Ole Wine Imports is a unique portfolio of Spanish wines that was founded in 1999 with only 3 wines but has grown to over 100 wines today. It is co-owned by Spaniards Alberto Orte and Patrick Mata; Patrick’s family has been in the wine business in Spain for over 200 years. They seek to represent wines that share four fundamental elements: terroir, quality fruit, exceptional winemaking, and, most of all, wines that present excellent value. These high standards are what make Ole one of the best Spanish portfolios that we have access to- year after year they continue to over-deliver on price/quality ratio with numerous wines under $15 that continuously score 90+ points in publications such as Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. In fact, three of the red wines for the tasting scored 90 points or more. Another reason that Ole is one of the top Spanish importers is because they deal with small, family owned producers and limited-production wines, some of which are actually tiny production. You will see below that the number of cases made and number imported to the U.S. is listed for most of the Ole Wines. It is truly incredible just how small the production levels of some are- for example, we have one in stock right now, Sketch Albarino (a wine that aged in bottle for 90 days at 60 feet under the sea), of which 100 4-pack cases were made and 25 imported into the States, and another, Vizcarra Ines, of which 380 3-pack cases were made and 30 imported. In the wine business, we constantly discuss limited-production wines that are “hard to get” or “limited availability” in the context that they are almost completely unattainable in the retail market. I can’t think of many, if any, wines that are available (in the retail market) with smaller production levels than the Sketch, Vizcarra Ines, and many of the other specialty wines that are represented by Ole.
For more information about Ole Wine Imports visit www.olewines.com.
The whites we will sample this week include an Albarino from Rias Baixas (imported by C.I.V. USA) and a Godello made by Ladera Sagrada of Valdeorras (northwest Spain near Rias Baixas). For the reds we will try an inexpensive Tempranillo from Madrid, a higer-end Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero that scored 92 points in the Wine Advocate, a great-value blend from Priorat that scored 90 in the Wine Advocate, and a Monastrell from Yecla that also received 90 points. This tasting presents great range of style and price as well as an excellent introduction to a few of the lesser-known regions of Spain. The majority of the wines for tomorrow night range in price from $6.99-$13.99, while one, the 92 point Ribera del Duero, is $23.99. The $6.99 offering is a Tempranillo imported by Ole that could potentially be a new “House Wine”- we are interested in your input and hope you will join us for an excellent line-up.
The specific wines for the tasting are:
Adega Condes de Albarei ‘Salneval’ Albarino 2010– Rias Baixas. Albarino is indigenous to the northwestern region of Rias Baixas that separates Spain from Portugal. This example, 100% Albarino, is straw-yellow in color with pleasant floral aromas and scents of peach and citrus fruit. It is light- to medium-bodied with gentle acid on the palate, good balance and fresh fruit flavors, finishing with great length and an easy-to-drink quality.
Ladera Sagrada ‘Papa’ Godello 2010– Valdeorras. 100% Godello sourced from estate-grown vines over 25 years-old planted in a vineyard of slate and granite filled with herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and oregano. It fermented with native yeasts and aged in stainless steel without malolactic fermentation. Aromas of melon, spring flowers, mineral, tropical fruits and hints of spice inform the nose that this is a terroir-driven wine. This complex white drinks like a white Burgundy- it is fresh and complex with salty/mineral notes that linger on the balanced, concentrated, and focused finish. 88 Wine Advocate. Imported by Ole Wines. 1,800 cases made- 950 for the U.S.
Bodegas Enguera ‘Flaco’ Tempranillo 2010– Madrid. 100% Tempranillo that vinified and aged in a combination of stainless steel and concrete tanks, 10,000 liter capacity each, to emphasize the pure fruit flavors and youth of the grape. It is ruby red in color with a nose of dark, ripe fruits such as plum, black cherry, and strawberry hints, with notes of spice and dried herbs. On the palate it is gentle with good texture, gentle acid, and red berry flavors. The finish is light with bright, ripe fruit flavors. An incredible value. Flaco means “dude” in English. Imported by Ole Wines.
Bodegas Vizcarra Ramos J.C. Vizcarra 2008– Ribera del Duero. 100% Tempranillo from estate-grown grapes that were gently extracted using only gravity. It aged for 15 months in 50% new French and American oak. Glass-coating and opaque purple in color, this excellent value is a powerful, yet elegant and balanced example of Ribera del Duero. It’s expressive bouquet of blackberry and black cherry fruit is layered with scents of toasted bread, pencil lead, Asian spices, and lavender hints. On the palate it is ripe, succulent, and structured with excellent balance and a lengthy finish. It will age for another 2-3 years and should drink nicely until 2020. 2008 was a moderately challenging vintage, therefore the J.C. Vizcarra was the recipient of all the juice that otherwise would have gone into the estate’s upper-tier wines. 92 Wine Advocate. Imported by Ole Wines. 1,500 cases made- 750 for the U.S.
Bodegas La Cartuja 2009– Priorat. A blend of 50% Garnacha, 30% Mazuelo (Carignan), 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Syrah that aged for 8 months, half in 225-liter and half in 300-liter French oak barrels. It is an estate-bottled, organic, small-production cuvee, that shows the bold fruit, spice, and mineral complexity of Priorat in a youthful and approachable style. Scents of black cherry and plum fruit are offset with notes of graphite, spice box, and mineral. It is mouthfilling and concentrated on the palate with plush, sweet fruit, and nice balance of acidity and ripe tannins. Will provide drinking pleasure for the next 5-6 years. This amazing value, great introduction to Priorat received 90 points in the Wine Advocate. Imported by Ole Wines. 3,000 cases made- 1,350 cases for the U.S.
Vinos Sin-Ley M5 Monastrell 2009– Yecla. 100% Monastrell (Mourvedre) that aged for 3 months in French oak barrels that are 2 years old. Dark purple in color, the nose offers deep scents of blueberry and blackberry with a hint of cedar. On the palate it is succulent and rich with more ripe fruit and mineral undertones followed by a smooth and lengthy finish filled with delicious black fruit flavors. An outstanding value that over delivers in a big way. 90 Wine Advocate. Imported by Ole Wines. 2,100 cases made- 1,350 for the U.S.