Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Recently Tasted

DESCENDIENTES DE J. PALACIOS PÉTALOS 2007, DO Beirzo (Spain); #675207; Price: $23.95; 13.5% ABV
A wonderful experience on the nose, dominated by dark fruits (plum, prune), liquorice, sweet spice, with pepper, chocolate, and a bit of smoke and earthiness underneath. The dark fruit continues on the palate, with dark cherry showing up. It’s medium bodied, with moderate acidity. Well-balanced with the dark fruit and soft tannins. Moderately long finish.
From a region (Beirzo in northwest Spain) and a varietal (Mencia) that seems to have come out of nowhere in the last few years. Palacios is a top producer. Buy it.

CANTINE DUE PALME PRIMITIVO 2005, Puglia (Italy); #658351; Price: $ 15.95; 13.5% ABV
Aromas of cassis, raspberry, dark cherry, liquorice, pepper, and dried herbs. The fruit flavours come through again on the palate with medium acidity and tannins. Medium bodied, it’s smooth but doesn’t have the jammy profile of many Zinfandels (Primitivo and Zinfandel are the same grape.) Good balance and a moderate finish.
From the sunny Italian south. Good value.

ATALAYA ALMANSA 2007, DO Almansa (Spain); #132605; Price: $21.95; 14.0% ABV
Strong menthol aroma at the start, which slowly diminished but never disappeared. Black cherry, dried herbs, and gamy aromas come through over time. Dark cherry and black tea on the palate. Medium acidity and medium-high tannins. It’s close to full-bodied, jammy with a sandy mouthfeel. Good length on the finish.
This wine is a blend of primarily Monastrell and Garnacha Tintorera from Almansa. Yup, another emerging region in the Spanish Armada. Strong menthol throws me off. Give it a pass.

DI MAJO NORANTE RAMITELLO 2005, IGT Molise (Italy); #973214; Price: $19.30; 13.0% ABV
The fruit is missing on the nose at the start, with a dominance of tar, earthiness, dried herbs and smoke. Plum and dark cherry show up in the flavours on the palate, with herbal notes. More tannins than the Atalaya, with medium acidity. Moderate length.
Molise is one of the poorest regions in Italy, not known for its wine production, although this is its best-known producer. Ramitello is a blend of Montepulciano and Aglianico. I can’t recommend it because of the lack of fruit in the aroma.

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