That “Spanish Tinge”…

That’s what Jelly Roll Morton insisted was the crucial ingredient in good Jazz (and good Creole cookin’ too!). We’ve just acquired a small but intense selection of Spanish Reds that up the ante considerably in quality, value and packaging: Traditional Riojas have always been been favorites of discerning WINE EXPO-isti and we have seven wonderful bottlings for you but also selections from Ribera del Duero, several amazing “bang for the buck” reds from La Mancha, Penedes, Valencia, Catalunya and other far flung DOs plus some fun Cavas. Would a Chorizo and Walnut stuffed roast turkey be too weird for your next Thanksgiving dinner? Well, at least lay out some Jamon de Serrano and some nice olives for your arriving guests and watch the smiles erupt and the conversation take off.

 

Jaun de Alzate de Bodegas Loli Casado, Lapuebla de Labarca, Rioja Alavesa

“First the founder, then the son, now the granddaughter, Loli, heir to a tradition that the passage of time has transformed into a passion for a way of life and feeling for the earth where wine is culture and culture feeds the tradition.” That is the mission statement of this 75 year old winery (most of whose vines are that old as well!) in the heart of La Rioja. It’s working! Situated between 360 and 400 meters elevation the vineyards (85% Tempranillo with small sections of Mazuelo and Graciano) are terraced into the hillsides with the best southern exposure for maximum dosage of sunlight. After harvest and fermentation, the wines are matured in older barriques placed deep into caves cut into the hillsides.

 

Juan de Alzate Tinto Joven 2010, Rioja

Mostly Tempranillo, soft and perfumed, this plays WAY our of it’s price range.

 

Jaun de Alzate Graciano 2006, Rioja Alavesa

Graciano is a plump, meaty and juicy variety that is usually blended into Rioja to up the bumptuality factor. Some of you may have unwittingly consumed some when you bought a bottle of Sardegnan Cagnulari here and it may even be closely related to our beloved Tintillia from Molise. At any rate, on its own, it is a fun alternative to Syrah / Montepulciano / Zin whenever some hungry man food needs a hand at the table.

 

Jaun de Alzate Riserva 2001, Rioja Alavesa

Jaun de Alzate Gran Reserva 1995, Rioja Alavesa  Sold Out, New Vintage Soon!

Tempranillo 90 %, Mazuelo 5% and Graciano 5% from 60 – 80 year old vines, all co-fermented (without crushing the fruit first) in stainless steel tanks for three weeks with the must being slowly pumped up over the skins. The wines are then matured in fresh oak barrels for a short time then sent to the caves in older barrels for long seasoning (up to four years) before bottling. In the glass these silky smooth wines have a cherry red color with brick edges and is rich in perfumes of stewed black fruits, leather, earth, tobacco and spices. Definitively WINE and not fruit juice!

 

Bodegas de Familia Burgo Viejo, Alfaro, La Rioja

Six families of farmers dreamt of winemaking and founded Bodegas Burgo Viejo in 1987. Burgo Viejo´s main asset has always been their vineyards, located on prime sites throughout the district of Alfaro in the foothills of the Yerga Mountains above the Ebro Valley. They are dedicated to the local varieties (Tempranillo, Mazuelo, Garnacha and Graciano for the reds plus Viura for their lovely Rioja Blanco) harvested from vineyards with a minimum of 30 years of age (the Garnacha below comes from NINETY year old vines!) given a vinification informed by modern technology but with a goal of traditional stylings. We love them for both absolute quality AND extraordinary value for money.

 

Burgo Viejo Tinto 2010, Rioja  Sold Out, New Vintage Soon!

This wine is a lovely, aromatic and elegant blend of 85% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha & 5% Mazuelo that is fermented in stainless steel to preserve its freshness, put through malolactic in large concrete vats then bottled with no oak aging. The result is light in body but packed full of flavors of dark berries, licorice and spice and will compliment a wide range of foods. It’s long smooth finish means you can just enjoy a glass without food for vinous inspiration as well…

 

Burgo Viejo Reserva 2006, Rioja  

85% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano + 5% Carignan fermented in stainless then aged in mixed French and American oak for 18 month.  Seriously old vines give this a huge spectrum of mature black fruit and spice aromas and flavors followed by a firm, mineral driven finish. Get some well seasoned sausages, a chunk of strong cheese and a loaf of hearty bread and be teleported directly to Iberia Vieja…

 

Burgo Viejo Gran Reserva 2001, Rioja  

The crown jewel of this bodega: 100% Tempranillo from the best vines fermented in stainless then matured for 24 months in French oak and seven YEARS in bottle before release. This mature wine is ruby in color with slight bricking on the edges and shows the whole gamut of classic Rioja notes: leather, chocolate, aged meats, earth and dried red fruits, all leading to a firm dry finish. Pour it into the biggest glasses you have and let it work its magic.

 

Burgo Viejo Garnacha 2007, Rioja

Seriously old vines give this a huge spectrum of bright red fruit and spice aromas and flavors followed by a firm, mineral driven finish. Get some well seasoned sausages, a chunk of strong cheese and a loaf of hearty bread and be teleported directly to Iberia Vieja…

 

Bodegas Estraunza, Lapuebla de Labarca, Rioja Alavesa

This family owned Bodega is located on the banks of the Ebro river in the southernmost part of Rioja Alavesa. They have been bottling their own wines since 1989 after years of selling in bulk. They use caves excavated deep into the local hills in the 17th century by now defunct wineries to store their wines at perfect temperatures.

 

Solar de Estraunza Tinto 2008, 

This is the sort of wine the locals drink during three hour lunches with large plates of quality pork products: 100% Tempranillo with half of the grapes put through carbonic maceration (whole berry fermentation in a sealed vessel, the same way they make Beaujolais Nouveau) for intense red fruit aromas and a zesty attack on the palate and the other half vinified normally to provide some balance and a nice dry finish.

 

Solar de Estraunza Gran Reserva 1999 Rioja  Sold Out, New Vintage Soon!

This is the wise older uncle of the crew: 100% Tempranillo from carefully chosen from the oldest vines and fermented on the skins for an extended period to bring out every last bit of flavor and nuance. The wine is then aged for two years in a mix of American and French oak with an additional three years rest in bottle before release. While big boned and powerful, this gorgeous Gran Reserva has mellowed into a well rounded, smooth operator with lots to say. Give him some air and some big food and let him till his tale…

 

Marqués de la Concordia, Alfaro, La Rioja

This is a quite traditional bodega making classic wines with 100% Tempranillo and mostly American oak. They get more complex yet softer and more elegant as you go back in time.

Marqués de la Concordia Tinto Signa 2008, Rioja

Marqués de la Concordia Reserva Signa 2002, Rioja

Marqués de la Concordia Reserva M 1999, Rioja

 

Marqués de Griñon, Alfaro, La Rioja

This is a quite traditional bodega making classic wines with mostly Tempranillo and a mix of large French and American oak. The Enartis 1999 was aged in small French barriques. These are CURRENT releases from the estate.

Marqués de Griñon Reserva Coleccion Personal 1997, Rioja

Marqués de Griñon Reserva Coleccion Personal 1998, Rioja

Marqués de Griñon Reserva Limitada Enartis 1999, Rioja

 

Bodega Berberana, Cenicero, La Rioja

Another very traditional bodega (founded 1877) making classic wines from old vines with mostly Tempranillo and a mix of large French and American oak. These are CURRENT releases from the estate.

Berberana Reserva Viña Alarde 2003, Rioja

Berberana Gran Reserva Viña Alarde 2003, Rioja

 

Consejo de la Alta, Cenicero, La Rioja 

A more modern leaning producer making wines with more extract and color but still quite soft on the palate.

Consejo de la Alta Crianza Tempranillo 2004, Rioja