Tag Archives: Spain

Weekly Wine – Candidato (again)

12 Jul

Candidato Oro Tempranillo Garnacha, Vdt Castilla
13% ABV
$7.65 (LCBO)

I reviewed this wine three years ago.
Nearly to the day in fact.
A lot has happened in the past three years – the most notable is that this wine is five (5) cents cheaper.
Very little has gotten less expensive in the past three years. Yet this wine is less expensive. \

It is Spanish wine. From Spain.
A few years ago I was confused because it was so cheap and yet quite good.
Cheap it still is – even cheaper.
Taste wise – it is quite pronounced. It is dry. Acidic. Spicy – the result of tepranillo and garnacha grapes.
But I am not as enthralled by this wine now as I was back then. Is it the vintage – perhaps. But I feel that it is the essence of the wine.
This is a good wine. An interesting wine. It is a wine that is honest – it is meant to be drunk – in a field, in a café, with friends. This is not a wine with airs of pretention. It is a bit rough around the edges – but it is a good wine.
It is meant to be had and enjoyed.


Weekly Wine – Mediterranean

22 Feb

Rene Barbier Mediterranean White, Catalunya
Year: N/A
11.5% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

When I bought this wine I thought it was called  Mediterraneo – this is the name of one of my favourite movies. It is about a band of misfit Italian soldiers sent to occupy an Greek island.
The label reminds me of an iconic scene in the movie Shirley Valentine – again the setting is in Greece.
This wine is Spanish. From Catalunya to be precise. On the other end of the Mediterranean.
But it is good light white wine. A little acidic but quite pleasing on the palate. There are hints of citrus and sweet grasses. The wine is truly refreshing with a flavour that is light and sublime. I can imagine myself sitting by the Mediterranean on a chair as depicted on the label quaffing this wine.
There is no year or grape listed on the bottle and that is usually an indication of a cheaply made consumer wine. This may be under ten bucks but it sure don’t taste cheap.
It is quite impressive that you can get this good quality wine at this price.

Weekly Wine – “Real” Sangria

13 Jul

RealSangReal Sangria Spain
Year: N/A
10% ABV
$9.05 (LCBO)

Oh the disappointment.
I really thought I would get some “real” sangria with this bottle.
After all – it was/is from Spain – the spiritual home of sangria.
But instead, I’m drinking a wine cooler. So sweet I want to brush my teeth. Twice.
It does not taste like it is infused with chemically enhanced flavours like the one I had last week but … the sweetness is sickly.
It is hot and I am listening to good music. This wine is not enhancing my mood.
This is a kiddie wine beverage (it is not wine) – perhaps OK for young kids out on an outing of some sorts.
A transition from a soda or Shirley Temple…

There is much better stuff. The German (YES, German) sangria was much better even though I commented that it was a bit heavier that I liked. Had I drunken that one after the two I have recently sampled I would have praised it to no end.

Weekly Wine – Mayor

25 Nov


Mayor de Castilla Verdejo, Rueda
12.5% ABV
9.95 (LCBO)
This is a tart dry wine which is best chilled. The first sips are rather harsh but they mellow out on the palate very quickly.
It is an OK wine that does not mask the fact that it is inexpensive. It is rough around the edges. It is not unpleasant but it is definitely not very refined.
Perhaps it is the grape, Verdejo, which gives it this flavour. I am not familiar with this variety, so I don’t really have the frame of reference to really properly comment on the success of this fermentation.
As mentioned it is good chilled but starts to exhibit a more combative flavour once the temperature of the wine approaches room temperature. The experience is not off putting – just a little disappointing.

Weekly Wine – Los Dos

14 Oct

13% ABV
$8.99 (USA)

This is a nice wine. Spicy. Tart. A pleasure to drink. This is because it is a nice blend of two great grapes – Grenache and Syrah. These are two lively and distinct grapes. The combination is excellent.
There is not too much wrong with this wine. It has a nice body. It has a pleasant taste and is crisp and dry. It goes down nice by itself, with snacks or a meal. It is a very nice wine.
That said, it does not have a very refined quality, so it will not fool many people that it is a very expensive or a very fine wine. This though will not be a problem as it is such a nice wine that most people will really appreciate this wine.

Weekly Wine – LosMolinos

27 May


Los Molinos Tempranillo
13% ABV
$9.20 (SAQ – Société des alcools du Québec)

I was in Québec and my first stop was at a dépanneur (a variety (convenience) store) to see if I could find something to my liking. There were only one or two bottles in my chosen price range and they were very suspicious looking. I was not in the mood to spill out wine that evening. The selection at a nearby gas station was also not too my liking.
I hit a government liquor store and I had ample selection in my price range.
And this bottle is good. Spicy, tart and lively. It has a nice bite and exhibits no unpleasant aftertaste. It went very well with the meagre snacks I had in the hotel room, an apple and a power bar, and livened up the mindless drivel that was on the TV that evening.
I like the tempranillo grape. It is distinctive and gives a nice full bodied taste without being too heavy and sombre. I’ll have to look for this wine in Ontario.

Weekly Wine – La Casona Monastrell

29 Apr


Bodegas Castano La Casona Monastrell
13.5% ABV
$9.80 (LCBO) 

The first sip of this wine did not do it for me. It was sour and a bit thin. Not that I wanted more sourness, it just caused a disturbing sensation in my mouth.
The sourness is not from the sulphites in the wine – those tend to stand out and be rather distinct. On the second and third taste the sourness dissipates but the wine does not really blossom. There is a flavour – hints of cherry and some other fruit. But it is not a complex flavour. It is just there. You won’t get too much complexity under ten bucks.
The sourness is always there – but by the third sip it had mellowed. I guess my taste buds had become accustomed to this. Or, I had stopped worrying about it.
This is a wine that really shows its price. It is drinkable, but just. Good to take on a picnic where one wants something cheap and drinkable, but does not want to get the urge to drink too much.

Weekly Wine – Candidato

14 May

SONY DSCCandidato Oro
13% ABV
$7.70 (LCBO)

This wine confuses me.
It is inexpensive. It is really, really inexpensive. In fact it is bloody cheap.
I though this was going to be fun. I get to really be mean and finally lay into a wine for being really bad.
But its good. Remarkably good. Better than some wines that cost dollars more. Better than some wines that I have had that were double the price.
The thing here is the grapes. Tempranillo and garnacha. Nice spicy grapes that have a distinct flavour and are found in some less expensive wines. I love these grapes.
The wine is aged in oak for six months according to the label. I guess this is why it is so pleasant.
I’m also confused about the fact that there is a date of 2010 on it but I’m not sure if that is the date of production or just a marketing/design element. This would make the wine nearly four years old. Perhaps this helped the wine settle into itself. The LCBO website does not list a year. Then again, the bottle states 13% ABV while the site has 12.5% listed.
Whatever. This is a good wine. It even comes corked.

Weekly Wine – Beso de Vino

12 Feb

SONY DSCBeso de Vino Old Garnacha
13.5% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)
A few weeks ago I wrote that I had a new favourite grape – Garnacha. Well here it is again. In a different bottle this time. This bottle has a whimsical label – A bull kissing a glass of wine. It might actually be just a cow but since it is Spanish wine I think it might just be a bull. The wine is great. It has good flavour with no harsh overtones and no unpleasant after taste. I was partaking this while making some pizza and lo and behold, most of the bottle just disappeared before the pizza hit saw the inside of the oven. This is a very nice wine suitable for any occasions where there are no wine snobs. They might find something to quibble about. But for most of the world of wine drinkers this is just a fantastic bottle to be shared.
Or not.




Weekly Wine – Solas

25 Sep

SONY DSCOsborne Solaz Tempranillo Cabernet Sauvignon
13.5% ABV
$11.45 (LCBO)

I guess times are hard in Spain. This bottle used to be under ten bucks. It is two bucks more now and is the first wine in this series that crosses the ten-dollar threshold. This wine is dry and has an initial dryness which blossoms into a dry mouth quickly.  I seem to recall that this wine was better — more pleasant to quaff on a fall day.
I suppose the financial crisis in Spain is taking a toll on the vintners — prices going up and the quality going down. They did redesign the label but that is hardly worth the cost. I don’t mind shelling out the extra few dollars but I want a nice wine. This wine is a bit of a disappointment. It used to be one of my go to wines but now it is off that list. This is not a nasty undrinkable wine — it just literally leaves a bad taste in my mouth. For this price, and below, there are better more pleasant wines.