Browse Tag

canary islands

Pass the dulce

Los Bermejos Malvasía Dulce (Lanzarote) — Overt minerality, gritty and dark, with a sweetness that graces rather than coats. I love wines like this. (11/16)

Carballo or lease

Carballo 2009 Tinto Negramoll (Canary Islands) – Juicy, gluggable, transparent. Blackberries with a swirl of bretty funk and spritz. Light. Fun, though the stench won’t appeal to everyone. (8/12)

Frontón assault

Camaretas “Frontón de Oro” 2008 Tinto (Gran Canaria) – Negra común & tintilla. Structured (mostly tannin, though there’s noticeable acidity as well), smoky, and bretty. Rosemary hangs around, aromatizing things in a less stenchy way. More interesting than good, though it’s both; I’d prefer something a little cleaner, but it’s not bad. (4/12)

Bare mayos

Los Bermejos 2010 Lanzarote Rosado (Lanzarote) – Almost shockingly excellent. Berries, beached and already lightly tanned, accelerating from playful canter to full-on gallop. There is almost no aspect of this wine that isn’t appealing (I leave myself wiggle room because I don’t much like the packaging…not exactly important stuff). This is the sort of thing one should own in multiple case quantities. I certainly plan to. (1/12)

The canary that laid the golden egg

Camaretas “Frontón de Oro” 2008 Malpais (Gran Canaria) – A bit of a dead-weight slog; the fruit is good, showing tension between darker and lighter modes, but the wine just sort of sits there, bereft of life. This description matches few others’, so I’m forced to wonder about cork damage. (1/12)

Zanata Mondatta

Viña Zanata 2009 Ycoden Daute Isora Blanco (Canary Islands) – Pleasant but ultimately a little boring; bony sun-bleached fruit in a wind tunnel, timid acidity, and a real lack of presence. I feel like I’m missing something, but I spend my time with the wine mostly in disappointed puzzlement. (11/11)

Stop, look, Listán

Carballo 2008 La Palma Listán Blanco (Canary Islands) – There’s a sort of banana-cream-in-amber character that slowly-oxidized wines – versus the ultra-natural ones that cavort their fields of youth with oxygen and other ill-favored companions – take on with time (see, for example, Mosel riesling), but carefully-nurtured young wines can sometimes achieve this character on the early side with a measured dose of postnatal oxygen. Here’s one, or so it seems, though I’d be very wary of calling it predominately oxidized or even oxidative. Rather, it’s quite fruit-dominated (“fruit” standing in for a range of sunlight and blossoming florals cut with the redolence of the fruit half of a Western produce aisle) at the moment. It’s also very low-acid, though that should not be mistaken for warm-climate sludge; this has enough structure to sustain it for the nonce. There are darker intimations of metal-jacketed red cherries, even black cherries, that play around with the blood orange finish, teasing that it might plan to be something or somewhere other than what and where it is. Anyway, a lot of words have just passed without my having gotten a complete grasp on the wine, and I think the only clear conclusion is that this is pretty fascinating stuff. (11/11)

Carballo maceration

Carballo 2008 Lanzarote Negramoll (Canary Islands) – Diffident. Never gets around to developing. It may be mild TCA that’s below my threshold, it may just be a muted or otherwise damaged wine, but there’s nothing on which to base a note here. (11/10)


Los Bermejos 2008 Lanzarote Tinto (Canary Islands) – I’ve never tasted this much spice in a red wine, not even a lavishly-oaked one. If Penzeys released a wine, it might taste like this. The dominant spices include nutmeg and mace, coriander, white pepper, and turmeric. So, so, so exotic. And – pardon the expletive, but it’s needed here – fucking delicious. This is the first quarter-glass that, by the end of the night, turns into a fully-drained bottle. (11/10)