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New Arrivals: Olé Wines

Olé ImportersThere has always been a lot of fuss about wine labels. More recently it has tended to be about how pretty or clever they are, and historically, many (mostly in America) have found the labels of Spanish, Italian , and French wines frustrating, primarily because they haven’t taken the time to bone up on why and how they’re labeled. This is the only concession that Olé Imports has made in the making and marketing of their line of exceptional terroir-driven wines. The bottles are attractively and functionally labeled on the front, with concise plain-English information on the back. But obviously what’s important here is what’s INSIDE the bottle, and these are honest, quality Spanish wines, not Spanish wines made to appeal to a particular palate. This may sound a little snobbish in a way, but Olé’s Patrick Mata explains the very practical reasons behind their insistence on staying true to the grapes and their origin in this Wine Curmudgeon piece, adding “Why don’t wine buyers want more for their dollar?” We couldn’t agree more about that last bit, which is why we’re excited to have gotten a great price on these wines, which we’re passing on to you. So if you’re already a Spanish wine lover, you know what great ratings Olé wines are getting and will appreciate the value here. And if you’re just beginning to discover your inevitable love of Spanish wine, these are some very solid, truly Spanish wines with some very approachable prices. And labels. Plenty of notes below.

Ipsum Ipsum, Bodegas VILLAR – Rueda, Spain 2006

Ipsum is Latin for “itself”, and Rueda means “wheel”, which is why there is a bicycle on the label. This wine is made from 60% Verdejo and 40% Viura. The Verdejo comes from a 150 acre vineyard with an average vine age of 30+ years, while the Viura comes from a 47 acre vineyard with an average vine age of 25 years. Really, bothe of these could be considered “old vines” in most circles. The soil makeup of these vineyards are the key. A gravel and sand topsoil are good for drainage, and subsoils of limestone and clay that retain water, forces roots deep. Hand harvested in the coolness of night to maximize freshness and avoid oxidation. This wine is tank fermented at cool temperatures and not aged to promote its fruitiness. “Reminds one of some of the very good Colombards that used to emerge from California. It offers up citrusy grapefruit and anise seed-like aromas, a fresh, lively mid-palate, light body, and loads of fruit. Best drunk in its youth.” “Light & Citrusy”

Castelo do Papa Castelo do Papa (Godello), Bodegas SAGRADA – Valdeorras, Spain 2005

The Papa label shows what is called an Horreo. An hórreo is a granary built with wood or granite stone, raised from the ground by pillars ending in flat stones or “tornarratas”, to avoid the access of rodents. Ventilation is allowed by the grooves in its walls. Hórreos are mainly found in Northeast Spain (though there are also in other Northern villages). Made from 100% Godello with an average vine age of over 25 years. The wine was fermented in stainless steel, no malolactic fermentation. “This is a prime example of the Godello wines of the area: light to medium -bodied, markedly dry with intense minerality similar to Germany’s Saar. This distinctive white adds floral and green apple notes to the citrus and slight herb flavors. Delicate yet still thirst quenching.” “Crisp & Minerally” – 88 Points “Excellent” Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar Sep/Oct 2006

Zestos Zestos, VINOS SIN-LEY – Madrid, Spain 2005

Vinos Sin-Ley “Wines Without Law”. A group of young and talented winemakers have felt that certain appellation and labeling laws interfere with innovative wine making, preventing them from achieving their best efforts. Hence, Vinos Sin-Ley has created a flexible environment, where innovation and creativity result in “new wines” of quality and value. The Zestos wines are made from Tempranillo, Garnacha and Syrah from Madrid. The winemaker for this wine is Manuel Martinez. 50% Tempranillo and 50% Garnacha. “Pure, vibrant scents of strawberry, blackberry, cured meat, rose and honeysuckle. Tangy, silky and fresh, with a strikingly delicate touch to its flavors of fresh raspberry, strawberry, redcurrant and minerals. Fans of graceful, minerally pinot noir will love this one. Refreshing and elegant on the sweet finish. An exceptional value in red wine.” “Delicate & Fresh” – 88 Points “Excellent” Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar Sep/Oct 2006

Cortijo III Tinto Cortijo III Tinto, Bodegas D.S. LONDONO – Rioja, Spain 2006

Cortijo “farm house or cottage in English” is made from 100% Tempranillo from the Alfaro and Ebro valley parcels. The soil is of clay and limestone. Climate is Mediterranean, hot days and moderate/cold nights. The grapes ripen very well, and are able to keep ripening at night. Very little rain. Low humidity. As a result they have thin skinned grapes, making wines that are smoother, easier to drink. Grapes are destemmed before fermentation, 15 days maceration with remontage (pumping over) three times per day, at a temperature of 80º f. Aging was in stainless steal tank malolactic fermentation, and 3 months in the bottle. Filtered once through cellulose plates prior to bottling. “Soft and typical of Rioja. It has a gamy touch full of pleasant ripe fruit w/ a well balanced finish. It goes very well with chicken, turkey, pasta, pizza, and smoked salmon.” “Pleasant & Balanced”

Carro Tinto Carro Tinto, Bodegas Señorío de BARAHONDA – Yecla, Spain 2006

Carro “horse cart” Tinto is made from 50% Monastrell, 20% Syrah, 20% Tempranillo and 10% Merlot. Their vineyards are 840 acres of mostly Monastrell vines and a small portion of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Petit Verdot and Tempranillo. Grapes are hand picked during mid August. Daily remontage (pumping over) for 15 days with the grapeskins. Fermented for 10 days in stainless steal tanks with capacity of 12,000 gallons of must at 85 f. Malolactic was in stainless steal tanks where it was then aged 4 months. Egg fined and filtered once before bottling and its release to the market. “An interesting blend that benefits from the different features of each grape. Monastrell provides the meaty touch, Syrah the chocolate notes of the wine and Tempranillo the joyful fruit and aromatic nose.” “Cocoa & Fruity”

Nabuko Nabuko, Bodegas Señorío de BARAHONDA – Yecla, Spain 2006

50% Monastrell, 50% Syrah. Monastrell is known also as Mataró, and Mourvèdre in France’s Provence region, this variety thrives on its own roots in this highly-stressed, nearly desert-like situation. Blended with Syrah adding a nice spicy fullness, this wine gets aged 3 months in French oak barrels. “A take-no-prisoners style of wine. Big aromas of sweet raspberry and cherry are followed by a mouthful of jammy, concentrated fruit. Full-bodied, rich and complex, black pepper spice and a long finish.” “Jammy & Spicy” – 89 Points “Very Good” The Wine Advocate Feb 2007

Dignus Dignus, Bodegas VIÑA MAGAÑA – Navarra, Spain 2003

An interesting blend of about 50% Tempranillo, 25% Merlot and 25% Cabernet. Vinification is traditional, in stainless steel and cement vats. The different grape varieties are vinified separately. Fermentation is with natural yeasts at controlled temperatures of between 20 and 25°C. After fermentation, another 8 days of maceration. After malolactic the wines are racked twice before being transferred to American and French oak casks. Aged 12 months in 50% new and 50% 1 year old oak. After bottling, the wines are aged at least a further 3 to 5 years before release. “A modern wine that combines the freshness of youth with the elegance of age. Medium ruby-colored, it exhibits an attractive perfume of spice box, cassis, and cherry. This is followed by an elegant wine with forward, juicy red fruits, excellent balance, and the structure to evolve gracefully for several years. It is also an excellent value. Ideal with game and the delicious Spanish ‘cabrito’ (goat).” “Elegant & Forward” – 90 Points “Outstanding” The Wine Advocate Feb 2007

Portal Roble Portal Roble, Bodegas PIÑOL – Terra Alta, Spain 2004

Made from 20% Cabernet, 20% Garnacha, 20% Merlot, 20% Tempranillo and 20% Syrah. Grapes are hand picked and a daily remontage (pumping over) for 15 to 20 days with the grapeskins. Fermented for 10 days in stainless steal tanks of 2,700 gallons of must at 85 f. Malolactic takes place in stainless steal tanks for 2 weeks at 66 f. Aged 6 months in American, French and Hungarian oak barrels and bottled unfined and unfiltered. “Elegant and intense on the nose, with hints of ripe berry fruits and aromas recalling ripe peach, plum, apricot… balsamic, smoky and spicy tones.” “Ripe Berry & Toast” – 87+ Points “Excellent” Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar Sep/Oct 2006

Providencia, BELLUM Providencia, BELLUM (Señorío de Barahonda) – Yecla, Spain 2004

100% Monastrell from vines over 50 years old and the wine was aged 8 months in French oak barrels. “Dark red. Powerful scents of cherry, graphite, gingerbread and oak spice. A remarkable aromatic array of lavender, blue and black fruits, blackberry liqueur, and grilled meat. Generously layered on the palate, this smoothly-textured wine has no hard edges. Hedonistically styled, and for those who are not into pleasure should beware of this wine. It will drink well for 4-6 years for those able to exercise self-control.” “Elegant & Concentrated” – 90 Points “Outstanding” The Wine Advocate Feb 2007

Juan Rojo Juan Rojo, Bodegas MATARREDONDA – Torro, Spain 2004

100% Tempranillo (Tinta de Toro) from the Juan Rojo vineyard. Made up of sandy soils and the pre-phylloxera vines are 80+ years old producing lower yields. This results in greater aromatic fruit intensity and concentration. Dry farming with no irrigation combine with low humidity giving healthy fruit and low yields Aged for 8 Months in French and American Oak. 1250 Cases made – 800 for the U.S. “The deep plumb/ruby-tinged Juan Rojo offers sweet aromas of smoked herbs red currants and wild mountain berries, a hint of minerals, and a peppery, spicy finish.” “Wild Berries & Spice” – 91 Points “Outstanding” The Wine Advocate Feb 2008

Mibal Mibal, Bodegas HORNILLO BALLESTEROS – Ribera del Duero, Spain 2005

Made by Javier Ballesteros and Miguel Hornillo. 100% Tempranillo aged for 12 months in previously used French oak. “A glass-coating opaque purple color, the wine’s aromatics are big. On the palate the raw materials are there, densely packed and tightly wound. Ripe black fruit flavors, and all of the components are in harmony. It is hard to believe that so little money can buy so much wine. If unable to afford Bordeaux or boutique Cabernet, buy this by the case.” “Aromatic & Dense” – 90 Points “Outstanding” The Wine Advocate Feb 2007

Sacra Natura Sacra Natura (Organic), Bodegas PIÑOL – Terra Alta, Spain 2005

Organically certified by CCPAE Consell Català de la Producció Agrària Ecològica (Spain). Made from 35% Cariñena, 20% Merlot, 20% Cabernet, 15% Syrah and 10% Tempranillo. The Terra Alta region is located next to Priorat, enjoying the same climate conditions and altitude as the Priorat wine region but at lower prices. The soils are of limestone on the surface layer and clay on the inside layer. The clay keeps the water as if it were a sponge, keeping the roots with enough moisture to feed the vine. Climate is Mediterranean-continental, and the vineyards are well protected by the high mountains surrounding Batea. Aged for 6 Months in French, American, and Hungarian Oak Barrels. “A rich wine with well balanced fruit. Very good structure, toasted notes on the nose, and a smooth, long finish.” “Balanced & Structured” – 89 Points “Very Good” The Wine Advocate Feb 2007

Posted By:Admin November 7, 2010

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