Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Taste of Spain: #2 of 5

Hello wine lovers. I hope you're enjoying the tour of Spain thus far...but remember there's plenty more to come. Grape Nut and I wanted to try to give you as many duel tastings for Spain as possible, so here is yet another one. This too is a bottle we had at the dinner party Grape Nut mentioned...is was served with lamb chops (season three different ways), veggies and some delicious horseradish mashed potatoes.

Quite honestly, of all the wines we drank that night (I lost track at 7), this Spanish Merlot was the one I enjoyed most. Perhaps adding to the enjoyment is the fact that getting a Spanish Merlot can be a difficult task since Merlot makes up only 2% of the wine produced in Spain. So this was a rare treat for me, and you'll see in the notes that it did not disappoint. Anyway, to the notes we go...

The Wine: Castillo de Monjardin Deyo Merlot
Country: Spain
Region: Navarra
Category: Merlot
Vintage: 2002
Price: $18.99
Decanted of not: No

Tasting Notes:

The Color: Deep ruby red

The Nose:
The Vine Guy: Beautiful bouquet of ripe dark fruit: cherries, plum and currants. Nice spice and oak.
Grape Nut: Lots of fruit, smells of currants, raspberries, other red fruits

The Taste:
The Vine Guy: Full and savoury in the mouth. Lots of sweet, juicy fruit up front. It starts rich and smooth. Nice touch of spice, and very slight oak lead to a long velvety finish. Aftertaste brings back a blast of the fruits. Delicious!

Grape Nut: Nice silky texture, great mouth feel, fruit upfront with currants and other red fruit; long finish with an earthy, chalky dryness.

The Verdict:
The Vine Guy: 8 corks (would be 8 1/2 if we used half points)
Grape Nut: 8 corks



Sergeant-At-Arms said...

You do make it sound very good.

Why are so few Spanish-based wines based on the Merlot grape?

Is it the weather or geography, or a personal prejudice on behalf of Spaniards?

The Vine Guy said...

Well the most likely reasons are that Merlot is not a domestic grape, and Spain's extreme climactic conditions - very different from the French wine regions where the Merlot grape thrives. It's also important to point out that in Spain, as with many european wine countires, there are laws that dictate which grape varieties one is allowed to use when producing wine. For exapmple, in the Rioja region of Spain the law permits the use of four red grape varieties. Tempranillo is the primary grape used, followed by Garnacha (also known as Grenache), Graciano and Mazuelo.

It's also important to realize that outside of Rioja, the history of grape growing is not as long lived as you would think. In fact, the Ribeira del Duero region, which is gaining in popularity, wasn't granted official status until 1982. In addition to the traditional Spanish grapes, other grape varieties used in Ribera del Duero include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Garnacha. The same can be said for the Navarra region, which is where our bottle came from. Note that while Merlot and Cab Sauv are increasingly used in Spain, they are still not commonly used as the primary grape variety, hence making bottles very rare.

Long winded asnwer to a simple question, I guess

Sergeant-At-Arms said...

Wow. I had no idea the country dictated which grapes are used.

The Vine Guy said...

Yes indeed...think of it like the USDA.

Copo de 3 said...

Thats the difference between the new and the old world wines...

The Vine Guy said...


If we do Portugal for our wine tour next week, would you like to do a guest review from Lisbon? Maybe one of your favorites?

Copo de 3 said...

No problem, i´ll taste a lot of wines in the next Weekend then i´ll do a review from some of the best a tasted.

The Vine Guy said...

Great! I look forward to it.