December 15, 2011: Wines of Spain and Argentina

The wines for this week’s tasting are all brand-new to the state and include some incredible values from both Spain and Argentina. All of the selections are from red varietals; the Spanish wines include a Monastrell, Garnacha, and blend of the two, while the Argentinean wines are all Malbec-based.

Bodegas Juan Gil of Spain was established in 1916 when Juan Gil Gimenez, great-grandfather of the present generation, started building a winery in the heart of Jumilla. Today the fourth-generation is committed to quality, consumer loyalty, tradition and modernity. Monastrell (a.k.a. Mourvedre) is the principal grape variety of the estate; they aim to use traditional winemaking methods combined with modern technology to create wines in which the fruit characters prevail. Tomorrow night we will try some of their entry-level wines (one is brand-new to our House Wine selection) that are $8.99 and $9.99 for the tasting.

The Argentinean wines are imported by Vineyard Brands and include two labels, Tintonegro and Angulo Innocenti. We will sample three wines for the tasting, all Malbec-based and all aged in oak barrel. The entry-level Tintonegro Malbec was featured at our recent Holiday Tasting and was such a big hit we thought we’d give it another go-round this Thursday; the Tintonegro Co-Ferment is a Malbec-based blend in which the three varieties that comprise the wine were fermented together creating a richer, more textured and complex offering. Lastly, the Angulo Innocenti is owned by third-generation Italian immigrants and is a very rich and tasty wine for a great price.

This week’s wine selection includes some outstanding values, ranging in price from $8.99-$15.99 tomorrow night. The tasting will be free of charge in celebration of the Holidays- we hope you will join us!

The specific wines for the tasting are:

Bodegas Juan Gil Comoloco Monastrell 2010– Jumilla, Spain. Juicy, perfumed scents of sweet cherry and ripe berry fruits greet the nose. On the palate the wine is light- to medium-bodied with bright berry fruit flavors and notes of gentle spice. A mild offering that is an excellent value. Tasting $8.99

Bodegas Juan Gil Honoro Vera Garnacha 2010– Calatayud, Spain. Ripe blueberry and sweet berry fruit aromas are enhanced with hints of kitchen spices and underlying mineral notes. It is easy-to-drink and mouth-coating with fruity flavors and a sweet, plum-filled finish. This great value is new to our House Wine selection. Tasting $8.99

Laya Red 2009– Almansa, Spain. A blend of 70% Garnacha and 30% Monastrell from vineyards planted between 700-1000 meters above sea level. Dark fruit scents of cherry and briary berry fruits marry with floral notes to create a fresh and complex aroma. It is full-bodied on the palate with firm tannins and nice balance followed by a lingering finish. An outstanding value. Tasting $9.99

Tintonegro Malbec 2010– Mendoza, Argentina. Aged for 6 months in French and American oak, 10% new. Berry fruit and spicy scents are abundant on the friendly nose. It is ripe and approachable on the palate with jammy fruit notes and a round, berry-filled finish. Another great value. Tasting $8.99

Tintonegro Co-Ferment Malbec 2010– Mendoza, Argentina. A blend of 90% Malbec, 7% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot that aged for 12 months in French oak, 30% new. Co-ferment means that the grapes fermented together (as opposed to separate fermentation prior to blending) which they believe lends additional intensity and structure to the finished wine. It is dark purple/red in color with scents of plum and black fruits with floral hints. The wine is mouth-coating on the palate with good complexity and balance. Tasting $15.99

Angulo Innocenti Malbec 2010– La Consulta, Mendoza, Argentina. A blend of 85% Malbec and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon that aged in French oak barrel, 20% new. It is very dark opaque purple in color with deep aromas of coffee, dark chocolate, and spices. It is full-bodied and nicely textured with sweet fruit undertones and firm tannin followed by a long, lingering finish. Tasting $15.99

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