Browse Tag


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)

Terra incognita

[piñol]Celler Piñol 2005 Terra Alta “Sacra Natura” (Cataluña) — 35% cariñena, 20% merlot, 20% cabernet sauvignon, 15% syrah, 10% tempranillo. The structural grapes have been just enough to hold the aromatic/textural grapes together this long, and in fact after a wan start the wine gains in strength and cohesiveness as it airs, but there are frays and tatters that shouldn’t be ignored. Rich, warm, dark, dusty fruit laid upon a decaying bed of dried leaves. (11/16)

Drink up, or Elsa

[hacienda elsa]Hacienda Elsa 2003 Bierzo (Northwest Spain) — Mencia’s dried flowers on full display, with an only semi-leaden thud of overweighted structure. But while there’s more resolution in store, I think the fruit will die before that’s finished. As European 2003s go, this is one of the good ones. (8/16)

Go for the gold

[dorado]Gómez Nevado Sierra Moreno “Dorado” Seco (Andalucía) — Acid-washed razors in sun-parched sand. All diagonals and slashing wounds. Punishingly brilliant. (4/16)

Telmo more

Telmo Rodríguez 2013 Monastrell “Al-muvedre” (Levant) — The deep, musky, sludgy side of mourvèdre; but neither tarted up nor laden with artifice. It’s a fist to the palate (and each gulp is a repeat punch), but it’s entirely self-possessed and eminently drinkable…though it does require the usual grilled mastodon steaks as an accompaniment. (4/16)

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)

Raspay with my little eye

Primitivo Quiles 2004 Alicante “Raspay” (Levant) – Like a blend of zippy naturalism and stronger, darker, warm-climate mass, this straddles – not always comfortably – a bit of a chasm between its refreshing fruit and its obvious structure. Whether it will get better or worse with time I can’t tell, but its quality (of which it has a surplus) does, at the moment, demand food. (8/12)

It’s the magic number

Jorge Ordoñez & Co. 2006 Málaga “3” (Málaga) – Richness upon richness. Almond oil, fruit syrup, spice, and weight…but not too much of the latter, allowing it to helix into something more complex as it lingers. Beautiful stuff. (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)


Perez “Guimaro” 2010 Ribeira Sacra (Northwest Spain) – Mencia. Chewy red fruit warmed ever-so-slowly over the gentle burn of low red embers. Just a bit funky. (4/12)