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MWG January 10th tasting (5/7): Three easy-drinking southern European reds

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Vino de la tierra de Castilla 2011, Bobal, Pedro Calabuig/Bodegas de Levante ($15.00, La QV, 12 bottles/case)
100% organically farmed old-vine Bobal. 12.5% ABV.
Spicy red plum and black raspberry, pepper, fresh ground beef, slate. Medium-bodied with a slightly velvety texture, supple, finely astringent tannins and brisk acidity. Earthy yet not without a certain elegance. Perhaps a tad less rich than the 2010 but every bit as drinkable. Food-friendly and excellent bang for the buck; the weekday wine par excellence. (Buy again? Multiples.)

Côtes du Rhône 2010, Petit Jo, Domaine de la Roche Buissière ($20.00, La QV, 12 bottles/case)
Natural. The estate has been certified organic (Ecocert) since 1980. All the wines are made with manually harvested grapes, fermented with indigenous yeasts, unfiltered, unfined. They contain no added sulphur and are vegan-friendly. The Petit Jo is a blend of Grenache (70%) and Syrah (30%). Nearly three-quarters of the wine is vinified like most Beaujolais, i.e. using carbonic maceration, to maximize the fruitiness.  13.5% ABV.
Attractive nose of fig, grape, turned earth, violet. Clean, sweet-and-sour fruit, a fluid texture, light tannins and bright acidity add up to a lip-smacking vin plaisir. Throw-backable in that tart and juicy way we love. (Buy again? Definitely.)

Côtes du Rhône 2010, Le Claux, Domaine de la Roche Buissière ($29.30, La QV, 6 bottles/case)
Natural. This 13.5% ABV wine is 100% Grenache, which surprises me since it has a very fresh, Syrah-like nose.
Red berries, animale, dried rose. More substantial and polished than the Petit Jo. Intensely fruity but dry. Peppery (like all good Grenache) with gleaming acidity, a fine if tight structure and good length. Perhaps a little on the pricey side but very satisfying. (Buy again? Yep.)

Written by carswell

January 28, 2013 at 17:41

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