Red wine, Spain, Tempranillo

Dacu 2010

Produced by: Bodegas Emeritas
Winemaker: Alberto Orte
Grape: 100% Tempranillo
Region: Ribera del Guadiana, Spain

I usually pick a bottle or two of my favorite Pinot Noir for the holidays. This year, I will make an exception, as I already purchased a case of this great, newly discovered wine! Tempranillo might be my favorite grape, but what is the most seductive about it is the fact that where ever it grows (throughout the Spain), it absorbs the characteristics of its origin.

(Interestingly enough, Spanish native Tempranillo doesn’t do that well anywhere outside of Spain). So let’s say comparing 100% Tempranillo wine from Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Toro or perhaps La Mancha – is like drinking four completely different wines.

Dacu isn’t exception to this rule. The grapes for this wine, although coming from a single-vineyard, are farmed on 3 different soil types (as the vineyard is divided), so it is also vinified in 3 different methods to suit the fruit from each soil type. Tempranillo vines are located altitude of 1,837 ft. above the sea level and showcase an entirely unique characteristics.

To preserve the excellence of the fruit, Alberto leaves wine in oak for the minimum time. Grapes are typically mixed with their skins for two weeks, with light soaking. After maceration and fermentation are complete, the wine undergoes malolactic fermentation in the barrel.
This superb, refreshing then wine ages for just three months in French ( 3 years old) oak barrels.

Ribera del Guadiana, the second largest appellation in Spain, is currently not very well known to many people, including some Spaniards. Bodegas Emeritas (formerly known as Bodegas Ortiz) was founded in 2007 by Jose Ortiz, Alberto Orte and Patrick Mata. Their goal was simple: to make an excellent value wine. Despite all the extensive labor and attention to every detail, this bottle is priced under $ 10.00. Yes, they keep their promise, and definitely over-delivered!!!

Tasting notes:
Beautiful clean, ruby color with lovely aroma of fresh fruit like raspberries and wild flowers. On the palate this is light – to medium body wine (as it is opening up) with sexy spice on the tongue. Completely unique, seductive flavors beautifully balanced with acidity.

If I didn’t know it spent a little time in oak, I would swear it was made in stainless steel or betonage, as you can hardly detect any signs of oaky flavors. All you taste is an excellent ripe fruit (like raspberries, cherries, even a little red plum or blueberry).

Dacu is a modern, vibrant, fresh deliciousness, with velvety delicate tannins. Wine is gaining body as it’s opening up in the glass.  In the price point (under $10.00) it is a steal for any appreciative wine enthusiast! Take a note, and go buy this new house wine of mine!

Dry – Off dry- Medium sweet – Sweet
Light – Medium – Full body
No oak – Aged in oak
Retail price: under $10.00

Ideal food pairing:
I already tried this wine with variety of food – latest with flat bread pizza with roasted peppers, red onions and mushrooms. This is extremely food friendly wine – and I am planning to pair it with my Thanksgiving dinner. I will let you know how that worked!

Red wine, Spain, Toro

Termes 2008

Produced: Bodegas Numanthia – Termes
Grape: Tinta de Toro (local clone of Tempranillo)
Region: Toro, Spain

Founded by Rioja’s family Eguren back in 1998 – this estate is situated in a small village in the Zamora province. My favorite Spanish winemaker Marcos Eguren knew the potential of Toro’s distinctive viticultural area. His goal was to produce the best possible wine of the Toro appellation.

Few years later, Numanthia and Thermanthia became a phenomenon and some of the highest rated Spanish wines in the history of Parker’s rating system. Numanthia was called “perhaps the most perfectionist wine of the appellation”. Numanthia quickly became an iconic wine and Toro established as a new star of Spanish appellations.

Few years ago was Numanthia, one of the most successful wine projects in the last several decades, purchased by Moët & Hennessy. The high standards for the quality of wine, set up in Numanthia, stayed firmly in place. Unlike their signature and award winning wines Numanthia and Termanthia, produced from very old vines and the best fruit of the appellation, Termes (could be called a baby Numanthia) doesn’t cost hundreds of dollars. It is also not defined for the top 2% of the most powerful wine collectors only.

Enjoying the same excellent quality of fruit, soil and winemaker’s skills, Termes is an affordable, great bottle of red, that reflects the Toro’s outstanding fruit. Still, this wine continuously receives high ratings (I don’t believe it ever scored bellow 90). That’s also one of the reasons, why there isn’t plenty of Termes sitting around. Low yields of its 30-year-old ungrafted vines are one of the most important attributes to high quality of this wine.

Tasting notes:
Dark ruby red color. Very aromatic wine, with a lot of ripe dark fruit on the nose. On the palate this is a powerful wine that makes a statement. Impressive but not overpowering, fruity up front with soft tannins and well balanced acidity.Concentrated flavors of dark berries, notes of dark chocolate, spice and dust of cocoa, so typical for Toro, and the never ending finish. Lovely wine, that deserves a steak to go with it. This wine always over-delivers and I believe it is an exceptional value for the quality in the bottle.Dry – Off dry – Medium sweet – Sweet
Light – Medium – Full body
No oak – Aged in oak

Retail price: under $ 24.00

Ideal food pairing:

Flank steak fajitasBeef Bourguignon, Beef Chorizo, aged cheeses, rich sausage, barbecue and more…