Posts tagged ‘Tempranillo’

November 16, 2010

I Think I’ll Get a Brazillian


No really; a Brazilian red wine. I had an opportunity to travel to Brazil recently and had to try some locally produced wine. Brazil isn’t known as a wine powerhouse, but it is the fifth largest producer of wines in the southern hemisphere after Argentina, Australia, South Africa and Chile. Several of the larger producers have invested heavily in improving viticulture and production techniques. It’s beginning to pay off with wines that are approaching the quality of other South American wines.  

The Miolo Wine Group is one of the prominent wineries in Brazil that is modernizing production and turning out wines that are selling successfully internationally. The Miolo family has poured gallons of dollars into modernizing the cellar with the latest equipment like stainless steel for fermentation, and French and American oak barrels, made in their own cooperage on-premises. While the family has been growing wine grapes for some time, they did not start to produce their own wines until 1994. Renowned winemaker, Miguel Almeida, and esteemed oenologist, Michel Rolland, have been instrumental in improving the quality of the wines and bringing them to prominence.  

Miolo is grows it’s grapes in the Serra Gaúcha region located in the Rio Grande Do Sul, which is dominated by a culture of Italian immigrants. It’s the most important wine region of Brazil accounting for about 90 percent of the country’s total production.

While Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are the predominant varietals produced by Milo, I tried a Miolo Reserva 2009 Tempranillo. Here is how it shakes out.

Look Intense ruby red lipstick on a pouting Brazilian model sulking through yet another photo shoot.
Smell Vibrant cherry soda served at a long oak bar with soft vanilla candles burning in the background.
Taste This wine lacks the body to rate with the bodies sunning themselves on Ipanema. In fact it’s thinner and less silky than its Spanish cousins.  Bright acidity gives it a lively bounce. The timid plum and cherry fruit aren’t overpowered by the subtle tannins and stick around for a mid-length finish.
Price Real $27.00 or U.S. $17

It would take more than a couple of glasses of this wine to coax me into dancing a samba in its honor. It’s decent enough to accompany the sound of crashing waves on the beach on a lazy afternoon, but it’s not going to replace the Caipirinha as the drink of choice at the clubs in Cococabana after the sun goes down.

What are you drinking?

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July 1, 2010

Feelin Tinto Fino


Properly decanted and ready for action

Subject show prior to consumption

 

Lately I’ve been itchin for a taste for Spain, so I grabbed a few bottles of Dehesa la Granja 2001 to scratch that itch. This fine juice comes from the vineyard Alejandro Fernandez  in the Ribera del Duero region. Our man Alejandro has been in business since 1972, and is well known for some of his other labels – Tinto Pesquera, Condado de Haza  and El Vinculo. He makes his wines exclusively from the Tempranillo grape, which I’m partial to. 

The pop of the cork released a dusty raspberry bramble scent. The rusty brick brown wine had kicked off a bit of sediment, so I decanted it so I didn’t have to chew it. 

Even though its only 9 years old, my buddy Dehesa is already showing signs of maturity. Tasty enough, but missing a little of the roundness and pizzaz I was looking for. Tasted more like the inside of a wallet than I want. I don’t think I’ll leave the other bottles lyin around too much longer. So, I popped a second bottle later on to see if it was holding up better than the first. 

This one, classic Tinto Fino. Medium bodied, with the lively step of a flamenco dancer springing forth to smash berries with wooden shoes on my tongue. Can’t blame ’em, the flavors. After being cooped up in a barrel for two years before being bottled, then all that time sittin in that glass jail for seven more, ya gotten expect the flavors to burst forth. Then the tannins and oak restrained a few of the more susceptible fruit flavors with leather straps, forcing them to linger for a long finish. This I like. I like it a lot.

This is a great wine to pair with a meal. Lamb, venison, duck, pizza would all benefit from a visit by old Dehesa. I didn’t bother though. Food seemed like too much effort. This wine had me fully occupied on a Wednesday night.

You might have a tough time finding the ’01 vintage, but I encourage you to go out and grab a bottle of the year you find. It retails for about $25 and is widely distributed. Go get ya some.