Brett happens

All wine, most of the time

MWG October 17th tasting (3/5): Bierzo @ $20, $25 & $30

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Bierzo 2008, Men de Mencia, Pago del Vicario ($20.55, 11962715)
100% Mencía. Matured 12 months in French and Caucasian oak barrels. 13.5% ABV
Closed nose: earthy-verging-on-muddy plum and spice. Dense but fluid, with supple tannins, sleek acidity and dark minerals. The nose’s plums taste a little stewed. I’m not getting any oak and that’s a good thing. One-dimensional but not without appeal. (Buy again? Maybe.)

Bierzo 2008, El Castro de Valtuille, Bodegas y Viñedos Castro Ventosa ($25.60, 11155569)
100% Mencía from 70- to 80-year-old dry-farmed vines. Manually harvested. Fermented partly in French oak barrels. Matured 14 months in French oak barrels. Unfiltered. 14.5% ABV
Reeking of ethyl acetate, with a strong lipstick aroma. That slowly receded, allowing plum, black raspberry, pomegranate and some dried sweat to come through. Concentrated and fruity but not heavy. Tangy acidity, gritty tannins and a dusting of graphite and spice give the wine energy. Long and surprisingly fresh for such a high-alcohol wine. Seemed to strike a balance between the Men de Mencia’s plainness and the Carracedo’s high polish. Absent the EA, this would have been my wine of the flight. (Buy again? Assuming ours was an off bottle, yes.)

Bierzo 2007, Mencia, Carracedo, Bodega del Abad ($30.00, 11963478)
100% Mencía. Manually harvested. Macerated for ten days prior to fermentation. Ferementation lasted 12 days. Not subjected to harsh treatment. Matured 12 months in superfine grain Allier oak barrels with medium toast. Unfiltered. 14% ABV. Another of the Cellier New Arrivals wines.
Dark fruit, slate, spice, vanilla and, as our resident dill detector pointed out, a hint of that herb (in its dried form). Smooth and elegant. The whirl of fruit and earthy minerals is lifted by acidity, textured by velvety tannins. Sweet and spicy oak is definitely present but not overwhelming. Long, chewy finish. (Buy again? Maybe.)

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Written by carswell

October 25, 2013 at 12:23

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