On April 17, 2012 in New York City and on April 19, 2012 in San Francisco, The Spanish Wine Cellar 2012 performs for the Trade and Media only. Of the 40 wines offered for tasting, 4 are especially noteworthy, making the event a high priority for anyone whose Spanish wine credentials need their annual update. As the quantities of wine appearing in these meetings is limited, it's smart to get the best tastes first, as those ran out early last year. More importantly, you don't want to taste the wrong 30 wines first, and be of such diminished capacity that the great ones elude your senses. So map out your snappy footwork, and don't let them feets fail you.
Casalbor Bodegas Loa 2007, Laguardia, Sierra Cantabria, Rioja Alavesa, Basque autonomous region.
100 percent Tempranillo, 40 year old vines, very low-yielding complex fruit of unparalleled intensity. Berry, and fresh out-of-the-oven pastry aromas; silky texture, long palate, slow wine best paired with slow food.
Decanter Magazine says "Intense currant, baked fruit, toasty cedar, pencil lead, smoke and vanilla bouquet. Fresh, intense and woody palate, offering a rich, ripe entry, sumptuous syrupy fruit, lifted by balsamic and very well handled tannins. Classy stuff. Drink from 2013." 5 Star Award
Aged for 24 months in new French oak casks after which point 3,000 bottles were produced (about 31 months ago, while the release took place 18 months post-bottling). It's time to invest in distribution inventory now before the price jumps much higher (currently 25 euros at the cellar in Laguardia). That this wine was not classified as a reserve might be either a case of a bad day at el Consejo Reguladora de Rioja, or some other similarly unknowable cause.
Bodega Los Aljibes Selectus Vino de Autor 2007, Vino de la Tierra de Castilla, Chinchilla de Montearagón, Albacete, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain
An air-bladder-pressed blend of Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Aged for 18 months in new French oak barrels and 12 months in 4,347 bottles when released in December 2010. Only released in those years which have been blessed with an exceptional vintage. Deep, dark cherry color, mineral palate, and coffee aromas. Pairs exquisitely with lamb or T-bone. Great to drink now or anytime in the next ten years. The Guía Peñín Spanien WeinFührer recommends this as one of Spain's top wines. We may laugh when a wine guide has "Führer" in it's name, but Peñín knows his schist.
Conde del Real Agrado 2005 Reserva, Viñedos de Alfaro Aldeanueva de Ebro, La Rioja
A blend of 40% Tempranillo, 30% Garnacha, 15% Mazuelo and 15% Graciano. Aged for 18 months in French and American oak barrels, followed by a minimum of one year in bottle. Aroma cake, red fruit, fine wood. Sweet vanilla and raspberry palate. Long and smooth finish.
Annual Production: 30,000 bottles
Price ex-cellar: 9.95 EUR
Bodegas Vitulia Reserva 2006, Burgos, Ribera Del Duero, Spain
98% Tempranillo and 2% Merlot (Tinta del País). Production averages 3,000 to 3,500 kg. per hectare, which guarantees top quality. Aged for 24 months in (70%) French and 30% American oak casks and 24 months in bottle. Maroon color; blackberry, currants, and toast aromas
Annual Production: 3,000 bottles
Price ex-cellar: 10.00 EUR