A slight whiff of animale and spiced pie crust melds seamlessly into a brightly fruited, light-weight wine that's loaded with cherry and blackberry fruit. The tannins are negligible, but the acidity is pure and clean, giving a juicy, palate-cleansing effect that finishes with a hint of green herbs. A perfect picnic red to go with sandwiches or quiche.
While it’s golden in color, the wine isn’t oaky or over the hill. Scents of buttercup, honeysuckle, baked apple and melon lead to a round, almost Burgundian-like mouthfeel. The flavors of melon, apple and peach are solid, and the finish is naturally creamy from the 50% Gewürztraminer in the blend—Macabeo comprises the other 50%.
A bit of brett and barnyard on the nose, with minty raspberry coming on to take over. A little leafy on the midpalate, but not what you’d call green. Bitter chocolate carries the finish. A blend of five red grapes, a couple of which are local and virtually unknown.
An indigenous varietal wine from Spain. Parraleta hails from mountainous Somontano, and this rendition is dark on the nose, with asphalt and licorice aromas. The palate is more tangy and medium, with raspberry, plum and oak. Almost Chianti-like in its body and feel. Good but limited depth of flavors.
Offers Syrahlike, rich blackberry fruit and a slight caramel-oak twinge. It’s mouthfilling and brimming with promise, but it wants the power and richness that could have catapulted it over the “excellent” mark. Nose offers liqueurish, black-peppery aromas. —D.M.
Leafy and smoky on the nose, with a firm, crusty topping. The palate is driving but has sheering acidity, while the palate shows blazing cherry, plum and tomato flavors. Oak lends caramel and toffee to a burning finish; a penetrating, somewhat punishing blend of five grapes led by Tempranillo.
A floral, heavy style of blended white made from Macabeo, Gewürztraminer and Chardonnay. It has an exotic streak to the aromas along with smoked ham, fennel seed and gardenia. The palate is thick and tastes of papaya, salami and baked apple. It’s a hodgepodge of abnormal aromas and flavors, but all totaled it works pretty well.
Somontano wines are not always easy to love due to firm acidity and limited flesh and fluff. Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon account for 70% of this lean, solidly oaked wine that revolves around its tangy raspberry and cherry core. Freshness and Old World restraint characterize Marboré.