Tag Archive | spanish wine

VALDEPEÑAS ANCIANO GRAN RESERVA TEMPRANILLO (2005)—Because someone needs to mellow out

My Fellow Inebriates,

On Friday my mum told me to go away and make myself “useful.” When I offered to drink the bottle of ANCIANO GRAN RESERVA TEMPRANILLO on the counter and come back with useful tasting notes, she looked at her watch (9:00 am) and said, “No, I meant you could help Dad wash the car. He could probably use something small and absorbent.”

This seemed abusive, so I determined that I would drink that bottle at the first opportunity. I’d show her “absorbent”! Watch me absorb a bottle of wine!

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They were sneaky, though, and poured it into a bearproof decanter. Tempranillo is a varietal that benefits hugely from decanting, often changing character entirely from one hour to the next if it’s allowed to aerate sufficiently.

By law, a Spanish wine can be called “Gran Reserva” only after being barrel-aged at least five years. This particular bottle has seven years under its belt, and we’ve previously tried another by the same vintner that boasted ten years’ ageing. The ten-year wine was delicious, striking very typical Tempranillo chords: leather, vanilla, tannins, plus raisins, plums, and vegetal notes. I didn’t expect the seven-year wine to stack up, especially at $3 cheaper. How did it fare?

Well, once I got my furry face into a glass of seven-year ANCIANO, it delivered a surprisingly easy-drinking experience. Lush and full on the palate, inky in the glass, ANCIANO served up a diversity of flavors, headlined by ripe raspberries/currants with some vanilla and cedar for back-up. It was smooth and mellow—not challenging the way a Tempranillo often is—the sort of bottle you could open with your breakfast omelet, then sip all day (okay, you’d need several bottles). I loved it, people, and I’d buy it again. It’s a mellow sipper, and goodness knows we could stand to mellow out at LBHQ. Especially my mother.

 

MONASTERIO DE LAS VINAS (2006)—Needs no elevator pitch

My dad is considering switching industries, which means he’s been paying some overdue attention to his business speak. It occurred to him this week that he doesn’t have an “elevator pitch.” If you don’t know what an elevator pitch* is, read on, my fellow inebriates, because everyone should have one. As I said tauntingly to my dad, even I have one:

drunken little bear

advising hedonism:

party on, people

He says this is actually a haiku, but whatever, people. My dad doesn’t have an elevator pitch at all. So today I learned how to write a proper one, because I love my dad, plus I want him to bring even more liquor money home, and a good elevator pitch will help. Herewith, the five steps to writing a good elevator pitch—in this case applied to a bottle of wine.

Monasterio de las Vinas

1. Who are you?

I’m MONASTERIO DE LAS VINAS RESERVA (2006), a Spanish blend of Garnacha, Tempranillo, and Carinena, aged 12 months in oak barrels.

2. What do you do?

I exude aromas of berry and spice while leering from the decanter in a purplish way while LB’s parents make him wait to sample me. On the palate I’m full-bodied and rich with earthy notes, firm tannins, and a long finish. I’m mature without having a musty Old World character, and you can’t really beat me for $14.95.

3. Who do you do it for?

I’d like to say I appeal to all drinkers, but I don’t think hard-core alcoholics (LB excepted) are buying me very often, as they gravitate toward massive jugs of vodka and giant boxes featuring marsupials. Basically, I’m here for everybody, but if you like to spread your $14.95 more economically, you might pass me by.

4. What do they want or need?

Most wine drinkers have no idea we have hit “peak wine,” and that global demand for  wine is outstripping supply. In other words, you might be drinking wine because everybody else is. Some wine drinkers choose wine because they think beer will make them get fat or watch hockey. Some wine drinkers follow Robert Parker, who gave me 90 points, although he probably only swished me around his gums for 30 seconds or so. Drinkers like LB are thoroughly indiscriminate, so who knows? I have no idea what people want.

5. How do they change as a result?

They often get really freaking plastered, especially if they have a bottle to themselves.

Okay, so this isn’t working out exactly as I thought it would. Maybe you need to be sentient, like we are, MFI. This last statement—and I hope you’ve been following along with your own notes for this exercise, my fellow inebriates—this last statement is supposed to be the key to YOU and what you bring to the table. If you answer the five questions, you should be able to take your answer to number five—and voila! There’s your elevator pitch.

I expect my dad will be so grateful for this that he’ll buy me another bottle.

 

*I found these five steps in a Tedx talk but then foolishly cleared my cache and couldn’t retrieve it from my history. The reason I cleared my cache is that I didn’t want my dad to know I was playing Candy Crush Saga on Facebook, especially since I’ve been dissing him for playing it. And then there was all the porn too, but whatever.

BERONIA RESERVA RIOJA—Denied. It’s bear abuse, people!

My Fellow Inebriates,

I’ve been sulking.

You would too if you were a bear with the DTs. On Sunday I received this pic:

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OMG, look at that, I thought. My parents are sending me a message; they want me to come and share some delicious wine with them.

But I couldn’t find them anywhere. In fact, the house was empty—every window and door shut. Where the hell were they, MFI?

I started to panic. One Direction was not simpering from the living room speakers. The car was gone. Purses and wallets were gone. It was 30°C and climbing at LBHQ. And suddenly here was this cheeky photo, along with several others.

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Calm down, LB.

It’s hard to calm down when your only company consists of panting bears confined on a sweltering day. We were dying, people.

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Blackie’s dark coat, he told us, was making him the hottest.

Scary contended his core temperature was the hottest thanks to his imagined 300-kg bulk.

Scary contended his core temperature was the hottest thanks to his imagined 300-kg bulk.

You only had to look at Fluffy to know his thick coat was doing him in.

You only had to look at Fluffy to know his thick coat was doing him in.

 

And Speedy?

Speedy was wigging out.

Speedy was wigging out.

A quick snoop through my parents’ e-mails told us they were at a 50th anniversary party. Who the hell would invite them to such a thing? Who would invite them anywhere?

Next came a text: tasting notes for BERONIA RESERVA RIOJA (2008).

Intensely concentrated yet nuanced flavors of blueberries, ripe cherries, and deep cocoa with supporting notes of vanilla and oak—perhaps some coconut? Definitely a slow sipper that develops nicely as it breathes. Nice tannins—much more refined than we’re used to at home, LOL. Yummy, yummy wine here, LB, too bad you can’t have some.

OMFG!!! How sincere do those condolences sound, my fellow inebriates??? “Too bad”? Too bad!!

Meanwhile, the butter was doing this.

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The thermometer said 34°C now, and my fool parents had forgotten to shut the blinds. The house was cooking, and so were we bears.

The only saving grace was that the kids had put Scary in handcuffs sometime that morning.

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Did they know somehow that he’d be getting ornery and need containment? Good kids. Too bad our their parents are such tools.

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