If you’re a fan of wines that Robert Parker gives high marks to, this is your tasting. It’s just two wines, but they’re both from Charlotte-based importer Eric Solomon, and they’re both 90+ point rated! Spain continues to put out some of the wine world’s most extreme values and Eric Solomon picks winners year in and year out. We’ll start with a 90 point rated Rioja that is medium bodied, smooth and way too easy too drink. We’ll follow it up with a taste of one of the great red wine values on the market right now! Hailing from Montsant and often referred to as “Baby Priorat”, this one blends old vine Garnacha with Syrah to create an absolute flavor bomb of a wine. It also happens to be our wine of the week!
1. 2011 Hazana Rioja Tradicion (Rioja, Spain)
We completely agreed with Mr. Parker’s take on this wine, so why reinvent the wheel right? “An absolutely mind-blowing value, this blend of 85% Tempranillo and 15% Graciano comes from 20-40-year-old head-pruned vines and was aged in a combination of American and French oak. the outstanding 2011 Rioja Tradicion exhibits classic Rioja characteristics of black cherry jam, lead pencil shavings, licorice and tobacco leaf. Medium-bodied and elegant with sweet tannin, this wine dramatically over-delivers. Consume it over the next several years.”
2. 2010 Celler de Capcanes “Mas Donis Barrica” (Montsant, Spain)
We agree with Mr. Parker on the 92 point score, but we’re not sure that “this beauty could easily pass for a grand cru Burgundy.” Oh well, we all get captivated by certain wines at certain moments, but we got lots of true blue Spanish character out of this wine. Spicy cherry, raspberry and blueberry fruit along with some complex floral notes and minerals. It’s not quite “polished” enough in our book to be comparable to Burgundy………no disrespect to Mr. Parker.