Browse Tag


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)

Lovamor or less

Maestro Tejero 2010 “Lovamor” Albillo (Castilla & León) – I don’t love this. I don’t really actually like it or dislike it much, in fact. It just kind of sits there, narrow and a bit blobby, some sort of pale white fruit knobbed with a flaky aromatic that reminds me of too-old coconut. A proto-orange (more like pale flesh) wine it’s supposed to be, but the textural enhancement is minimal at best. It’s extremely brief, as well. I’ve had José Pastor-imported wines that I haven’t liked before, but I’ve never had one that bored me. All this said, my description doesn’t match anyone else’s that I could find, and I wonder if this bottle was intact. (12/11)

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)

Silencis golden

Raventós i Blanc 2010 Penedès “Silencis” (Cataluña) – Very liquid, with white peppercorn and nut spices in an applewood broth. Starts off better than it finishes. (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)

Guimaro, Guimaro, I love ya’, Guimaro

Guimaro 2010 Ribeira Sacra (Nothwest Spain) – Vibrant, vivacious, and thoroughly alive. Heavily-spiced red fruit fireworks, beyond fully tangible and very nearly enflamed, with cymbal hisses and mutings that jerk the palate hither and fro in a most exciting fashion. As one might be able to tell despite the histrionic metaphor-mixing, I adore this wine. (10/11)


R. López de Heredia 2001 Rioja Viña Gravonia Bianco (Center-North) – I have never liked a Viña Gravonia Bianco less than I like this one, which tastes like over-aged California chardonnay in its stale wood, grossly lactic, browned butter way. I hope it’s an issue with the bottle and not the wine, or maybe it just needs to age and oxidize more for me to enjoy it, but I go back again and again to the wine in disbelief that I dislike it so much, thus drinking a lot more of a wine I don’t enjoy than I would usually consider drinking. Such is the reputation of the producer, in my mind. (9/11)

Not Dutch cheese

Terras Gauda 2004 Rías Baixas “Abadia de San Campio” Albariño (Northwest Spain) – Fully oxidized and undrinkable. (8/11)

Terras Gauda 2004 Rías Baixas “O Rosal” Albariño (Northwest Spain) – Beyond oxidized and worse than undrinkable. (8/11)

One candle short

Equipo Navazos “La Bota de Fino 15” (Jerez) – Complex. Deep. Really extraordinary. I tend to think of fino – talking the mass of it here, not just the finest examples – as mostly linear, but this is all polygons and helixes, and there’s more to find in every glass. (8/11)

Joe LaCava

German Gilabert Cava Brut Nature Rosat (Cataluña) – Trepat and garnacha. Less interesting than the white, with fruit sheets wrapped around bones. All treble, little midrange, no bass. (8/11)