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Last Week's Two Tastings
Jorge Ordonez’s Classic Spanish Wines (Wednesday) + Leeuwin Estate’s “Distinct Esthetic” with Owner-Director Simone Horgan (Friday)
October 9, 2019
Last Wednesday we tasted some of best wines from importer Jorge Ordonez’s Spanish portfolio. Jorge’s son and daughter, Victor and Monica, led us through the tasting. Friday, a taster paid the range of Leeuwin wines one of the highest compliments that one can give: “The wines keep reveling new flavors the longer they are in the glass."
Jorge Ordonez’s Classic Spanish Wines
Last week we tasted some of best wines from importer Jorge Ordonez’s Spanish portfolio. Jorge’s son and daughter, Victor and Monica, led us through the tasting.
We began with a serious white. The 2017 Avancia Godello is the richest version of this grape variety I know. The intensity and creamy texture of the wine is a result of very old vines as well as the terroir of the vineyard. Think Seafood Paella.
Four reds were principally Tempranillo with one very old vine Garnacha. As a matter of fact, one of the shared characteristics of these wines is that they are made from old vines, some are more than 100 years. The 2015 Ordonez Toro Vatan is made with Tinta de Toro, the clone of Tempranillo in the Toro region. This tends to give a richer wine . As this one opened up it got more and more appreciation. The 2015 Bodegas Breca Brega is made with the original clone of Garnacha and showed real depth richness. Like the Godello, this is a serious version of its type.
The next three wines were all from Rioja. The 2016 Senorio de San Vincente is a single vineyard 100% Tempranillo from the Sierra Cantabria winery. Besides the intense fruit and spice this wine showed an amazingly balanced structure. The 2011 Muga Prado Enea Rioja Gran Reserva. Has over the years been my favorite Spanish red. This is a wine that perfectly expresses the elegant style of Rioja with complexity and balance. We decided to put a little age on the table with the 2006 Vinedos De Paganos El Puntido Rioja Gran Reserva. This showed a boatload of tertiary complexity and still retained a sense of freshness.
The Alvear Solera 1927 PX is a remarkably rich and complex sweet sherry. The flavors and aromas just keep flowing and changing
One taster commented that this was one of the best tastings we have done. We would like to thank Monica and Victor for that. Viva Espana!
2017 Avancia Godello: Straw with gold highlights. Apple, peach and pear notes with a touch of cedar. Green herbs show up in the full bodied layered texture and long finish. Excellent 34/bottle 30.60/mixed case 28.90/case
2015 Ordonez Toro Vatan: Bright ruby. Cherries, forest floor and asian spice in a wine that is just starting to open up. Admirable concentration and a long floral finish. Excellent 48/bottle 43.20/mixed case 40.80/case
2015 Bodegas Breca Brega: Deep Ruby. Rich aromas and flavors of raspberry, truffle, kirsch and lavender. Textured layers of fruit and balsa and a full flavored finish. Excellent 48/bottle 43.20/mixed case 40.80/case
2016 Senorio di San Vincente Rioja: Deep cherry. Spicy and floral deep red fruit. Good intensity and fresh powerful structure. Long finish. Excellent 64/bottle 57.60/mixed case 54.40/case
2011 Muga Prado Enea Rioja Gran Reserva: Ruby. Blackberry and forest fruit with plums and toasty tobacco. Fresh well integrated acidity, a very pleasant mouthfeel and a lingering complex finish. Excellent to Superb. 86/bottle 77.40/mixed case 73.10/case
2006 Vinedos De Paganos El Puntido Rioja Gran Reserva: Ruby with tan rim. Complex aromas including fresh fruit and balsam. White pepper, lavender and flowers blend with herbs and toast. Very long fresh finish. Excellent 64/bottle 57.60/mixed case 54.40/case
10/9 Spanish case: Two bottles of each of the above for a special price of $585
10/9 Spanish pack: One bottle of each of the above for a special price of $310
Alvear Solera 1927 PX : Excellent 32/bottle 28.88/mixed case 27.20/case
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Leeuwin Estate’s “Distinct Esthetic”
With Owner-Director Simone Horgan
A taster last week paid the range of Leeuwin wines one of the highest compliments that one can give.; “The wines keep reveling new flavors the longer they are in the glass .This developing and shape-changing is one mark of as truly fine wine. The Leeuwin wines all showed a complexity and intriguing progression of flavors that invited many back for repeated tastes.
Many people for describe the Leeuwin style as more Old World then New, by which they mean that the winds are more of poise then creatures of brute fruit. I think that understates what makes these wines so special.
Leeuwin has been a pioneer in the current trend of making more nuanced, lovelier wines as opposed to the powerful behemoths that were the thing a decade or three ago. Their fine-ness is that their wines keep character and grape typicity while being seductively lovely on the palate. Their achieve is that they create out of strongly flavored grapes like Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Cabernet the kind of elegance that is more often sought in Pinot Noir.
Of course they are famous for their Art Series Chardonnay. The 2015 we tasted impressed the tasters with its harmonious cavalcade of flavors that unveiled nuances of oak, pure fruit, a beveled acidity and degree of mineralogy.
Just as impressive were the 2014 Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon and 2014 Art Series Shiraz which repeated the same qualities. Although true to their grape varieties, they would never be mistaken for renditions of their grapes in Australia, America, or France.
The Art Series Riesling and Siblings Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon were more direct in their varietal expressions with the same prettily toned, sculpted register of flavors .
18 years ago Simone's father, Denis did much the same tasting with us as she did last week. Good as the winds were then, they are much, much finer now. They have gained in elegance, Nuance, and purity without losing anything of character. If you know them you should add these to your seller. If you don't , you should try them.
2017 Art Series Riesling “Bursting with vivid lime, white grapefruit and citrus skin flavors on a mouthwateringly crisp frame, with touches of lemon verbena lingering” Wine Spectator 16.99; Mixed Case, 15.29; Case, 14.44
2016 Siblings Semillon Sauvignon Blanc “delicate notes of tomato leaf alongside hints of white currants and grapefruit. It's medium-bodied, with a certain plump succulence to the mid-palate and a long, grassy finish. It should drink well for another few years.” Wine Advocate 17.99; Mixed Case, 16.19; Case, 15.29
2015 Art Series Chardonnay “ reveals mille-feuille layers of heady oak that's smoky with a kiss of sweet spices, joined by rock melon, grainy dried pear, peach, green pineapple, nougat and buttered popcorn. A relentless push of grapefruity acidity leavens and provides backbone and drive to this focussed wine. Decanter 85; Mixed Case, 76.5; Case, 72.25
2014 Art Series Cabernet. Sauvignon “Stylish, fresh and vibrant, with taut cherry and currant flavors at the core, accented by notes of pepper, tobacco and fresh herb. Finds a balance between density and polish. Cigar box details linger on the finish. Drink now through 2030.”Wine Spectator 53; Mixed Case, 47.70; Case, 45.05
2014 Art Series Shiraz “attractive spicy plum and blueberry characters. The palate has a lush texture that is medium-bodied yet concentrated, with restrained power and pleasing approachability” Decanter
“Spice, cedar and cream soda notes are generous and complement the fleshy, ripe raspberry, clove and cherry flavors at the core. Finishes with plenty of style and a fresh, vibrant detail” Wine Spectator 26.99; Mixed Case, 24.29; Case, 22.94
mix any 6- 11 of the above for 10% off
any 12 or more for 15% off
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Please pass this on to any friends who are wine enthusiasts!
- Len Rothenberg