On a recent trip to Orlando Florida I found myself at Whole Foods buying the wine for a business dinner. I don’t normally shop at Whole Foods where I live in Phoenix because there isn’t one nearby. It was interesting seeing a new variety of selections to choose from. I decided to go with an all Spanish mix.
2009 Can Blau, Montsant Spain
Blend: 40% Carinena, 40% Syrah, 20% Garnacha
Aging: 1 year French oak
This is a big wine. It would benefit from some decanting. It has a powerful mouth feel, solid acidity. The fruit profile is predominantly cherry and plum with some toasty oak and pepper notes.
Price Point: About $10-$15 although I have seen it at Costco for under $10
Weekly Wine Journal rating 87 points, good value.
Bodegas Torremoron, Ribera del Duero 2011
Blend: 100% Tempranillo
This wine is a ridiculously good bargain. The amazing purity of really shines through and is made all the more interesting by the fact that this red wine is un oaked.
Deep and rich, ripe. Cherries, black berries with licorice and spice. The color is a beautiful ruby color. The nose is perfume like, in a subtle way. The tannins are fantastic with a dusty, earthy, chalky like texture. If you’re not much of a wine drinker I know that last description sounds awful, but it’s really not. It’s a mouth feel not a taste.
Price Point: $10-$15
Weekly Wine Journal rating 90 points, amazing deal
Bodegas LAN, Rioja Crianza 2008
Blend: 100% Tempranillo
Aging: 12 months American and French oak
This is the lightest wine of the group, not only in color but also in weight and taste. Light and fruity, yet still tangy and chewy. The nose is subdued, not apparent at first sniff. This wine was not my favorite on the first night of it being open so I left the entire bottle out over night. The next night there was a dramatic improvement. The wine really came together and benefited from about 24 hours of decanting.
Weekly Wine Journal rating 87 points, a decent wine
Bodegas LAN, Rioja Reserva, 2007
Blend: 90% Tempranillo, 5% Graciano, 5% Mazuelo
Aging: 15 months American and French oak
Of the four wines tasted, this was my favorite. It’s a big wine that doesn’t act like one. The acidity is in check, the balance of fruit to oak is very nice. The fruit is dark, predominantly black cherry. The acidity, oak and ripeness play together nicely like ginger and vanilla and caramel.
Price Point: $15-$20
Weekly Wine Journal rating: 94 points, a great wine.