Great and credible information with a fresh approach about Portuguese and Spanish wine and food. Not to mention, fantastic info about new trends as well as age-old traditions from the vibrant Iberian peninsula.
Bento Amaral https://www.ivdp.pt/

Spanish Bodega Profile – Bodegas Tintoralba – DO Almansa

Bodegas Tintoralba

D.O./D.O.C/D.O.Ca: Almansa / Albacete (Castilla la Mancha)
Address: B.G. Sáez, 34, Higueruela, 02694
Telephone: +34 967 287 012
Fax: +34 967 287 031
Email: comercial@tintoralba.com
Web Page: www.tintoralba.com
Date Bodega was Founded: 1958
Hectares of Vines: 2600 hectares
Grape Varieties Grown: Garnacha Tintorera, Syrah
Production in Liters: 10,000,000
Enologist(s): Pedro Sarrión
Wines:Higueruela (Red & Rose), Tintoralba Roble, Tintoralba Crianza, Tintoralba Crianza, Selección, Tintoralba Dulce, Loma Gorda
Importers:Grapes of Spain (USA)

Short History Provided by the Bodega:
BODEGA TINTORALBA belongs to the ALMANSA denomination of origin, which is in the eastern part of the province of Albacete, only 100 km from the Mediterranean Sea.

Our region lies at an altitude of between 900 and 1,100 metres. The shallow limestone soils have a sandy texture and very little organic material. The continental climate is harsh and dry, with extremely cold winters and summers that are very hot during the day and cool at night. These conditions favour a longer ripening process.

These extreme soil and climate growing conditions result in low yields and favour the ripening process, giving the grape more colour, tannins and aromas. They also help the berry to demonstrate its true genetic properties.

The secret behind our great wines lies in the perfect combination of the best growing techniques and painstaking production.

At the Santa Quiteria cooperative winery, our innovative technical team not only carries out exhaustive controls of our vineyards, but they are also doing a great deal of research in the winemaking and viticulture sector, such as the experimental planting of Petit Verdot and Tannat.

We use state-of-the-art technology for our wine making and ageing process.

Over the years we have built up over 2,600 hectares of our own vineyards, an exceptional achievement due to both their size and quality.

Catavino Notes:

These wines are in one word, outstanding! The real story, however, revolves around the grape varietal, Garnacha Tintorerra, also known as Alicante Bouschet. During the time of prohibition in the States, this grapes was grown widely throughout California due to its high productivity and deep color. It is one of the few grapes that not only has a red skin, but also red pulp, producing incredibly dark colored wine. During prohibition, you could actually order a case of Alicante Bouschet from California, which would arrive to your doorstep containing very detailed instructions as how to not allow your grapes to miraculously turn into wine. The instructions were so detailed that you might get a little confused for how not to make wine for instructions on how too make wine.

Anyways, Tintoralba is making wine from this grape which in the US at least gained a bad reputation as a grape that could make dark wines though somewhat boring with low acidity and neutral flavors. Sadly this has caused the grape to get a bad name. If elaborated with modern wine making techniques, this grape can make wines that are deep, rich, complex and have the ability to age for many years.

Make sure to pick up a bottle or two of these the next time you see them. They are VERY affordable, but keep aware of the nondescript labeling, because they may not jump off the shelf while your perusing your wine store. Two years ago, Robert Parker lavished high points on these wine and they disappeared off the shelves around the globe. This year, however, they didn’t make it into the latest round of Spanish wine ratings, thus ensuring that their prices will remain affordable and easy to find. Imported by Grapes of Spain, I believe these wines are available in over 25 states and throughout much of Europe.

At the bottom, I’m including a TN for their sweet wine. It’s not as widely available as some of their other wines, but it’s still a fantastic wine to keep a look out for.

Cheers,

Ryan Opaz

Gabriella’s Tasting Notes

  • 2002 Bodegas Tintoralba Almansa Crianza – Spain, Castilla-La Mancha, Almansa (7/6/2007)
    80% Garnacha Tintorera y 20% Syrah.
    Dark blackish purple with an amazingly rich and dark nose. When I think of this wine, I only think midnight and tar. Black pepper, charred steak, pure rich chocolate, exotic arab spices, black olives and tobacco on the nose. At first sip, the fruit is completely hidden behind layers of spices, but in time, blueberries, mushrooms and charcoal leap forward. Great body and structure with medium acidity. 4/5
  • 2006 Bodegas Tintoralba Almansa Higueruela – Spain, Castilla-La Mancha, Almansa (7/6/2007)
    100% Garnacha
    Not a bad wine, but nothing I would scream “eureka!” over. Aromas of black cherry cough syrup, cigar, red bib lettuce, and black licorice. Medium to light body and acidity. Very one-dimensional and uninteresting. Fine for a pizza dinner, but nothing I would suggest for a festive wine-focused evening. 3/5
  • 2006 Bodegas Tintoralba Almansa Higueruela – Spain, Castilla-La Mancha, Almansa (7/9/2007)
    Dark inky red rose that contains aromas of, I kid you not, Luden’s cough drops and maybe a touch of white rose petals. It is a very one dimensional wine that is straight-forward, dry and austure. It could be a nice addition to a light crisp summer salad or grilled white fish, but not a wine I would drink as an aperitif. 2.5/5

Ryan’s Tasting Notes

  • 2002 Bodegas Tintoralba Almansa Crianza – Spain, Castilla-La Mancha, Almansa (7/4/2007)
    Ruby color with notes of black pepper, rich black olive, chocolate, a bit of barnyard and red fruit coating the background. Spicy in the mouth with herbal notes, bright acidity, and nice chocolate/charcoal flavors. Overall fruit driven wine though more a medley of red fruits than anything specific.4/5
  • 2006 Bodegas Tintoralba Almansa Higueruela – Spain, Castilla-La Mancha, Almansa (7/4/2007)
    Rich dark purple color. The nose is a strange one with sweet tobacco, black cherry, anise and more. Medium to light body with candied cherrry and vanilla flavors. Overall a very enjoyable wine for everyday consumption. 3/5
  • N.V. Bodegas Tintoralba Almansa Dulce – Spain, Castilla-La Mancha, Almansa (6/26/2007)
    Rich nose on this wine that shows pepper(light), cherries, and port wine all layered over a minerally earth. Soft in the mouth with medium acidity and low tannins, the flavors are somewhat one dimensional but delicious. Rich pure cherry fruit that is not cloying but rather coats your tongue like a warm blanket, and leaves you with a lingering richness. Really a fun wine, amazing no, but Lots of fun! 3.5/5
  • 2002 Bodegas Tintoralba Almansa Crianza Seleccion – Spain, Castilla-La Mancha, Almansa (7/9/2007)
    This is a big wine that only really begins to show it’s worth after an hour or two open. A nose that is intense and develops nicely showing at first cashew nuttiness, tar, black chocolate, dark fruits and oak, but gives way to blueberry spice, black cherry and Asian spices. Very tanninc and with an overall medium acidity, the palate is hard to break into. Chocolate, oakd, dark fruits, and with time anise, and more defined cherry, berry and more. This opens VERY nicely. 3.5/5
  • 2006 Bodegas Tintoralba Almansa Higueruela – Spain, Castilla-La Mancha, Almansa (7/9/2007)
    Intense red color color and very clear. The cherry twizzler nose is not only reminiscent of childhood, but very one dimensional and easy to understand. Very dry in the mouth with an intense concentration of flavors. Austere, with cherry, and grape flavovrs making this a very primary wine. Med to light acidity shows that it really is a wine for sipping on a summer day. 2.5/5