Saturday, 3 September 2011

A hearty Spanish red for the weekend

Aranleon Solo 2005 Utiel-Requena, Spain
After a couple of high(er)-end wines in the middle of the week (ref; Domaine de Montcalmes and Domaine de La Marfée) I opened a bottle of this little Spanish number last night. Actually, it isn't really little - it is quite a big, strapping wine really. A blend of Bobal, Tempranillo and Syrah, aged for 14 months in Hungarian oak barrels, the label describes how it is "the result of 2 years work; patient and accurate, like the snail's walk" (hence, the snail-shaped text on the label). And I must say that at 6 years of age, it is ageing at a snail's pace, and may well take another 5 to 10 years to really come to maturity - perhaps even more.

That said, it is rather pleasurable to drink now, albeit in a super-ripe style, with big, brambly fruit aromas and flavours, big, but velvety tannins and a touch of eau de vie. Every now and then, there's a hint of raspberry and flowers (the Syrah coming through, perhaps?) which adds a promising touch of aromatic lift. The one possible downside is that it shows only a modicum of acidity, although there may be a little bit to spare, hidden behind that really rather massive fruit/tannin structure, but only time will tell. Stylistically, though, it isn't a million miles removed from some very decent Cotes du Rhone Villages, which benefit from a similar sort of hot climate and tend to be imbued with relatively low acidity, but often blossom with age. Meanwhile, this wine remains more in the way of a winter warmer (which is unfortunate, given that we have just experienced what presumably passes as the English "summer") fit to match a hearty stew or a Sunday roast. Then again, it should go reasonably well with our traditional Saturday night pizza - home-made, of course! 14.0% abv.


Vinogirl said...

Brambly fruit and velvety tannins...what more could one want out of a wine?

Leon Stolarski said...

More acidity please! I love acidity. Besides, your own TN's do not suggest that you like Parker wines..... :-)

Vinogirl said...

I'm with you, I like bright husband suggests that that is due to a diet that included malt vinegar growing up :) But, I do like lots of berry-action and smooth tannins, however not the over ripe monsters that Parker promotes.