Monday, May 16, 2005

2 Reds: Spain, Italy

ARAGONIA CAMPO de BORJA TINTO CRIANZA 2001, Aragon, Spain, 13.5%, CP151-2664 (Opimian) $13.42

Opimian says: "A blend of grenache, tempranillo, syrah and cabernet sauvignon, impressive fruit including figs and opulent prunes..... musky, suave oak bouquet. The palate is rich with fruit and a gentle touch of spice and herbs..... Deliciously approachable, etc. Cellar 6 months to 2 years. " The label says a blend of 60% garnacha and 40% tempranillo. My notes: cellared April, 2004 and has developed a wonderful plummy nose and very smoothe velvet texture with soft tannin and acid. The colour is a clear ruby and the finish fills the mouth, short but sipping keeps it coming. A good sipper and pairs well with roast beef and yorkshire pudding. A great value.

BOLLA 'LE POIANE' VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO SUPERIORE 1999, Veneto, Italy, 13.5%, #135293 $19.95

Vintages says: "Unlike standard Valpolicella, Bolla's 'Le Poiane' goes through the secondary fermentation of ripassato. The juice is pumped onto skins of grapes left over from their Amarone wine production and allowed to macerate for 20 days. It is also aged for one to two years in small oak barrels prior to bottling. The resulting wine is higher in alcohol, deeper in colour and bolder in flavour than most Valpolicellas." Vintages release August 7, 2004. Natalie rated this a 90 (August 2004) saying: "Delicious. Balanced, medium-bodied. Slips by the palate, leaves a ghostly memory.". My notes: Cellared November, 2004 - now just past peak. Faint plum nose and ruby red. Softer than at time of purchase but still with a bite, lower tannins, and less 'skins' influence so less raisins. An OK medium-bodied perhaps a bit thin european-styled dry sipper. OK with hot or sweet italian sausage, pizza, bbq'd ribs, the spicier the better.

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