Spanish Premium Wines. 2nd November 2012


It was my turn to host our wine club’s regular tasting. Premium Spanish wines was the theme for the evening. I cooked some Spanish inspired beef cheeks to go with dinner.

Quick impression of the wines we had on the evening. Big thanks to Michael at Steve’s and Helen from Toro importers for helping put together the wines. With the exception of 1 wine, all wines can be found at Steve’s.


2007 Nora da Neve. Rias Baixas, Spain. 13%

Albariño that has been fermented and aged in French oak for 7 months.

This seemed a bit flat and subdued. Okay, but not brilliant. Had this earlier in the year and it was much better then.

Approx $95.

2010 Phinca Durmiente. Sierra de Francia, Spain. 13%

Rufete white grape. A native grape of the Sierra de Francia area located within the Castilla y Leon area of Western Spain.

In a word, stunning! Different style of wine. There is an orange tinge to this wine that makes it look almost sherry like. It’s a cross between a crisp white wine and sherry. Very textural. Lemons….. like those sour lemon lollies. Salty almonds. Huge lingering mouthfeel. Good acid on the finish. Starts off oxidative on the palate, but finishes clean and crisp. A wine with heaps of interest. Definitely a food wine. Went perfect with the smoked chorizo I served up.

One of the guys said this wine had “chewy acids”, which gives an indication of it’s mouthfeel. Good descriptor, I thought.

Approx $85


1981 R.Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia “Vina Bosconia” Gran Reserva. 12.5%. Rioja, Spain.

A wine that is made with a nod to Burgundy. 80% Tempranillo, 15% Garnacha (Grenache), 5% Garciano & Mazuelo

Very clear wine, bricky red in colour. Has aged very well. Stunning nose of strawberries, which translates onto the palate. Baked beetroot in there to give this a nice savoury edge. Excellent mouthfeel. Still very fresh and will last for much longer. Why buy burgundy when you can buy this? Stunning wine.

Approx $250

1991 R.Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia “Vina Tondonia” Gran Reserva. 12%. Rioja, Spain.

A wine that is made with a nod to Bordeaux. 75% Tempranillo, 15% Garnacha (Grenache), 10% Garciano & Mazuelo

Another education on how the wines of Spain, and R.Lopez de Heredia can indeed age gracefully. Still youngish. Very firm on the palate. Similar to the previous wine, but has more leather, mushroom characteristics. Very good, but I preferred the Vina Bosconia

Approx $200


2004 Luis Canas Gran Reserva. Rioja, Spain. 14.5%

95% Tempranillo 5% Graciano

One dimensional, flat and hot. Disappointing.

Approx $80

2004 Emilio Moro Malleolus de Valdarrimio. Ribera del Duero, Spain. 14.5%

Big wine. Dried rosemary. Red berries. Sour cherries. Rich on the palate. Immense structure. Perfect with the beef cheeks served with dinner. Another excellent wine.

Brought in from Hong Kong by one of the guys at the tasting. Approx $100


2004 Sierra Cantabria “Amancio”. Rioja, Spain. 14.5%

Wow! Big, big wine. Well balanced. Full, ripe fruit. Espresso, liquorice, dark chocolate, chinotto. So much going on. Great mouthfeel that lasted forever. A joy to drink.

Would love to re-visit this wine in 10 years time. Excellent stuff and worth the admission price.

Approx $330

2007 Bodega Teso La Monja “Alabaster”. Toro, Spain. 14.5%

Comes highly recommended with 94 points from both Wine Advocate and the International Wine Cellar and 91 points from Wine Spectator.

High acid, very young. All elbows and knees. Awkward. Maybe this was way too young, but I just could not get this wine or see what all the fuss is about. This was in the decanter for about 2 hours and back in the bottle for another 3.

Maybe, I’m just not a “points slut”.

Approx $450

About Perth Wine Enthusiast

Casual observations of a Perth wine enthusiast. I am a recently turned 40 husband to a wonderful wife and father to 3 fantastic children. When work and family are not occupying me, my thoughts frequently turn towards two of my other passions in life, wine and food.

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