Saturday, October 15, 2011

AWS Hudson Chapter October Tasting "Rioja"

Ole!  The Hudson (MA) Chapter of the AWS met on October 13 in the home of chapter president, Mike Blake.  After a welcome period of socializing and general merriment while enjoying Cortijo 2010, a viura based wine from Rioja ($15), the 16 members in attendance sampled a selection of wines from the Rioja region of Spain organized by Dick Phillips.  A special selection of Spanish tapas, including Manchego cheese, Jamon Serrano ham, Spanish potato omelet, & empanadas, were supplied by the members.

Cortijo 2010 DOC 100% Viura ($15, greeting wine)
Flight#1 explored the Rioga classification system based on length of barrel age
Campo Viejo Crianza 2007 ($12) aged at least 24 months/6 in oak               (13.8 pts)
Campo Viejo Reserva 2006 ($15) aged at least 36 months/12 in oak            (14.9 pts)
Campo Viejo Gran Reserva 2002 ($21) aged at least 60 months/18 in oak   (15.7 pts)

This was a very interesting flight as the wines darkened considerably and grew more complex with the longer barrel aging.  My favorite was the Gran Reserva.

Flight#2 showcased 2 100% tempranillio wines
LAN Reserva 2006 ($18)                                                                               (16.5 pts)
Finca Valpiedra Reserva 2001 ($40)                                                              (15.1 pts)

Flight#3 explored 2 blended wines
Conde de Valdemar Reserva 2004 ($21) 85% Tempranillo/15% Mazuelo    (15.1 pts)
Palacios Remondo La Montesa Reserva 2007 ($26) 60% Tempranillo/40% Garnacha (16.2 pts)

Another interesting comparison as the Mazuelo (Carignane for us Americans) added a lot of tannin and acidity to the tempranillo while the garnacha (grenache) blend was much smoother.  I could have drunk the La Montesa all night long! Dark color, chocolate, plum, blackberries in a soft pleasant nose.  Smooth & mellow on tongue with moderate aftertaste

Flight #4 explored 2 wines by a modern producer who foregoes the DO/DOC rules
Artadi Vinos de Gain 2005 ($32)  bottle unfortunately corked
Artadi Pagos Viegos 2005 ($79)                                                                    (17.4 pts)
A spectacular 100% temperanillo with an earthy, complex nose with dark fruit predominating.  Full-bodied.  Very nice.
Following this wonderful line-up and tasting experience, the chapter celebrated their 4th anniversary with a recap of memories and highlights over the past 4 years and cake!


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