For this Wine Blog Wednesday Gastronomie has laid down the challenge of finding a wine with less than 250 cases produced. In the land of Spain this is not a challenge, as many wine makers experiment with the extra juice they produce trying to find new things to make. On the other hand it is sometimes hard to find these wines for sale in the local stores. Most of the time these wines are sold at the properties. I was fortunate to have a friend help find me today’s wine who can claim just over 223 cases produced (I’m assuming that we are all talking of 12 bottle cases!) from La Rioja. The best part though is that this wine is not made with Tempranillo, in fact, not even blended with it. I say the best part not because I don’t like Tempranillo, but rather that I enjoy it when I find something out of the ordinary that I might not expect. Some of you may know that in La Rioja there are 7 principle grapes allowed:
Principal White grapes: Viura-, Malvasía Riojana, Garnacha Blanca
Principal Red grapes: Tempranillo, Graciano, Garnacha, Mazuela
Along with these there are the following grapes allowed on an experimental basis. This category does change from time to time, and I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that many more than just the ones listed below are being experimented with as we speak.
Experimental White grapes: Maturana, Tempranillo Blanco
Experimental Red grapes: Maturana Tinta, Monastel de Rioja
This wine 100% Garnacha is in fact the second wine that I have had from La Rioja without Tempranillo, the other was about 2 months ago, and unfortunately I don’t have notes. Though I do remember it being a little younger than this one with more body and a strong presence of black pepper. I had it at a dinner party and it really was a crowd favorite. So thanks to Gastronomie for the fun challenge and introducing us all to some unique wines from around the world!
Till soon, Ryan Opaz
- 2001 Reserva y Cata, Crianza, Lindes Del río Molina – Spain, La Rioja (11/2/2005)
Lindes means Border in Spanish so this wine refers to a group of vines that follow along the border with the River Molina. Only 2880 bottles (223+cases) produced for Reserva y Cata wine shop in Madrid. Not very concentrated in color but still a nice pure purple color. At first the nose showed sour earth, but this blew off with a little time giving way to some vanilla, oak, black pepper, currant, and some black cherry.(with more time milk chocolate like aromas emerged) Soft in the mouth, the acidity is medium with tannins that are fully integrated and it has a short but pleasant finish. Nice cherry flavors with light spices, some milk chocolate, earth and vanilla-oak. This wine is fully mature and I would probably pair it with light pork dishes.