Boston Wine Expo '99
Spanish and Portugese Wines


Bodegas Arzuaga Tinto Crianza Ribera del Duero '95--Earth and leather characterize the nose of this wine, with lusty oak and cherry flavors. Moderate tannins.
B

Bodegas Arzuaga Tinto Reserva Ribera del Duero '94--Alcoholic nose, along with earth, saddle leather and cherry aromas. Smooth black cherry and earth flavors, which actually seem to increase on the long finish.
B+

Bodegas Martinez Bujanda Garnacha Rioja Reserva '91--Cigar-box and plum nose, with good plum, coffee and tobacco flavors. Becomes lean and tight on the finish. Probably better with food.
B

Bodegas Martinez Bujanda Finca Valpiedra Rioja Reserva '94--A single-vineyard Rioja. Very nice anise, plum and earth aromas and flavors. Very smooth and round in the mouth, with moderate tannins.
B+

Dow Reserve Port '82--What other houses might call a "Colheita",or single-vintage tawny Port. Layers of black fruit and vanilla seem to go on forever. A rich, sweet Port, which actually seems somewhere between a tawny and LBV in style.
A-

Hijos de Antonio Barcelo Vina Mayor Crianza Ribera del Duero '95--Very little, if any, nose. Lush cherry and earth flavors, but the tannins are a bit coarse and rustic.
B

Kopke Vintage Porto '95--Shy, almost nonexistent nose. Medium-bodied, medium-sweet, with decent, but not outstanding, fruit flavors. Not particularly tannic.
B-

Lustau Oloroso Del Tonel Sherry NV--Very rich, with much less oxidation than one might expect from a sherry. Nose is a little shy, but there are plenty of flavors of caramel, toffee, and dried fruits. A very tasty dessert style sherry.
A-

Lustau East India Solera Sherry NV--The expected sherry oxidized aromas and flavors, though not overdone. Nuts, raisins, coffee and caramel dominate this sweet wine. Another very good sherry from this producer.
B+

Lustau Moscatel Solera Reserva Superior Emilin Sherry NV--Candied orange-peel and floral Muscat aromas. Complex flavors of orange, toffee, coffee, caramel and candied fruit. Long, long fruit finish. Very sweet, and sticks on the palate, but manages to stop just short of cloying. An excellent sherry.
A-

Gran Clos de J. Fuentes Priorat '96--Made from 90% Grenache. Inky dark purple red. Very tannic with modest black cherry and plum flavors. I question whether the fruit will ever win out against the tannin, but it isn't bad to drink now.
B

Penascal Red '96--(missing information on this wine; if anyone knows more than what is written there, like the region of production, let me know) Shy nose, but good plum and cherry flavors. A bit bitter on the sour-cherry and leather finish.
B-

Quinta do Noval LB House Reserve Port NV--Nice nose of raisins and plums, and a full, lush palate of black fruit and raisins, ending with a bit of tannic structure. Not my favorite style of Port, but a very nice effort indeed.
A-

Quinta do Noval Late Bottled Vintage Port '91--A very good wine, with plum and raisin flavors. Not much tannin here, and not as lush as the LB House Reserve.
B+

Quinta do Noval Colheita Port '81--Wonderful, easy drinking yet complex wine. Raisins, and plums dominate, though there are hints of vanilla and spices, as well as some anise and rancio flavors on the very long finish. A "super-tawny"...
A-

Realeza Tempranillo Castillo Y Leon '97--Funky, earthy smells hide lush cherry fruit on the palate. There's more leather and earth on the palate and in the finish, too.
B

La Rioja Alta Vina Alberdi Tinto Reserva Rioja '94--Cherry dominates the nose, as well as the medium bodied palate. Very nice and smooth in the mouth, but the finish is a bit drying.
B+

Sogrape Douro Reserva '95--Intense leather and raw meat aromas, followed by lush, smooth plum and earthy flavors in the mouth. A spicy vanilla plum finish rounds out a very nice package.
B+

Vina Mayor Reserva Ribera del Duero '94--A bit of alcohol on the nose, but the dominant aromas are earthy. A nice blend of plums, leather and earth in the mouth and a good finish.
B+

Warres Late Bottled Vintage Port '86--A bit simple, with an alcohol-dominated nose and bright plum flavors.
B-


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Copyright 1999 Marcel Lachenmann. All rights reserved.