That lovely cigar box and cedar nose so typical of many Spanish reds is immediately forthcoming on the nose, along with some herbal elements. Black cherry fruit is forward, and the wine is a bit clumsy in that regard. Tannins are still sharp, giving a somewhat dusty finish, but still quite pleasant overall. At least one hour of aeration is recommended. Still could use some additional age. Good with just about any grilled meat on the barbecue, especially if using wood to smoke. Recommended. GT
A very expressive and complex Ribera del Duero wine, and the winery is not shy about it. The “MB” stands for “Muy Bueno” – “very good.” Spends 2 years in oak and another 2 in bottle before release. Chocolate, cigar box, and pepper on the nose carry through on the palate, opening onto rich notes of spice (allspice) and clean fruit (boysenberry). Lingers well on finish. If you’re a tempranillo fan (and I am) you’ll really enjoy this one. It’s the kind of wine I like with just about any grilled meat – will even stand up to the smoke of realTexas BBQ brisket. Highly recommended. GT
WHO: Finca Sandoval WHAT: Red Blend WHERE: Spain, Castilla-LaMancha, Manchuela DESIGNATION: Cuvée TNS WHEN: 2004 SIZE: 1.5L RESERVE: $140 MINIMUM BID INCREMENT: $10 92 Points Steve Tanzer's Internatio...
A champagne-style sparkling wine, made in the traditional method in the Cava region of Spain. When first poured, amidst some caramel-toffee there’s a faint pear note in the aroma. Pear flavors deepen on the palate while the wine is very cold, with a mild, round, fruitiness. There’s little apparent acidity until the wine begins to warm in the glass, then its lemon-wrapped tartness comes through on the palate and in the finish. Recommended. BSE
Very bright red fruits, straightforward, not incredibly complex, but well-balanced. High acid and good minerality make a very food-friendly wine. Cherries and cranberries are the lead fruits with some raspberry showing on the mid-palate along with a very light herbal touch. This is a red wine for chicken, but stick with the dark meat. Recommended. DH
While I was in Navarra this summer, I was told that, due to fierce competition from other Spanish wine regions (as well as European and New World wines) there has been a push for quality since 2007, and I found plenty of evidence to back this up. Briefly, here is what is going on at a sampling of wineries in Navarra.