Spanish wine tasting hosted by Joe's

The evening was awesome. The wines were great. The company was great. The food....well, we weren't really there for the food & good thing because there were no Tapas as advertised. We were expecting chorizo, fried smelt, grilled sardines, calamari, prawns, well you get the idea....there was nothing of the sort. But the cheese & olives were good. The "Paella" (note the quotes) was the only thing Spanish that I recall. I used "quotes" because it was not Paella more like Rice-a-Roni or a Lipton rice packet & I didn't see any shrimp but the iodine-tinged-cheap-as-hell-sea-bug smell & flavor took over. I know I sound critical but I take food seriously. But as I said earlier...we were there for the Vino.

Here are my notes. I tried more than I have notes for, these are just the notables.

Casa Silva Reserva Shiraz 2003 Colchaqua Valley, Chile - 4 of 5 - jammy, big & bacon-ie, plum & blackberries. Very nice. What I have come to expect from a good Shiraz.

Casa Silva Reserva Carmenre 2004 Colchaqua Valley, Chile - 4 of 5 - spicey plums. green notes. charred bell pepper that lingers.

Monticello Crianza 2000 Rioja Alta, Spain - 2 of 5 damp dirt, musky, red berry. well balanced. it didnt really stand out.

Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 Colchaqua Valley, Chile - 3 of 5 - deep black cherry with vanilla.

MontGras Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon Colchaqua Valley, Chile - 4 of 5 - deep tobacco & black cherry...anise tinged finish.

Zolo Malbec 2003 Mendoza, Argentina - 3 of 5 - nice, easy going, jammy. This spent 10 months in oak (French & American) but was very well balanced.

Torres Sangre de Toro 2003 Catalunya D.O., Spain - 2 of 5 - black fruit & licorice.

Melipal Malbec 2003 Mendoza, Argentina - 5 of 5 - my favorite of the nigth. Very concentrated blackberry, hints of cedar chips, BIG Malbec. bordeline meaty. You can sink your teeth into this one. Most $$$ of the night @ $24.99 ( a splurge for us). It was great but I am not sure if I would buy a bottle.

Finca El Portilla Malbec 2004 Mendoza, Argentina - 1 of 5 - so, so.

Castillo de Monseran Grenacha 2003 Cariena, Spain - 4 of 5 - very specific fruit flavors but I couldn't put my finger on it. Very impressive. light mouth feel, great acidity & balance with the fruit. A great Wednesday night wine. ($8.99!!)

Marquesde Riscal Reserva 2000 Rioja, Spain - 3 of 5 - dirty, tobacco-y, tempranillo-y. very good varietal charecter.

Borsao 2004 Campo de Borja Spain - no rating - bright, light, acidic with grapefruit hints, almost un-ripe blackberries.

Bodegas Castano Hecula 2003 Yecla, Spain - no rating- black berries & licorice with a lice lingering finish.

Vina Rey "70 Barricas" Tempranillo 2003 Madrid, Spain - 3 of 5 - a fruity Tempranillo with hint of damp basement on the nose.

Vina Rey Crianza Tempranillo 2002 Madrid, Spain - 3 of 5 - red berries, spice with a nice hint of vanilla in the finish. more concentrated than the "70 Barricas".

Altos de Nunez Mencia 2002 Bierzo D.O., Spain - 4 of 5 - this one was a fantastic, rustic old world wine. petting zoo, Funk (my notes have this in BIG all caps) & berries on the nose. all this is backed up on the palate with a nice drawn out finish. My notes also say 'GET THIS!!!'.


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