Cariñena’s ready to Take Center Stage
Comments from our recent Blogger Roundtable Introduction of the wines of Cariñena
In late June I had the extreme good fortune of being invited to participate in an online tasting of wines from Cariñena, a region in Spain. This event was organized by Snooth and Greg Dal Piaz. This wasn't your usual online Twitter based tasting or even one with someone in front of a camera leading the event and doing all the talking. This was a true roundtable event. We all connected to a Google+ Hangout with our own audio and video feed. Whenever one of us talked, everyone's video feed would switch to the person "with the floor". This was my first experience with this format, but I'm sure it won't be my last. There are limitations in the number of concurrent video feeds allowed in the session, but for events with under a dozen participants, this platform should be outstanding.
This is a blend of 85% Syrah and 15% Garnacha. The wine has 13.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.
The wine is a medium ruby red color. The intriguing nose has cherries, minerals, white pepper, blackberries, licorice and dried violets. This is barely medium body with moderate tannins and crisp acidity. On the palate tart cherries and minerals jump out first with licorice and a floral note coming in later. The finish has decent length with a cranberry note joining the show. This needs some food to help keep the acidity in check. (88 pts)
This is a 50-50 blend of Tempranillo and Cabernet. The wine has 13.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.
The wine is a medium to deep ruby red color. The inviting nose has cherries, cassis, dried herbs, crushed stone minerals, baking spices, dark chocolate, fresh thyme and a touch of cedar. This has medium body with soft tannins and slightly soft acidity. Juicy cherries and berries with baking spices coat the palate with minerals and dark chocolate coming in on the back end. The sappy finish adds some cedar. I'd like a bit more grip on the back end and finish, as is it gets a touch soft. (88 pts)
This wine has 14.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.
The wine is a deep ruby red color. The appealing nose has cherries, white pepper, vanilla, wild flowers, baking spices and a touch of dark chocolate. This has medium body with moderate tannins and good acidity. Spicy cherries and white pepper pop out first on the palate with a floral note coming out on the backend. The finish has decent length with a touch of earthiness adding some depth. Not bad but not really showing anything special at this time, I'm sure this will be better down the road. (89 pts)
This wine has 13.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.
The wine is a bright ruby red color. The inviting nose has cherries, blackberries, white pepper, crushed stone minerals, mint, vanilla, plums and candied violets. This is barely medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity. On the palate zippy fruit and white pepper jump out first with minerals, plums and mint coming in later. The finish has good length with a nice floral note entering the picture. This is a solid effort. (90 pts)
This wine has 14.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.
The wine is a medium garnet color. The impressive nose has cherries, black raspberries, licorice, white pepper, cocoa powder, vanilla and candied violets. This has medium body with soft velvety tannins and decent acidity. Rich, ripe berries, spice and cherries coat the palate initially and grudgingly allowing some white pepper and cocoa powder to slip through on the back end. A candied floral nose enters the picture on the finish which has decent length. This is an easy drinking wine with slightly low acidity and just a touch of sweetness. (87 pts)
This wine has 13.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork. Per Greg this is only$7 but appears to be available only at Trader Joes. If you see this wine at that price, grab a case, you won't be sorry.
The wine is a medium to deep ruby red color. The enticing nose has black cherries, raspberries, minerals, baking spices, cedar, white pepper, and dried violets. This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity. On the palate spicy cherries and raspberries hit upfront with minerals and spicy oak coming in later. The finish has good length with some subtle earthiness and white pepper adding nice depth. (90 pts)
I was already fairly familiar with the region and in fact have had prior vintages of half these wines. This is a very unique region, some of the wineries are very "old school" and others are adopting the practices of the "new world" regions.
Every one of these wines were distinctive. They had the "personality" and nuances to satisfy any wine lover but would easily satisfy even a novice wine sipper in any friendly gathering.