wino ventured out to Total Wine to purchase a bottle of 2005 Osborne Solaz Viura from Tierra de Castilla. Although she only paid $7.49, the wine elicited a rather neutral reaction from her. I’ve read in the past that she’s enjoyed the Nora Albariňo, so hopefully she won’t give up on Spanish altogether.
One of our international participants, Wine in the ‘Peg in Canada, took this opportunity to jump back into WBW. The 2006 Castillo de Jumilla Macabeo ($9.97 CDN) is the entry-level wine in a series and showed as a nice little wine that’s a perfect summer white.
BrooklynGuy wrote an incredibly enjoyable post for a wine he didn’t enjoy at all: the 2006 Martin Codax Albariňo from Rias Biaxas ($12). And yes, he’s willing to try another Albariňo.
Maarten from Belgium’s Chateau Brys was excited for a WBW in which he could easily participate (some of our domestic items aren’t easily found in Belgium). He already had this one ready and waiting in his cellar, the Basa by Telmo Rodriguez that costs around €8. He considered the wine very good and well worth the price.
Lenn, founder of WBW and host of next month’s anniversary edition, went with the Do Zoe 2006 Albariňo, on sale for $8. He enjoyed the wine at this price point, but wished the mid-palate was more flavorful.
First off, there’s Tim from Winecast. This month’s theme corresponded with his recent trip to Spain. He tasted a total of 5 reds, but 2 of those were purchased in Spain. Check out his post to see if his international shopping was better than his shopping in Minnesota.
Tyler at Dr. Vino dug around in his cellar and produced the 2002 Hecula he purchased 3 years ago for $7. He notes that it’s now going for $14. Spanish wines are often pre-aged, and of the drink now variety, so Dr. Vino was curious as to how this one would handle a few more years in the bottle. The result? Well, it was definitely positive (there is even a Wow! involved), but check out his blog to learn even more.
James at Second Leaf tried the 2005 Barrahonda Tinto Monastrell Yecla, which is a nice discovery that delivers excellent quality for price ($11.99).
Marta at Recently Consumed is happy to be participating in her first WBW. She chose the Quinta da Alorna Ribatejano 2004 ($9.95). She rated it as a great value and better than her usual Dancing Bull Zin.
Over at Domaine 547, they tasted the 2003 Rioja Vega Crianza and the 2005 Piqueras Castillo de Almansa Garnacha Tintorea. Both wines are worth your trouble to track down.
John at Corkdork took the opportunity to learn a little more about Spanish wine. He decided on the $11 2004 Juan Gill from Jumilla. John found the value to be one of the best. The smoke and fresh blackberry combined to an excellent match to a Spanish inspired chicken dish and held up against the hot sauce in the dish.
Joe at Joe’s Wine has had previous success with Spanish wines in our suggested price range. Even though he wasn’t fond of his 2005 Sangres de Toro, he still thinks inexpensive Spanish wines have potential for greatness.
Alder at Vinography was disappointed in his Torres. He tried the 2005 Torres "Mas Rabell" out of Catalunya. Read Alder’s review to learn more about the history of this great wine producing family.
Tim is new to WBW, and to wine blogging. He’s also from Cincinnati, so welcome Tim! We need to get together for drinks. Tim blogs about inexpensive wines, and this wasn’t his first foray into the Spanish aisle. For WBW, Tim dived into Tempranillo, tasting and rating the enjoyable Raimat 2003 ($9.99) from Costers del Segre and the Protocolo 2004 ($6.99), which he rated Best Value. He also rated several other tempranillos that you need to read for yourself.
The Surf4Wine UK blog gives us the 2004 Marques de la Villa from Toro (£4.99) and the 2005 Sequiot (£5.19). Both wines are enjoyable and surprisingly complex.
From Andrew at Spittoon, we get the 2005 La Riada Old Vines Garnacha from Campo de Borja (£5.99 or cheaper with a buy 3 deal). It’s deep in color with corresponding richness on the palate.
Serge the Concierge, the French guy in New Jersey, had some fun with the 2005 Castillo de Monseran Garnacha. At $9, he decided this wine was a definite steal.
Dr. Debs at Good Wine Under $20 chose the 2003 Castano Yeclas Solanera Viňas Viejas ($9.95). Dr. Debs enjoyed this wine once it had aerated a bit, and recommends decanting it in the future. She gave it a good QPR. Check out her post to find out more.
John from Stoco.net Gets Random picked up the Venta Mazzaron 2004 Tempranillo for $15, which he found to be a nice wine that opened up over the evening. John did prefer the 2005 Bodega Borsao from a previous tasting with friends. He found the latter was a better match for food and a better all around value at $9.
The Toro region and the 2005 Palacio de Villachia 2T Tinta de Toro were reviewed by Bryan at Vinilicious. He found this one to be pleasurable despite the high alcohol and high temperatures in Boston this year. Not necessarily a memorable wine, but food friendly and a nice introduction in a New World style wine from an Old World country.
A WBW welcome to Foodette from Restaurant Review World who reviewed the 2004 El Miracle Tempranillo Shiraz. She found that decanting brought forward the dark fruit flavors and the spicy cherry flavors. At $9, its an extra treat to find flavor that has a rich depth that can open after a day.
Alex at Huevos con Vino tried the 2004 Group Galiciano Dehesa de Rubiales "Alaia" from the Toro region. This is the first mention of the Prieto Picudo varietal and at $7 is listed as an overall good value, but not necessarily something that Alex would pick up again. Overall a nice start to branching out to the Spanish world.
Stacy at the Wino Club tried the 2005 Luzon Verdon, which she described as the baby of a Syrah and Zin marriage. The nose almost turned her off the wine, but the overall complexity of the flavor was its own reward.
Roger at Box Wines happened upon a $5 bottle of 2004 Santana Tempranillo in a mixed case from Trader Joe’s. The light to medium body of the wine was well balanced with a light fruit nature. The wine grew through the night and had a sophistication that was unexpected at the price level.
The 2002 Real Bodega, Reserva Tempranillo was the selection from Andrew at Eating Hong Kong. Andrew had to make some adjustments for Hong Kong inflation and found this HK$113 bottle. He thought the big, soft, cuddly tannins provided excellent depth and texture.
David at McDuff’s Food and Wine Trail decided to exceed the rules times 3 and try a $30 bottle of the 2002 Toro "Quinta Quietud". He found this to be a solid wine with excellent power and backbone. The question for value wines is always, "Does this drink much better than what I paid?" David broke the price point, but we hope he was able to find a little of what Spain has to offer, albeit at a higher entry point.
ALL MIXED UP
These folks reviewed several wines, including reds, whites, and other types within one review.
We’ll start with ourselves. We reviewed 3 reds and a cava. We started with the 2004 Blés Crianza from Valencia, but we didn’t care for it at all. We followed that with the 2005 Luna Beberide Mencia, which was an improvement. Our favorite red was the 2006 Garnacha de Fuego Old Vines, which scored a happy face from us. We also reviewed the Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava, which was quite good as well.
Next up is BP from In Bottles. BP reviewed 1 white, the $8 2005 Val de Sil Montenovo Godello, which is zippy and fun and rated an 86. Also on tap were the 2004 Cuatro Pasos Bierzo ($10), the 2005 Reinares Tempranillo Castilla ($9), and the 2003 Viňa Santa Marina Gargola ($9). BP seemed to enjoy all three wines, but his favorite, and the surprise, seemed to be the Vina Santa Marina Gargola.
Vino Keeno returns to WBW with 3 posts from 3 authors. WebWino enjoyed the 2005 Mad Dogs & Englishmen. She even explains the origins of this odd name for a Spanish wine. WineDoc reviewed the 2006 Garnacha de Fuego,
as did Kevin & I. Wherever Wine Doc is, he found this one for $2
cheaper than we did, coming in at $7.99. He found this to be a medium
body red with great flavors and a superb price tag. GrapeLady reviewed the 2006 Protocolo Blanco and found it to be a fruity and crisp refresher for only $6.99.
Margot at Write for Wine prefers her Washington State Wines, but loves the idea behind WBW. She tried 1 white and a whopping 5 reds. Smartly, she did much of this at a wine tasting. She tried the 2006 Lagar de Cervera Albariňo; 2005 Balbas Tinto Roble; 2003 Casa de la Ermita Crianza; 2001 Valdelosfrailes Seleccionada Crianza; and 2005 Flor Del Montgo Old Vine Monastrell, as well as the Marques de Caceres 2003 Crianza. Check out her blog for her results.
Over at Casa Festiva, Katy tried two reds, a white, and a cava. She tried the 2005 Borsao ($6.99), the 2004 Finca Antigua Tempranillo ($8.99), the 2005 Salneval Albariňo ($8.99), and the Cordoniu Cava ($7.99). She found the Borsao and Salneval to be her favorite of four great finds.
Garry at Tales of a Sommelier chose one white and one red. Garry went with the coastal white Txomin Etxaniz Hondorrabi blend (£8) that he enjoyed. I also think he gets the prize for the most unusual entry. I’ll have to look for it locally. His red is a Cellar Cal Pla in Priorat, which is a blend of Garnacha, Carenina, and Cab which got high ratings from him for under £10.
Bart from Fylloxera in Belgium finishes up our mixed category with three separate posts for his first foray into WBW. His first post reviews the Sumarocca Cava Brut Reserva 2005 that gives good quality for €8.69. Next, Bart reviewed the Viňa Mocen Verdejo Special Selection, an enjoyable white for only €8.26. Finally, Bart tried the high-alcohol but tasty Poema Garnacha Old Vine for €5.74.
CAVA, SHERRY, and ROSÉS
Ryan and Gabriella at Catavino tried the Loxeral Cava Reserva (€7), but unfortunately the wine fell short of their expectations for the region. Not deterred at all, they went above and beyond the WBW Call of Duty and posted a mini round-up of their own. Their post is a wealth of information on reds, whites, and cava produced at a value in Espagňa. A big thanks to them for all the work.
Only Edward down under at Wino-Sapien was brave enough to attempt an $A12 bottle of sherry. He found the Lustau ‘Papirusa’ Manzanella, out of the Jerez region, to be direct and no nonsense.
The Passionate Palate brought us the Marques de Caceres Rosé. Jeni and her husband are currently rosé crazy and felt this one, priced at $6, was worthy of being considered a great value wine. From the powerful nose to the long finish, this consistent drink almost makes our Kevin want to try once again to find his inner pink.
Marcus at Doctor Wiengolb returns after hosting WBW #33 and was pleasantly surprised by the Castillo de Liria Valencia Rosé. Finding the $8.15 CDN to be a no-risk endeavor, he was stunned to have a nice and versatile wine for simple dinners, like pizza, or just a relaxing afternoon in the sun. Welcome back Marcus, and we understand why you needed a break!
We wrap up this edition of WBW with the 2005 Pares Balta Ros de Pacs Rosé from Brenda from the Culinary Fool. Brenda has been trying to expand her rosé horizons this summer and the 100 degree heat in Seattle provided a nice backdrop for her selection. Overall she rates this as a great summer sipping choice. Her photos of the accompanying meal make us hungry!
Oh my goodness! I think that about wraps it up. If we missed anyone, let us know by emailing email@example.com. Thanks so much for your participation and look to WineBloggingWednesday.org for announcements regarding this monthly virtual party.
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