Tasting Notes – Spanish, Riojas Wines 05.29.2024

presented by Andrew Alley of 17th Street Distributing

Ondarre Cava Brut DOC ~ NV

This is a bone-dry and vibrant Spanish Bubbly! Created in stainless steel vats using selected yeasts and temperatures controlled to between 14-16ºC. Second fermentation: In the bottle with selected yeast. Disgorging after being kept stacked horizontally for 18 months leaving around 5 grams residual sugar.
Grapes: 100% Viura – ABV 11.5%

Tasting notes: Straw color with gold iridescence. Fine, long-lasting bubbles, intense nose, full, rounded flavors, and a long, lingering finish.
Pairings: The wine is perfect as an aperitif, it is perfectly paired with seafood, caviar, fish dishes, and snacks.
Producer: Bodegas OndarreAppellation: Spain, Rioja

Valdebarón Tempranillo Blanco ~ 2022

All the typicity of single vineyards and landscapes from the slopes of Valdebarón, northeast of Viana. This wine is cask-fermented in new French oak followed by a further 2 months aging on its very finest lees in American- and French-oak and acacia wood casks. The Tempranillo Blanco started when the vines mutated ‘albino’/white grapes in the 1980s. It took a long time to propagate but now yields this amazing wine. There are very few white tempranillos in the U.S.

Grapes: 100% Tempranillo Blanco – ABV 12.5%
Tasting notes:  Pale straw in color, creamy and savory, this wine reveals varied and delicate aromas of white blossom and ripe melon interlaced with ginger, and a firm, elegant mouth feel with a long aftertaste.
Producer: Bodegas Ondarre – Appellation: Spain, Rioja

Ondarre Mazuelo ~ 2020 [93 pts Wine Enthusiast]

Made using grapes from old Mazuelo vines, in early harvests and selected vintages. Mazuelo is the Rioja clone of Carignan grapes. The characteristics of having an abundance of tannins, high acidity, and stable color, make it well-suited for making wines for lengthy aging. There is evidence that this grape has been grown in Riojas for several centuries, but it barely covers 2% of the wine region’s vineyards. Limited edition of 4,635 bottles.

Grapes: 100% Mazuelo – ABV 13.5%
Tasting notes: Very lively, intense red color with medium-high depth of color. Wide range of aromas in which the floral notes give way to red fruits, such as redcurrants, strawberries, and cherries. Like any good Mazuelo, it has a sharp attack with a firm mouth-feel and a lively sensation of freshness in the finish.

Pairings: Traditional, fatty foods.
Barrel aging was done in 225-litre oak casks, of which 75% were made of American wood (the rest being French Allier), and it lasted for 20 months with 4 rackings per year.

Producer: Bodegas Ondarre – Appellation: Spain, Rioja

Ondarre Rioja Gran Reserva ~ 2016 [93 pts Wine Enthusiast]

An exceptional & age-worthy red wine that could cellar for 20+ years. Carefully selected grapes for this wine come from old vineyards near the village of Viana overlooking the Rioja Valley. The 40-year-old, low-yielding vines grow on slopes climbing to the Sierra Mountains. This wine is garnet-colored in the glass with aromas of crushed violet flowers, cassis, and dried Mediterranean herbs. A Gran Reserva can only be made in years with exceptional harvest – the best grapes from the best harvest!
Grapes:  90% Tempranillo, 10% Mazuelo – ABV 14%
Tasting notes: Flavors of ripe red cherry, red plum, and black raspberry jam. It is full-bodied in the mouth with a velvety tannic structure and a long finish. The Gran Reserva has a complex and mature bouquet of rich fruit aromas, with hints of spice and notes of ripe fruit layered with tobacco and leather.
Pairings: Grilled red meat or game dishes, spicy and marinated fish, and cured cheese are excellent food choices.
Aging: 2+ years in wood and 3+ years in bottle
Producer: Bodegas Ondarre – Appellation: Spain, Rioja / Ebro River Valley