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Iberian Notes


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Notes from a recent Iberian themed dinner.

2005 Ercavio Blanco – made from 100% Airen grape, around Toledo, this wine had a rather Chardonnay like nose, was fairly full bodied and finished cleanly. Worth looking out for – good summer sipper.

2005 Davila (Rias Baixas) – 65% Albarino, 25% Treixadura, 10% Lourero. Clean greenish nose, clean and acidic, classy wine with good body and much more going for it than the usual Albarinos. A bit pricier than the usual ones but worth the difference.

Carles Andreu Cava (nv) – a real apple nose, clean and crisp – quite nice as Cavas go.

1996 Miguel Merino Rioja Gran Riserva – more tradition l wine – the nose is all about oak, spicy and pleasant, but I found that the dry oak carried over into the mouth, which I didn’t like as much now – this may lessen with age. Sour cherry flavours toward the end, good length, needs time in bottle.

1996 Alion (R. del Duero) – toasty vanilla international sort of nose, a big weighty wine, good fruit and with significant tannins. This is only just beginning to come into drinking range and really needs a few more years. Will probably surpass the Pedrosa, which is the best drinking wine today.

1996 Vina Pedrosa Riserva (Ribera del Duero) – pleasant international style nose, a bit sweeter than the Alion, and smooth sweet and more ready on palate as well.Nice long finish, ready now.

1986 Casa Ferrerinha Reseva Especial – this Douro wine was still very dark, and showed a real vinyl nose, tannin and insufficient fruit. We were all ready to pour it out and write it off, but put it aside instead and went back to it later. It had done a Lazarus act I’ve rarely seen – you don’t usually see inadequate fruit suddenly improve, and the tannins toned down and showed more softly as some acidity also became apparent until this showed very differently indeed, and what we would have tossed out became something of interest. It is labelled as a Colheita, by the way.

Quinta do Noval ‘Over 40’ Tawny Port – all of the tasters qualified for the over 40 part…The colour was browning, it had a pronounced caramel nose, was hot and intense in the mouth and seemed much younger (as, we opined, did all the tasters).

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