Tasting No 251 – March 28, 2023 The Diversity of Wine in Chile

Club del Vino, Washington DC

Tasting No 251 – March 28, 2023, 12:30 pm

The Diversity of Wine in Chile 

Heritage wines, underrated grapes and iconic wines


Capri Ristorante, McLean VA


  1. Tasting Objective and Overview

The main objective of this tasting is to taste different wines that highlight the diversity of wines produced in Chile.
The tasting will have one orange wine and three red wines. The grapes are Semillon, Carignan, Cinsault, and Cabernet Sauvignon (Bordeaux blend).
Small producers with traditional techniques in Itata and a major winery in Aconcagua

Type of tasting: Open

Presenters: Ricardo Santiago

Participants: (to be completed after the meeting)

These are the wines:

– Roberto Henriquez, Molino Del Ciego, Semillon, Valle del Itata, 2021

– Pedro Parra, Trane, Cinsault, Itata Valley, 2019

– Rogue Vine, El Insolente, Carignan, Itata Valley, 2016

– Seña, Aconcagua Valley, 2019.


  1. Wine Regions

             Itata Valley

Situated 500 km South of Santiago, the first vineyards were planted in the 16th century.

Topography: Coastal Mountain range with river terraces inland.

Soil: Granitic soils in the coastal mountain range and mainly alluvial river terraces further inland.

Climate: Semi-arid, continental climate.

Bush vines, no irrigation.

Itata Valley lost its fame in the 1800’s to more central regions in Chile (high production and new varieties). It was left behind and has the constant threat of planting pine and eucalyptus trees.

The region still has one of the lowest average vineyard sizes in all South America, at less than two hectares. These small vineyards and wine families are a complete contrast to the manicured vineyard rows, industrialized estates, and big wineries further north.

The majority of Itata’s grapes are still sold cheaply for bulk wine production. However, there is also growing appreciation for the old vines in the region, and wineries of all sizes are now participating in Itata’s revival. Most planted varieties are Moscatel de Alejandria, País, Cinsault, Cabernet Sauvignon, Corinto.


Stretches from the coast to the Andes. Vineyards planted in all three geographical designations (Costa, Entre Cordilleras, and Andes).

Topography: Ranging from the Andean foothills to the banks of the River Aconcagua and the Coastal hills.

Climate: Mediterranean climate with some mountain influence. Most of the vineyards are in the warm inland areas of the valley floor in what is one of Chile’s hottest and driest wine regions.

Since the 1990’s, Aconcagua’s wine region has also expanded further west towards the coast in search of cooler climate terroirs where they can make fresher wine styles. Stable climate makes it one of Chile`s most reliable regions.

Directly downhill from Aconcagua, on the Argentine side, lie Mendoza and San Juan where over 90% of Argentina’s wine industry is concentrated.

It is a region that produces powerful red wines and a handful of producers in the region specializes in Bordeaux – or Mediterranean-style blends and varieties.

Most planted varieties are: Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Syrah, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Petit Verdot.


  1. The grape varietals


First arrived in Chile in the 19th century. It was the most planted white variety by the 1960’s with some 35,000 ha. It has been in decline ever since. Often found in mixed old-vine plantings with Riesling and Corinto (Chasselas) and other white varieties.

It is produced with some skin contact and occasionally produced as an orange wine, vinified in tinajas, concrete eggs or old foudres, or even with some biological ageing under a veil of flor.

These wines can be very textured, structured, and waxy.


Believed to be native to Aragon, Spain. Main synonyms are Mazuelo and Carineña. It is a vigorous and productive (abundant crop), and the grape needs a long, hot growing season.

It delivers high acid deeply pigmented tannic wines. Carignan’s color, acidity, and structure could be blended into pale País wines. Tannic management is key to avoid coarse and rustic wines.

One of the rising stars of Chilean wines helped build the modern reputation of Maule denomination in the Central Valley. Tamed tannins, refreshing acidity, and red fruit aromas prioritizing elegance over power.

Planted in Chile in the early 20th century. After the 1939 earthquake, the Government supported the wine industry in Itata and Maule by giving them Carignan plants. But due to its susceptibility to powdery mildew, it was largely abandoned within a decade of being planted.


Native to southern France, it was first planted in Chile in the 1930’s. It is a vigorous variety that produces an abundant crop. Requires high temperatures to ripen.

Known locally as cargadora (heavy-load bearer). Young vines produce ‘rather uninteresting’ grapes. On the other hand, as old vines yield drops, concentration increases and the wines produced are more interesting. Old Cinsault vines are mainly in Itata and Bio Bio, some well over 60 and some close to 90 years old.

Old-vine and traditional winemaking renaissance and adoption of traditional techniques using native rauli vats, ageing in clay tinajas and working on a very small scale using artisanal methods.

The wine has moderate to low pigment, low acidity, light tannins, and expressive red fruit aromas.

    Cabernet Sauvignon  

Cabernet Sauvignon was brought to Chile with many other grapes (mainly Bordeaux varieties) in the mid-19th century. Chile has some of the world’s oldest Cabernet Sauvignon vines and pre-phylloxera genetic material. However, most of the Cabernet vines are relatively new, planted from the 1990’s onward.

Between 1997 and 2002, Cabernet plantings more than doubled, shooting up from some 15,000 to 39,000 hectares. Chile ranks second in the world, with 12% of all the Cabernet Sauvignon vines.

An extraordinary amount of everyday bulk wine is still produced, while there are world-class examples at the top end of the scale. The best examples of Chilean Cabernet rank among the best in the world.

It is very common to find Cabernet blended with the other major Bordeaux varieties, particularly Merlot and Carmenere.

  1. The Wines

Wine #1. Roberto Henriquez, Molino Del Ciego, Semillon, Valle del Itata, 2021

The Producer: Roberto Henriques, a leading winemaker in Bio Bio and Itata, has a small winery focusing on making natural wine on an artisanal scale. It produces distinctive natural wines from old vines and often helps resuscitate abandoned vineyards.

The wine

–  Wines are produced in the pipeño tradition: an old technique where grapes (white or red) are destemmed but left on their skins for fermentation before ageing in a rauli barrel.

– Grape: Semillon with Corinto (Chasselas) and Moscatel in the field blend.

– Vineyards: 90 years-old vines planted on granite soils very close to the Pacific Ocean in the Itata Valley. Dry-farmed with sustainable viticulture.

– Fermentation: Fermented with its skins (“con orujos”) for three weeks.

– Ageing: Old barricas and concrete vessels for five months to one year.

– Unfined and unfiltered.

– Alcohol: 12.5%

– “A Paradigmatic wine for semillon in South America” (P. Tapias).


Wine #2. Pedro Parra, Trane, Cinsault, Itata Valley, 2019

The Producer: Pedro Parra y Family is the boutique, family winery of renowned terroir expert Pedro Parra, focusing on an artisanal production of natural wines made from old vines of Pais and Cinsault in Itata and Bio Bio. Pedro Parra produces a series of Cinsault wines to show his interpretation of the granitic soils of Itata.

The Wine:

– Grape: Cinsault 100%.

– Appellation: D. O. Secano Interior, Itata.

– Vineyard: 70-year-old at 300 m altitude, on shallow granite soil with silt and stones.

– Fermentation: 30% whole bunches in concrete tanks utilizing native yeast and with low intervention.

– Ageing: 11 months in 1,500 liters oak vats.

– Alcohol: 13%.


Wine #3. Rogue Vine, El Insolente, Carignan, Itata Valley, 2016

The Producer: Two people – Leonardo Erazo and Justin Decker – started Rogue Vine in 2011, in a one-car garage in Concepción with a project to make natural wines from ‘the forgotten old bush vines almost falling out of steep granitic hills in Itata.’

The Wine:

– Grape: Carignan 100%.

– Single Vineyard granite soil at 270 m. in Nipas, Itata Valley.

– Old Bush vines of more than 60 years old. Dry and organic farmed and hand harvested.

– Winemaking: Whole berry fermentation with native yeast and little to no sulfur added prior to bottling.

– Ageing: cement globes and used oak barrels.

– Unfiltered and Unfined.

– Alcohol: 14.0%.


Wine #4. Seña, Aconcagua Valley, 2019

The Producer: Viña Seña: Single-estate, single-wine operation joint venture in the Aconcagua Valley founded by Robert Mondavi and Eduardo Chadwick of Errazuriz in 1995. Their aim was to make a wine that would demonstrate the full potential of Chile and that would be welcomed among the world’s First Growth.

The Wine:

– Composition /grape: Bordeaux blend: Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Malbec (21%), Carmenere (15%), and Petit Verdot (4%).

– Vineyard: Close to the sea with the benefit of coastal winds and long hanging period.

– Farming: Biodynamic and hand harvested.

– Ageing: 22 months in 90% French oak barrels (80% new) and 10% foudres.

– Alcohol: 13.5%.


  1. Menu

  • Calamari Fritti
  • Spaghetti con polpette
  • Vitello alla Parmigiana
  • Dessert, coffee.
  1. References

Barnes, A. The South America Wine Guide. 2nd ed. England: The South America Wine Guide, 2022.

International Organization of Vine and Wine (Home | OIV)

Pedro Parra y Familia, Skurnik Wines & Spirits  (Pedro Parra y Familia – Skurnik Wines & Spirits)

Roberto Henriquez revives Chile’s pipeño tradition | The Morning Claret

Robinson, J et al. Wine Grapes. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2012.

Rogue Vine (Rogue Vine Winery (rogue-vine.com))

Seña Wines (Seña Wines (sena.cl))

Vinos de Chile (Vinos de Chile – (winesofchile.org))

“What`s Hot in Chile?”, Decanter: Wines of the Word, 2nded., 2022.

Woolf, S. J. Amber Revolution. Northampton, MA: Interlink Books, 2018.


  1. CV Members Rating (after the tasting)


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Tasting No 250 – February 28, 2023 – Wines from Mendoza, Argentina

Tasting No 250 – February 28, 2023 – 12:30pm  Wines from Mendoza, Argentina


Capri Ristorante, McLean VA


  1. Tasting Overview


The main objective of this tasting is to compare three red wines of the same varietal – MALBEC, from the same Bodega – Catena Zapata. In addition, one white wine from the same winery will be tasted.

Type of tasting: semi- blind; the names of the wines are provided.


Clara Estrada and Jorge García-García

Participants:  TBA

These are the wines:

  1. Catena Zapata ‘Appellation White Clay’, Semillon-Chenin, 2020
  2. Catena Zapata ’Catena Alta’, Malbec, 2018
  3. Catena Zapata, ‘Catena Appellation La Consulta’ Malbec, 2019
  4. Catena Zapata ‘Catena Appellation Paraje Altamira’ Malbec, 2019The Men
  • Menu

    • Mussels in a light white wine sauce
    • Homemade Agnolotti with fresh spinach in tomato sauce
    • Beef medallions
    • Coffee, tea and dessert


    1. Information about the Catena Zapata Winery

      a .General Information

    The winery was founded in 1902 by Italian immigrant Nicola Catena and was passed to his son Domingo. Domingo’s son, Nicolás Catena Zapata (A.K.A. Nicolás Catena), was a pioneer to introduce European winemaking techniques to Argentina, including the introduction of Malbec and vine growing in high altitudes. Nicolás is recognized as the vintner who revolutionized wine quality in Argentina.

    All wines are produced at high altitude in the winery located in Luján de Cuyo from grapes produced in different vineyards in the Mendoza Region, Argentina (see map above). The Catena Zapata wines are a blend of single varietal lots from the Catena family’s vineyards. Over the years, Nicolás Catena discovered the influence altitude has on fruit quality. As one climbs the altitudes of the Andes the average temperature decreases and the amplitude between day and night temperatures increases. This environment provides the ideal climate for grape maturation. Each of the Catena Zapata family vineyards is divided into parcels according to their soil composition. Each vineyard is divided into lots that are harvested separately, and especially prepared to be part of the final blend of each Catena wine: Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Chardonnay. (See https://catenazapata.com/adrianna-vineyard.php for more information about the different vineyards).

    B. Vinification

    Vineyard lots are harvested at different times to ensure optimal natural acidity and moderate alcohol levels. Whole berries are hand loaded into small format fermentation bins and 225-500 L barrels; lots from each vineyard are treated individually; fermentation and maceration last for 28-30 days; cold maceration. Wild yeasts. Alcoholic and malolactic fermentation in barrel; wine undergoes active battonage to protect it and drastically reduce the amount of SO2 needed. Aged for 18 months in French oak.

    C. Historic Rows

    Catena Alta is an assemblage of historic rows within the Catena family Estate vineyards. The blend of these historic rows, like the marriage of sounds that create a symphony, yields a highly aromatic and elegant wine that speaks for the earth and the vines that have been tended by the Catena’s for four generations. The Catena Alta wines can usually be drunk starting three years after harvest and into the following one to two decades.

    Sources: https://catenazapata.com/catena-alta-wines.php



    1. Information on the Wines

    Wine #1.  Catena – Appellation White Clay, 2020

    • Year – 2020
    • Varietal: White blend Semillon 60%; Chenin Blanc 40% from Luján de Cuyo
    • Eight months in French
    • Total Acidity: 6.4 grams/liter in tartaric acid; pH: 3.2
    • 13% APV
    • 92 pts (Vinous); 90pts. (Wine Advocate)

    Tasting notes: Deeply aromatic with expressive citrus and peach with a rich and mineral finish. Pairs well with vegetables, pasta and grilled white meat (Catena).

    “Yellow with a golden sheen. The nose is dominated by white flowers, honey and the aging process. In the mouth, this is voluminous with mild freshness and a creamy, compact, terse feel followed by a long, oaky finish.” (Vinous);

    “The grapes were harvested quite early and then fermented in stainless steel, managing to keep the alcohol to 13.5% in this warm and dry year. It’s balsamic and medicinal, with notes of yellow fruit and some spicy smokiness, as 35% of the wine matured in new barrels for seven to eight months. It’s soft and creamy without excess, combining volume and tasty flavors and a bitter twist in the finish” (Wine Advocate).

    Wine #2. Catena Alta, Malbec, 2018

    • Year – 2018
    • Varietal: 100% Malbec
    • Vineyards: Angelica; La Pirámide; Nicasia; Adrianna; Angelica Sur.
    • Vineyard lots harvested at different times to ensure optimal natural acidity and moderate alcohol levels.
    • Alcoholic and malolactic fermentation in barrel; active battonage
    • Aged 18 months in French oak.
    • Total Acidity: 6.2 grams/liter; pH: 3.55
    • Unclarified and unfiltered
    • 8% APV
    • 93 pts. (Wine Advocate)

    Winemaker notes: after many years of research and experimentation, Nicolas and his daughter identified their best vineyard rows of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Malbec and made the first vintages of the Catena Alta wines in very small quantities. Catena Alta continues to be a limited production of single varietal wines made from the selected few rows in the Catena family’s vineyards. These special barrels undergo a rigorous second selection at the winery. The Catena Alta wines can usually be enjoyed starting three years after harvest and into the following one to two decades.

    Tasting notes: “The 2018 Catena Alta Malbec shows more evolution and ripeness than the 2019. It’s varietal and floral with a mixture of red and black fruit, sweet spices and aromatic herbs. It has moderate ripeness—in fact, it’s a little lower in alcohol than the 2019—a medium body and fine-grained tannins, with good grip”. (Wine Advocate).


    Wine #3.  Catena, Appellation La Consulta, 2019

    • Year – 2019
    • Varietal: 100% Malbec
    • La Consulta vineyard; cold maceration; fermentation 16 days + post maceration 10 days.
    • Aged 12 months in French oak.
    • Total Acidity: 5.85 grams/liter; pH: 3.65
    • 5 APV
    • 92 pts (Wine Advocate)

    Winemaker notes:  In the 1950s, Don Domingo Catena began sourcing Malbec from the Vineyards of La Consulta. The combination of intense sunlight and cool nights yielded a wine that Domingo prized for its deep purple color, black fruit aromatics and rich velvety tannins.  https://catenazapata.com/index.php

    Tasting notes: The Catena Malbec Appellation La Consulta shows a dark violet color with deep purple tones. The nose offers aromas like red fruit and ripe, concentrated dark berries with fresh herbs and floral notes like lavender and violets, some traces of vanilla and tobacco. The mouthfeel is rich, with raspberries and blueberries, spices notes and a touch of mocha. The finish presents soft and well-structured tannins with bright, crisp acidity that gives the wine exceptional length.(Winemaker notes, taken from Wine.com??).

    The 2019 Appellation La Consulta Malbec feels primary and fruit-driven, quite faithful to the varietal and vintage, with good freshness and moderate alcohol. It was juicy, with some of the chalky texture of the stony soils. 90,000 bottles produced. (Wine Advocate).


    Wine #4. Catena – Appellation Paraje Altamira, 2019

    • Year – 2019
    • Varietal: 100% Malbec
    • Altamira vineyard; cold maceration; fermentation 16 days + post maceration 10 days.
    • Aged 12 months in French oak.
    • Total Acidity: 5.95 grams/liter; pH: 3.6
    • 5% APV
    • 93 pts. (Wine Advocate); 93 pts. (Robert Parker)

    Winemaker notes. In the 1950s, Don Domingo Catena began sourcing Malbec from the Vineyards of Paraje Altamira in the Uco Valley. The combination of intense sunlight and cool nights yielded an elegant, mineral, slightly spicy Malbec with a deep texture and flavors. tannins. It is an elegant, mineral, slightly spicy Malbec with a deep texture and flavors born of the combination of intense sunlight and cool nights. Perfect paired with meat, fish, fowl and vegetarian dishes.

    “Following the path of the 2018, the 2019 Appellation Paraje Altamira Malbec is phenomenal. It shows freshness, elegance, balance, complexity and nuance as well. It’s seamless, precise and ethereal with lots of inner energy and light. As the 2018 was, it’s expressive and floral, varietal and with the full chalky texture that is a distinct characteristic of Altamira. It’s tasty, the tannins are polished and there is an almost salty sensation in the finish” (Wine Advocate).

    For more information about the harvests for the vintages selected see: https://catenazapata.com/harvest-2019.php.


    CV Members Ratings (prepared by the CD)


An Insider’s Guide to the Wines & Wine Country of Argentina | Laura Catena | Talks at Google

Contribution of Juan Luis Colaiacovo





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Pablo Neruda: Ode to Conger Chowder and Ode to Wine

Pablo Neruda: Ode to Conger Chowder and Ode to Wine


Ode To Conger Chowder

 by Pablo Neruda

Pome suggested by Ginger Smart special for Club del Vino participants

Bellow Oda al Vino in Spanish and English.

In the storm-tossed
lives the rosy conger,
giant eel
of snowy flesh.
And in Chilean
along the coast,
was born the chowder,
thick and succulent,
a boon to man.
You bring the conger, skinned,
to the kitchen
(its mottled skin slips off
like a glove,
leaving the
grape of the sea
exposed to the world),
the tender eel
to serve our appetites.
you take
first, caress
that precious
its irate fragrance,
blend the minced garlic
with onion
and tomato
until the onion
is the color of gold.
Meanwhile steam
our regal
ocean prawns,
and when
they are
when the savor is
set in a sauce
combining the liquors
of the ocean
and the clear water
released from the light of the onion,
you add the eel
that it may be immersed in glory,
that it may steep in the oils
of the pot,
shrink and be saturated.
Now all that remains is to
drop a dollop of cream
into the concoction,
a heavy rose,
then slowly
the treasure to the flame,
until in the chowder
are warmed
the essences of Chile,
and to the table
come, newly wed,
the savors
of land and sea,
that in this dish
you may know heaven.


English version 

Ode to wine

Pablo Neruda

Wine the color of day,
wine the color of night,
wine with purple feet
or topaz blood,
starlit son
of the earth,
wine, sleek
like a golden sword,
like a mussy velvet,
wine spiraled
and suspended,
you have never fit in a glass,
in a song, in a man,
coral, gregarious you are,
and at least, reciprical.
you feed on deadly
on your wave
we go from grave to grave,
stonecutter of a frozen grave,
and we cry
momentary tears,
your beautiful
spring gown
is different,
your heart rises to the limbs,
the wind moves the day,
nothing remains
inside your motionless soul.
moves springtime,
it grows like a joyous plant,
walls tumble,
the abysses close,
a song is born.
Oh you, pitcher of wine, in the desert
with the savory taste that I love,
said the old poet.
The pitcherful of wine
joins your kiss to the kiss of love.
My love, suddenly
your hip
is the full curve
of the wineglass,
your bosom is the bouquet,
the light is the alcohol of your hair,
the grapes your nipples,
your navel a pure seal
stamped on your vessel of a belly,
and your love the cascade
of insatiable wine,
the clarity that falls on my senses,
the earthly splendor of life.
But not only love,
a burning kiss
or a burnt heart
are you, wine of life,
friendship of beings, transparency,
a chorus of discipline,
an abundance of flowers.
On a table I love,
as one is conversing,
the light from a bottle
of intelligent wine.
May they drink it,
may they remember in each
golden drop
or glass of topaz
or purple spoon,
that autumn worked
until the vessels of wine were filled
and may the sinister man learn,
in the ceremonial of his business,
to remember the earth and its obligations,
to propogate the song of the fruit.


Oda al vino 

Oda al vino

Vino color de día,
vino color de noche,
vino con pies de púrpura
o sangre de topacio,
estrellado hijo
de la tierra,
vino, liso
como una espada de oro,
como un desordenado terciopelo,
vino encaracolado
y suspendido,
nunca has cabido en una copa,
en un canto, en un hombre,
coral, gregario eres,
y cuando menos, mutuo.
A veces
te nutres de recuerdos
en tu ola
vamos de tumba en tumba,
picapedrero de sepulcro helado,
y lloramos
lágrimas transitorias,
tu hermoso
traje de primavera
es diferente,
el corazón sube a las ramas,
el viento mueve el día,
nada queda
dentro de tu alma inmóvil.
El vino
mueve la primavera,
crece como una planta la alegría,
caen muros,
se cierran los abismos,
nace el canto.
Oh tú, jarra de vino, en el desierto
con la sabrosa que amo,
dijo el viejo poeta.
Que el cántaro de vino
al beso del amor sume su beso.
Amor mio, de pronto
tu cadera
es la curva colmada
de la copa,
tu pecho es el racimo,
la luz del alcohol tu cabellera,
las uvas tus pezones,
tu ombligo sello puro
estampado en tu vientre de vasija,
y tu amor la cascada
de vino inextinguible,
la claridad que cae en mis sentidos,
el esplendor terrestre de la vida.
Pero no sólo amor,
beso quemante
o corazón quemado
eres, vino de vida,
amistad de los seres, transparencia,
coro de disciplina,67
abundancia de flores.
Amo sobre una mesa,
cuando se habla,
la luz de una botella
de inteligente vino.
Que lo beban,
que recuerden en cada
gota de oro
o copa de topacio
o cuchara de púrpura
que trabajó el otoño
hasta llenar de vino las vasijas
y aprenda el hombre oscuro,
en el ceremonial de su negocio,
a recordar la tierra y sus deberes,
a propagar el cántico del fruto.


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Tasting #249 January 31, 2023 12:30 pm Wines from Southern Chile

Tasting #249
January 31, 2023 12:30 pm
Wines from Southern Chile

 Capri Ristorante, McLean VA


1.    Koupin, Carignan, 2019. Vinos Gustavo Martinez. Valle de Itata  13.5% Alchool

2.    Chardonnay, Sol de Sol. Vina Aquitanie, S.A. Valle de Malleco. Traiguen, Chile. 13.3% Alchool (93 points)

3. Mission Grapes (Pais),   Santa Cruz de Coya, Roberto Henriquez, 12%  Alchool

4.   Brisas de Guarilihue Cinsault, 2019, Wildmakers, Guarilihue Alto- Valle del Itata. 11% Alchool

Presenters: Ruth Connoly y Ginger Smart

Participants: TBA


Given the regions’ three centuries of history making wines of/ the people,  in choosing the menu,  emphasis was placed on dishes that reflect as far as possible food that the people of the area would eat with the wines selected. This has resulted in some unusual combinations and the presenters thank the Capri staff for their collaboration in designing the menu with us.

1.   Brochetta with corn, tomatoes and onions

Calamares with seaweed

3.   Cazuela (soup) with pork, potatoes and squash

Grilled trout with potatoes and cabbage



1.Koupin, Carignan, 2019. Vinos Gustavo Martinez. Valle de Itata, 13.5% Alcohol

From the winemaker: Es un vino que se obtiene de la comuna de Ninhue en el valle del Itata. Es un viñedo de mas de 50 años, el cual es único en la zona de Itata, ya que la mayoría de los carignan de esa edad se han arrancado y reemplazado por uva país que es mucho más rustica y resistente a las enfermedades. Este viñedo se maneja en espaldera baja (80cm) simple a diferencia de todos los demás que se manejan en cabeza.

Winemaker notes

Deep garnet with a vibrant ruby edge, velvety soft on the palate with bright cherry to plum flavors. This wine is weighty and full of fresh ripe berries with rich, dark accents of cocoa nib. Intriguing and delicious.

Aromas of dark chocolate, plum, black cherry, cedar and tarragon jump from the glass.

2. Chardonnay, Sol de Sol. Vina Aquitanie, S.A. Valle de Malleco. Traiguen, Chile. 13.3% Alchool (93 points)

Notes from Producer: De color amarillo brillante. Muy intenso en la nariz, sus aromas recuerdan frutas como manzanas verdes, melón verde (tuna), algo de espárrago, olivas y avellanas tostadas, con notas minerales. En boca presenta fresca acidez, gran volumen y concentración. Su persistencia al final de la degustación es frutal y mineral, complementado con el sabor de la encina francesa. Gran equilibrio entre el alcohol y la acidez natural que le da frescor, persistencia y potencial de envejecimiento, algo difícil de obtener en un vino blanco chileno.

3. Mission Grapes (Pais),   Santa Cruz de Coya, Roberto Henriquez, 12%  Alcohol

From vinatis.co.uk

Sol de Sol has really changed the reputation of Chilean Chardonnay and is recognized for such!

The quality of the grapes from this terroir is so impressive that it was created with the Chilean Ministry of Agriculture. Complex and elegant wines are produced here, allowing the minerality of the volcanic soil and the freshness of the coldest climate in the Valle del Malleco to express themselves. Sol de Sol delights us from the moment it opens with its intense golden colour, but also with its enchanting aromas of apples and fresh figs. Notes of olives and roasted hazelnuts accompany the desire to taste it. On the palate, it is a freshness and a long fruity and mineral finish, integrating woody flavours, which enchant us. An excellent balance of characteristics that can make up a wine. Sol de Sol has a rare ageing capacity for Chilean white wines. An exception to be discovered and shared, a journey to the heart of unique flavours.

This wine is made from 100% pure País grapes obtained from a 200-year-old vineyard located in Nacimiento, in which soils are granitic intrusive (solidified magma). The vines were managed traditionally without the addition of chemical fertilizers or herbicides. Santa Cruz de Coya is the name of the nearby village established in 1595 that was a key site of the 1598-1599 uprising that ended the Era of the Conquista. The Mapuches finally won the battle against the Spanish conquistadors.

10/13/2021 – DIGGYDAN WROTE:93 Points

Beautifully elegant and light weight. Aromatic red berry. Palate a nice mix of upfront red fruit and background herbaceousness.

4.   Brisas de Guarilihue Cinsault, 2019, Wildmakers, Guarilihue Alto- Valle del Itata. 11% Alchool

Notes from producer

General description: Los viñedos utilizado para la elaboración de nuestros Brisas Cinsault se encuentran ubicados en Guarilihue Alto, sector El Huaro a unos 30 km del mar. Son viñedos de más de 40 años, manejados a la usanza tradicional de la zona. Es decir, manejo del suelo a caballo, sin aplicación de pesticidas. Nos enfocamos en realizar una vinificación enfocada a preservar toda la fruta y las características varietales que nos aporta la variedad Cinsault, sin crianza en madera.

Tasting Notes:

En nariz, Brisas Cinsault, presenta mucha fruta roja y energía, recuerda a freses, ciruelas fresca y cerezas combinada con suaves toques de especias herbales. Es un vino fresco y peligrosamente fácil de tomar y de jugoso final.

Color: Rojo rubí, limpio y brillante,  Varietal: 100% Cinsault,  From:  Guarilihue Alto- Valle del Itata.

Wine Regions

ltata, Bio Bio and Malleco are among the southernmost wine producing valleys of Chile and are drastically different from the rest of Chile’s wine regions.

ltata Valley

It actually rains here, up to 50 inches a year. In addition to this wine weather advantage, the regions soils are mostly volcanic in origin and unlike those of the other wine valleys in Chile. There is also a lot of cloud cover in this area, a classic cool climate growing advantage.

Plantings of old vine cinsault, ^pais” (mission grape) and muscat are most common. Wine produced is basically red with Carignan, muscat (musket) of Alexandria, “Pais” (Mission Grapes or Criolla Chica in Argentina), Pinot Noirs and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

Old traditions of wine making and a lack of large-scale viticulture and winemaking sets ltata apart. Look for: red blends, Cabernet Franc.


At 36 degrees south, the more windy, rainy climate of the Bio Bio valley, is somewhat more extreme than the country’s other wine producing regions and favors the production of crisp wines. Of particular note are its excellent Riesling and Viognier white wines. There is also another interesting white called Muscat de Alexandria. Bio Bio is characterized by few vineyards, fewer wineries and amazingly interesting soils. Pinot Noir is also produced.


Located 340 miles South of the Chilean capital of Santiago at 38 degrees South latitude, the Malleco Valley is becoming a growth area for Chilean wine. Malleco has well-drained soils, consisting principally of red clay and sand. However, although its marginal climate and short growing season makes the development of a wine industry particularly challenging, its current fresh sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir production enjoys a racy acidity.

Currently, Vine Aquitania, S.A. from the Chilean Central Valley is exploring additional growth possibilities both in Malleco and further South.

Wines Evaluation on the opinion of Club del Vino  Members

To be published after the tasting

Next Meeting:

Wines from Mendoza by Clara Estrada and Jorge Garcia







feb 28

Región Mendoza, Argentina

Clara Estrada and Jorge Garcia


mar 28

“Off the Beaten Track Chilean Wines”:

Pipeño wines and Carignan, Cinsault, and Pais

Ricardo Santiago


abr 25

Región de Aconcagua, Chile

Cristian Santelices y Jorge Claro


may 30


Claudia y Agilson Perazza


jun 27

Valle de Uco, Argentina

  Jairo Sánchez y Jorge Requena


jul 25

Blancos de la Región Sur

Erico Silva y Nick Marzella


ago 29

Región del Valle Central, Chile

 José Brakarz


sep 26

Región de Casanova, Chile

 Marcello Averbug


oct 31

Región Sur, Argentina

Jaime Estupiñan


nov 14


Michelle Fryer


dic 12

The best wines of 2023

John and Lucia Redwood













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Mario Aguilar is not with us anymore

Mario Aguilar is not with us anymore

Mario Aguilar passed away January 1st. 2023

Mario Aguilar distinguished and appreciated member of the Club del Vino  has left us at the dawn of the new year of 2023.

His activity at the Club del Vino with his deep expertise on the matter was a great contribution to our meetings. A good friend will be missed indeed.

Juan Colaiacovo, former Club del Vino President, wrote a few word that will help us remember Mario:

-Una gran pérdida por todas las razones indicadas.> Mario fue una presencia importante para el CV.

 -Ingreso al Club alrededor de 2010 traído por Alfonso Sánchez que ya tenía en el Club algunos meses. Alfonso vino invitado por el amigo Ítalo Mirkow cuando el Club se abrió a miembros de fuera de la OEA.

-Mario fue miembro de la CD y tuvo importante participación en la creación de dos clubes que funcionaron en paralelos al CV hasta el indicio de la pandemia.

-Algunos tuvimos el privilegio de disfrutar de la generosidad de Mario al compartir vinos de su valiosa colección.

– El COVID lo afectó mucho y después un cáncer.

 -Mario y Alfonso dos grandes contribuciones del Banco Mundial al CV.

Siempre lo recordaremos con afecto.

Juan Luiz Colaiacovo

Mario Aquilar 2012


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Tasting #248 December 6, 2022 – 12:30 Wines from the “Camino de Santiago”

Tasting #248          December 6, 2022 – 12:30 Wines from the “Camino de Santiago”  “The Way of Saint James”

 Capri Ristorante, McLean VA

 Tasting Overview
The main objective of this tasting is to explore some wines of Spain’s wine regions bisected by or near  the Camino de Santiago (Camino Frances).
We will have the opportunity to taste one white wine and three reds from distinct appellations along the Camino Frances.

From where these wines come from:

The Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James) is a large network of ancient pilgrim routes stretching across Europe and coming together at the tomb of St. James (Santiago in Spanish) in Santiago de Compostela in north-west Spain.

Plan your Camino by Booking a Tour

Yearly, hundreds of thousands of people of various backgrounds walk the Camino de Santiago either on their own or in organized groups. People who want to have peace of mind will benefit from an organized tour or a self-guided tour while many will opt to plan the camino on their own.

Origins of the pilgrimage

The history of the Camino de Santiago goes back at the beginning of the 9th century (year 814) moment of the discovery of the tomb of the evangelical apostle of the Iberian Peninsula. Since this discovery, Santiago de Compostela becomes a peregrination point of the entire European continent.

You may recognize some “Way of Saint James” pilgrims.

The Way was defined then by the net of Roman routes that joined the neuralgic points of the Peninsula. The impressive human flow that from very soon went towards Galicia made quickly appear lots of hospitals, churches, monasteries, abbeys and towns around the route. During the 14th century the pilgrimage began to decay, fact brought by the wars, the epidemics and the natural catastrophes.

The recovery of the route begins at the end of the 19th century, but it is during the last quarter of the 20th century when the authentic contemporary resurge of the peregrination takes place. There is no doubt that the social, tourist, cultural or sport components have had a great importance in the “jacobea” revitalization but we cannot forget that the route has gained its prestige thanks to its spiritual value. 

Additional information on the Camino de Santiago could be found  here   (https://santiago-compostela.net/)   among many other good informative sites in the internet.

Tasting Presenters

Erico Silva and Nick Marzella


J Brakarz; J Claro; R Connolly; C Estrada; M Fryer; J García; J&L Redwood; C Perazza;
J Sanchez; C Santelices; E Silva; G Smart; R Zavaleta; N Marzella (invited) and L Boccalandro (invited)


Zuppa di Aragosta

Insalata di Rucola

Fettuccine con Ragu di Vitello

Salmone alla Griglia

Information about the region

This is the first tasting of Biezo wines this year, therefore it’s described below. All the other wine regions are described in prior tastings for this year. Source:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bierzo_(DO).

Bierzo is a Spanish Denominación de Origen  Protegida (DOP) for wines located in the northwest of the province of León (Castile and León, Spain) and covers about 3,000 km². It borders on the provinces of Ourense, Lugo and Asturias in the north and in the south on areas of La Montaña, la Cabrera and La Meseta, in Léon. The area consists of numerous small valleys in the mountainous part (Alto Bierzo) and of a wide, flat plain (Bajo Bierzo).
The DO covers 23 municipalities including the largest town of the area, Ponferrada (population about 70,000). The first written reference to the Bierzo region, whose name derives from the pre-Roman city of Bergidum, is from Pliny the Elder. The Romans
developed agriculture, introduced new crops including Vitis vinifera vines, and new technology such as the Roman plough. However, the greatest expansion of viticulture was related to the growth of the monasteries, especially the Cistercian order, during the Middle Ages. After centuries of production and after having achieved a good reputation in the  markets of Galicia and Asturias, the Bierzo vineyards suffered a terrible blow in the 19th century when the phylloxera plague practically wiped them out. There was a severe  conomic crisis which forced many people to emigrate. Production was slowly restablished thanks to the technique of grafting onto new world rootstocks and wine production gradually recovered to assume the significant economic role it had played in the past.
In 1989 the Bierzo DO was officially recognized.
Climate: The Bierzo DOP has a special macroclimate which is beneficial for viticulture. On the one hand it is similar to the climate of Galicia with regard to humidity and rainfall, and on the other it is also similar to the hot, dry climate of Castile. The low altitude also helps to prevent late frosts and means that the grape harvest is usually about one month earlier than in Castile. The average annual temperature is around 12°C, with the minimum in winter of 3.5°C and maximum in summer of 24°C.

The average annual rainfall is just over 700 mm, and the vines receive about 2,200 hours of sunshine per annum.

Soils: The soils in the mountains consist of a mixture of fine elements, quartz and slate. The vineyards are planted mainly on humid, dark soil which is slightly acidic and low in carbonates. The acidity ranges from 4 to 8.5, with values of over 6 in the valleys. Lime content is low, less than 3000 kg/ha. The carbon/nitrogen ratio is 11.9 in the valleys and 11 on the plains.

Grape Varieties: The wines produced under the Bierzo DPO must be made only with the varieties that are authorized by the Consejo Regulador (Regulatory Council).
● Red grapes: Mencía and Alicante Bouschet (Garnacha Tintorera).
● White grapes: Doña Blanca, Godello, Palomino, and Malvasía.

Wines produced:

1. Young whites: Made with Doña Blanca, Godello and Palomino. Between 10° and 13°.
2. Young reds: Made with a minimum of 70% Mencía. Between 11° and 14°.
3. Aged wines without crianza: the vintage must be shown on the label and certain criteria complied with.
4. Rosé wines: made with a minimum of 50% Mencía and may contain white grapes.
5. Crianza wines: Minimum of 6 months in oak casks plus 18 months in the bottle.
6. Reserva wines: Minimum of 12 months in oak barrels plus 24 months in the bottle for red  wines; minimum of 6 months in oak casks and 18 months in the bottle for whites.



Muga Rioja Blanco Flor de Muga 2019

López de Heredia – Viña Tondonia Reserva 2010

Raul Perez Bierzo Tinto Ultreia el Rapolao 2019

Guimaro – Ribeira Sacra A Ponte 2019

Notes on the Wines of the Camino


  1. Muga Rioja Blanco Flor de Muga 2019

Producer: Bodegas Muga, Haro, Spain
Region, La Rioja, Rioja Alta
Appellation: Rioja
Alcohol: 14%
Grapes: Viura, Garnacha blanca and Maturana blanca (no percentages given)
Ratings: WA 94, JS 95
Bodegas Muga is a Spanish winery based in Haro, in the Rioja Alta region. The estate was created in 1932 by Isaac Muga Martínez and his wife, Aurora Caño, and currently produces several red, rosé and white wines from Tempranillo, Garnacha, Mazuelo, Malvasia and Viura grapes.

The second vintage of their top white is the 2019 Flor de Muga Blanco, produced with a blend of 40% Viura from red limestone and clay soils, 30% Garnacha Blanca from classical clay and limestone and 30% Maturana Blanca planted on sandy soils. It fermented in small barrels with indigenous yeasts and then matured in concrete eggs for three months and new barriques built in their own cooperage for six months. The wine is 13.2% alcohol and has a pH of 3.2 with very good acidity. There are only 37 hectares of Maturana Blanca in Rioja, of which they have eight.

It’s the same grape as the extinct Ribadavia variety from Galicia. The variety disappeared because it delivers very low yields, but they love the quality when it is picked fully ripe when it still keeps very good acidity. The wine is still a little oaky and powerful, from a warm and dry year, but the palate is electric and almost salty. This is a white that should develop nicely in bottle (I wish I had a time machine!), and as with the rosé, this feels like the finest vintage to date… only the second one! 11,892 bottles produced. It was bottled in December 2020.  WineAdvocate 94+ points

Structured, complex and layered white with medium body and a creamy, phenolic texture. Dried lemons, apricot stones, cedar, flint and sea salt. Long and evolving. Very fresh, too. Fantastic. About 12,000 bottles made. 40% Viura, 30% grenache blanc and 30% maturana. Drink or hold.   James Suckling 95 points


2. López de Heredia – Viña Tondonia Reserva 2010

Producer: R. Lopez de Heredia, Haro, Spain
Region, La Rioja, Rioja Alta
Appellation: Rioja
Alcohol: 13%
Grapes: Tempranillo 70%, Garnacha 20%, Graciano and Mazuelo 10%
Ratings: WA 96, JS 97, WS 93 pts.

About as delicious as old-school Rioja ever gets, this is a joy now and will just get better all at just 13.0% alcohol. Pair it up with rich lamb or braised beef and you will  be very happy. The 2010 Viña Tondonia Reserva has all I expect from a Reserva from Tondonia, complexity, elegance and evolution, a developed nose with notes of forest floor and wild berries, herbs and flowers, a touch of iodine, brick dust and very fine, polished tannins. It has the seriousness and elegance of Tondonia. This is a blend of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacho (they use the masculine form of the name of the grape) and 5% each Graciano and Mazuelo that fermented in the ancient oak vats from when the winery was created 144 years ago and matured in well-seasoned, American oak barrels for six years. Wine Advocate 96 points


3. Raul Perez Bierzo Tinto Ultreia el Rapolao 2019

Producer: Bodegas y Vinedos Raul Perez, Valtuille de Abajo, León, Spain
Region: Castilla y Leon
Appellation: Bierzo
Alcohol: 13.5%
Grapes: Mencia
Ratings: WA 97

The blend is similar to Perez,  Ultreia St Jacques, but all the fruit comes from a tiny plot of 100+ year-old, ungrafted, vines in Bierzo El Rapolao cru. The whole grape bunches go into open-top chestnut vats, ferment at their own pace with native yeasts, and then sit and soak for 30 days after fermentation with no sulfur while a film of flor yeast grows across the top. The free-run juice is drained into two used 500-liter and one 225-liter French oak casks to rest for 12 months.

Around 1,500 bottles are filled.

If you are looking for a blockbuster, big and bold, wine this is NOT it! This is all about delicacy, silkiness, and purity, with highly polished tannins and a floral, blue-fruited, finish that does not quit. It is delicious now, probably at peak from 2024 and best enjoyed through the end of the decade.

It is not clear which vintage is better for the Ultreia range, as it depends on the wine. I think the 2019 Ultreia El Rapolao is better than the 2020, perhaps because it is from a warmer and riper year, when this wine tends to behave better. This is juicy, round and complete, with abundant, very fine tannins and the balance and stuffing to develop nicely in bottle. Wine Advocate 97 points Guimaro – Ribeira Sacra A Ponte 2019

Pedro Rodriguez great project – restoring this formerly family-owned vineyard to its former glory. Slopes range up to 80% here where Pedro and his father planted a classic Ribera Sacra field blend. Amazing amount of power from such a young wine and worth decanting if you are opening it soon.

The single-vineyard 2019 A Ponte was produced with grapes from vines planted in 2010, a vineyard that used to belong to the Guímaro family a long time ago that they had to buy again and replant. It is a blend of 30% Mencía and similar parts of Caíño, Merenzao, Brancellao and Sousón. All the grapes fermented together with 100% full clusters in closed troncoconic vats with a 50-day total maceration time and always matured in 500-liter barrels. It has less color and is rather light and ethereal compared to its siblings. All the 2019s are more closed than the 2020s, and the wines are more austere and, in general, have more depth and balance, with lower alcohol. This has 13% and a subtle nose of wild flowers and herbs, nuanced and complex.

This is superb for such young vines. 4,000 bottles produced.  Wine Advocate 95+ points

4. Guimaro – Ribeira Sacra A Ponte 2019

Producer: Adegas Guímaro, Sober, Galicia, Spain
Region: Galicia
Appellation: Ribeira Sacra
Alcohol: 13%
Grapes: “field” blend of 30% Mencía, 17.5% Caiño, 17.5% Sousón, 17.5% Brancellao and 17.5%
Aging: 9 months in cask
Ratings: WA 95

Pedro Rodriguez’s great project – restoring this formerly family-owned vineyard to its former glory. Slopes range up to 80% here where Pedro and his father planted a classic Ribera Sacra field blend. Amazing amount of power from such a young wine and worth decanting if you are opening it soon.

The single-vineyard 2019 A Ponte was produced with grapes from vines planted in 2010, a
vineyard that used to belong to the Guímaro family a long time ago that they had to buy again and replant. It’s a blend of 30% Mencía and similar parts of Caíño, Merenzao, Brancellao and Sousón. All the grapes fermented together with 100% full clusters in closed troncoconic vats with a 50-day total maceration time and always matured in 500-liter barrels. It has less color and is rather light and ethereal compared to its siblings. All the 2019s are more closed than the 2020s, and the wines are more austere and, in general, have more depth and balance, with lower alcohol. This has 13% and a subtle nose of wild flowers and herbs, nuanced and complex.

This is superb for such young vines. 4,000 bottles produced. Wine Advocate 95+ points.

Evaluation of the tasted wines by Club del Vino members:

The tasting took place before the wines’ prices were revealed and 15 participants rated them from acceptable to exceptional. The combined results established the preference order during the tasting, as follows:

1 st – Blanco Flor de Muga 2019, White, Rioja
2 nd – two reds tied: Viña Tondonia Reserva 2010, Red, Rioja Alta and A Ponte 2019, Red, Ribeira Sacra
4 th – Ultreia el Rapolao 2019, Red, Bierzo
The white wine Blanco Flor de Muga 2019 was rated both the Best Wine and the Best Buy. The following Table presents the details of individual ratings and combined results.


For those that are no aware of my participation in the Special Forces


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Tasting # 247 – November 15, 2022 – 12:30   The Best Red Wines of 2022:

Tasting # 247 – November 15, 2022 – 12:30   The Best Red Wines of 2022:
Priorat, Ribera Del Duero, Ribera Sacra, Rioja, and Toro

 Capri Ristorante, McLean VA


Power Point presentation version in pdf format by Ricardo Santiago    click here

1 – Objective and Tasting Procedure  

1.1 Objective

Compare the best red wines selected in the tastings of the Club del Vino in 2022.

1.2 Tasting Procedure

– Blind Tasting in random order.

-Participants will rank the wines by order of preference (subjective ranking).

– The preferences are aggregated and informed to the participants.

– Participants will comment on the wines.

– Participants may try to identify the wines.

– The wines are identified, and prices are disclosed.

– Participants select ‘best value’ wine.

Presentation by Ricardo Santiago

Members Present:  TBA


– Appetizer: Calamari Fritti (Fried Fresh Calamari & Zucchini, served with mild fra-diavolo sauce).

– Pasta: Ravioli di Vitello (Homemade Ravioli filled with veal and mozzarella in aurora sauce).

– Meat: Lamb chops with Rice al Fungi.

-Cheese: Cheese from Spain (TBD: Manchego, Idiazabal, Mahon, Tetilla, or   Zamorano).


2  – Red Wines Tasted In 2022

  • 29 red wines were tasted in 2022.
  • Wines were from the 2 Denominación de Origen Calificada (DOCa/DOQ) and from 9 Denominación de Origen (DO).
  • Great representation of the diversity and excellence of red wines of Spain. (Future tastings should include Vinos de Pago, Mencía wines from DO Bierzo and additional DOCa Priorat and Garnacha Tinta based wines.)

3. Red Wines Tasted By Region And Do/Doca

  1. Green Spain: Galicia   —                DO Ribeira Sacra       2
  2. Duero River Valley: Castilla Y León  — DO Ribeira D. Duero     6,                                                                                                     —    DO Toro    3
  1. La Rioja: Rioja                                     —      DOCa Rioja             7
  2. Ebro River Valle: Navarra             —       DO Navarra                1                                                     Aragon                       —       DO Campo De Borja     1
  3. Cataluña: Cataluña                          —        DOCca Priorat           3
  4. Central Meditter.: Valencia            —        DO Valencia           1                                                                                                     —       Do Alicante            2
  5. The Meseta: Castilla-La Mancha —-DO Manchuela     1                                                                                                          —-        Do Almansa     2


4 – Best Red Wines, Spain, 2022, By Tasting 


#237 – Jan    DO Rib Sacra:           Dominio DO Bibei, Lalama, Ribera Sacra, 2017 (Mencía 90%, Brancellao, And Traces Of Garnacha And Mouraton)

 #238 – Feb   No Red Wines

#239 – Mar   DO Rib Duero:         Condado De Haza, Ribera Del Duero, Crianza, 2018  (Tempranillo 100%)

#240 – Apr    DO Almansa:            Venta La Vera,Ternario 1, Almansa, 2019 (Garnacha Tintorera 100%)

#241- May    Doq Priorat: Ferret Bobet, Vinyes Velles, Priorat, 2017 (Carinena 74% And Garnacha 26%)


#242 – Jun    DOCa Rioja:  Marqués De Cáceres, Reserva, Rioja, 2016 (Tempranillo 90%) And Latitud 42, Gran Reserva, Rioja, 2010 (Tempranillo)

#243 – Jul      Doc Alicante:           Bodegas Artadi De Laguardia, El Seque, Alicante, 2019 (Monastrell 100%)

#244 – Aug   DOCa Rioja:  Sierra Cantabria, Crianza, 2017 (Tempranillo 100%)

#245 – Sep    DO Rib Duero:         Emilio Moro, Malleolus, Ribera Del Duero, 2017 (Tempranillo 100%)

#246 – Oct    DO Toro:        Hacienda Terra D`Uro,  Uro, Toro, 2016 (Tinta De Toro 100%)


  1. Selection of the Wines

Five wines were selected from the best wines in the ten tastings that included red wines.

– Selected wines are from five different DOC/DOCa.

– Wines are from the main DOC/DOCa.

– Vintages may be different from the wines originally tasted because of availability of wines in the market.

– Prices were not taken into consideration.



     Marqués de Cáceres, Reserva, Rioja, 2016.
     Ferrer Bobet, Vinyies Velles, Priorat, 2018.


      Emilio Moro, Malleolus, Ribera del Duero, 2019.
      Hacienda Terra d`Uro, Uro, Toro, 2016.


      Dominio do Bibei, Lalama, Ribeira Sacra, 2018.


  1. Ratings of Selected Wines by Wine Club Members, %










Varieties: Cariñena (86%) and Garnacha Tinta (14%).
Vineyard: old vines grown on steep slate hills around the village of Porrera.
Harvest: Manual.
Fermentation: In oak and stainless-steel.
Aging: 15 months in French oak and 11 months in bottle.
Bottled without clarification and filtration (may have harmless deposit).
Alcohol: 14.5%



Variety: 85% Mencía and 15% (Brancellao, Mouratón, Sousón, and Garnacha Tintorera).
Vineyards: Vines 23 to 100 years old in different types of soils.
Harvest: By hand.
Fermentation: French oak troncocónicos (25, 35, and 45 HL).
Aging: 18 months in old French oak barrels (300 and 500l)  and 10 months in troncocónicos of French oak (45 HL).
Alcohol: 14%



Variety: 100% Tempranillo (Tinto Fino)
Vintage 2019 in DO Ribera del Duero: Excellent.
Vineyards: Selected grapes from old vines trained as bushes and on trellising.
Malolatic Fermentation: 30 days in stainless-steel tanks.
Ageing: French oak barrels
Alcohol: 14.5%


Varieties: Tempranillo (90%) and other varieties (10%).
Vintage in 2016 DOCa Rioja: `Very Good`.
Vineyards: Old vineyards from Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa.
Harvest: By hand.
Aging: 15 months in French oak barrels, equally divided between new barrels and one- and two-year old barrels. Minimum two years in bottle.
Alcohol: 14%



Variety: 100 % Tinta de Toro.
Vintage 2016 in DO Toro: ‘Excellent’.
Vineyard: “Finca La Coscojosa” pre-phylloxera vines of 90 years of age planted in bush.
Viticulture: Organic – Ecological.
Harvest: Exclusively manual.
Fermentation: In 5000 liters oak barrels.
Aging: 20 months in French oak casks of 500 liters.
Alcohol: 14.5%

9. CV Members Rating

The participants first ranked the wines in order of preference without rating their quality. Then participants rated according to the indicators of quality level – from mediocre to exceptional. The combined results are as follows:

Best Rated Wine: Uro Toro 2016; close second: Malleolus Ribera del Duero 2019

Best Buy: Marqués de Cáceres, Reserva Rioja, 2016.

View the full evaluation here:


-Information on the appellations, wineries, and varieties of the selected wines can be found in the Club del Vino tastings:

Tasting # 237 – Ribeira Sacra

Tasting # 239 – Ribera del Duero and Toro

Tasting # 241 – Priorat

Tasting # 242 – Ribera del Duero and Rioja

Tasting # 244 –  Rioja

Tasting # 245 – Ribera del Duero

Tasting # 246 –  Toro

-Recommended book on Spanish wines:

Ballesteros Torre, Pedro. Compreender el Vino: Casi todo lo que aún no te havian contado de los vinos españoles. Planeta Gastro, 2021.

Available on Amazon Kindle, $8.99 (Comprender el vino: Casi todo lo que aún no te habían contado de los vinos españoles: Ballesteros Torres, Pedro: 9788408249795: Amazon.com: Books)



Three wise lessons:

3 lessons:
1. Do not despair before it’s over.
2. Do not celebrate before it’s over.
3. Do not leave your post before the fight is over.


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Brazil’s winemakers aiming to toast more global sales

Brazil’s winemakers aiming to toast more global sales

Giorgia Mezacasa says Brazil’s winemakers just need overseas drinkers to try their wines

Giorgia Mezacasa says that overseas drinkers are often taken aback by the high standard of the wines her colleagues produce.

“The client buys the first bottle because they’re curious, and they are surprised by the quality,” says Ms Mezacasa, who is export supervisor for Aurora, the largest winery in Brazil.

“Then the second bottle they buy is a confirmation that we are producing top-quality wine.”

Brazil is not the first country most people associate with wine. Much of the vast nation has tropical weather that is too hot and humid for growing vines.

Yet down in the far south of Brazil, near the borders of Argentina and Uruguay, the climate is far milder. And it is here in the state of Rio Grande do Sul that Brazil now has a thriving wine industry, with more than 1,000 wineries.

Last year, Brazil produced a collective 3.6 million hectolitres of wine, according to country-by-country figures from the International Organisation of Vine and Wine. That’s certainly enough for a good party, but it is tiny compared with the giants of the wine world.

A glass of Pizzato rosé sparkling wineIMAGE SOURCE,PIZZATO
While Brazil produces still wines, it is gaining most regard for its sparkling bottles

Italy, the largest producer, made 50.2 million hectolitres in 2021, while second-placed France was on 37.6 million. Meanwhile, Argentina, which has the biggest winemaking sector in South America, totalled 12.5 million hectolitres.

To try to help it catch up, Brazil is now continuing with an export drive, hoping to encourage wine fans around the world to try its bottles. Currently it exports just 2% of its production.

As Rafael Romagna, manager at export agency Wines of Brazil, explains, they have a strategic approach.

Rafael Romagna’s organisation works to help Brazilian wine increase its profile on the world stage

His organisation was set up in 2004 by wine trade body Brazilian Union of Viticulture to work with the government to introduce Brazilian bottles to wine fairs and trade shows around the world.

So instead of each Brazilian winery having to do overseas promotion all on its own, Wines of Brazil would do it for all of them. “A Brazilian winery would hardly have the ways to afford the costs to go on their own to these events,” says Mr Romagna.

“As part of the strategy, Wines of Brazil enrols Brazilian wines in blind tastings, often with positive results. Our country is not recognised as a producer yet, so people are surprised when they find out they had just tasted a Brazilian wine, and more than that, a product with high quality.”

Grapes at winery MioloIMAGE SOURCE,MIOLO
Brazil’s winemakers have a long way to go to catch up with production levels in neighbouring Argentina

Aurora’s Ms Mezacasa says that patience is required to build up an export business. “Things don’t happen overnight, and there’s a whole study needed to define that a product is well-received among overseas clients.”

She adds that while Brazilian wine will probably be compared with that of its neighbours Argentina and Uruguay, their focus is mostly on reds, while Brazil has developed a specialism for sparkling wines made the same way as champagne.

“We prefer to focus on what we do better – sparkling wine,” she says.

Presentational grey line

Global Trade

Presentational grey line

Aurora now exports its wine – sparkling, plus red, white and rosé – to more than 20 countries, including China and Japan. The winery itself was set up back in the 1930s, and remains a co-operative co-owned by some 1,100 families that all grow their own grapes.

Flavio Pizzato, a partner at fellow Brazilian winery Pizzato, says that the country holding the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics helped to boost wine exports, as the two events increased global interest in all things from Brazil.

Flavio Pizzato says that Brazilian winemakers have been helped by an increased international focus on the country

His company now exports to England, Germany and the US, and he agrees that you need to take your time to build up overseas demand.

“Exporting is a long-term project. It’s not an adventure of someone looking to export once, it’s constant work. And Brazilian wine has evolved a lot, not only the quality of our products, but commercially too.”

For Rafael Boscaini, export analyst at a third Brazilian winery, Miolo, overseas sales are driven by wines getting good scores at international professional tastings. He says this makes buyers take notice.

Mr Boscaini adds that canny Brazilian wineries now produce wines at various price points. “Some countries look for more affordable wines, others prefer more expensive wines, so it’s very particular.”

Southern Brazil has weather suitable for growing grapes for winemaking

But while Brazil’s winemakers will inevitably say that their wines are excellent, what do overseas wine experts think?

Evan Goldstein, a San Francisco-based master sommelier, says that the quality can be very high. “While Brazil may be a new participant for many on the global wine stage, once people try the wines they are – at the top end of the range of offerings – quite pleasantly surprised and delighted.”

UK-based master of wine Rebecca Gibb says that the problem for Brazilian winemakers is encouraging overseas drinkers to try them in the first place.

“While there’s nothing to say Brazil can’t find a small niche in the UK market, large volume success is hard to imagine, but there are some open-minded importers who could champion it,” she says.

“There would have to be a compelling price, quality level or signature wine style like New Zealand sauvignon blanc or Argentine malbec to gain real traction. Brazil’s sparkling wines, for example, are good, but why is a champagne, prosecco or cava drinker regularly going to opt for Brazilian bubbles?”

Back in Brazil, Ms Mezacasa hopes that British drinkers and those elsewhere will give Brazilian wine a chance.

“When it comes to wine Brazil is still relatively unknown, so our wines seem exotic,” she says. “And that’s what draws people’s attention.”


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Tasting No 246 – October 25, 2022 – Wines from Northern Spain

Tasting No 246 – October 25, 2022 –12:30 pm           Wines from Northern Spain


                                                  Capri Ristorante, McLean VA



Tasting Overview

The purpose of this tasting is to explore wines from four regions in Northern Spain – Getaria in the Basque Country, Ribera Baja in Navarra, Campo de Borja in Aragon, and Toro in Castilla y Leon.

We will have the opportunity to taste and explore one white Txakoli wine and three reds from distinct appellations. 

Tasting: Open

Presenters: Lucia and John Redwood

The wines:

  1. Txomin Etxanix 2021 (Getaria, Basque Country) –Txakoli
  2. Vina Rubican 2021 (Baja Ribera, Navarra) – 100% Tempranillo
  3. Borsao Tres Picos 2019 (Campo de Borja) – 100% Garnacha
  4. Uro Toro 2016 (Toro) –100% Tinto de Toro

  ♣   Notes on the Wines and their production regions by John Redwood     .pdf format


  • Butternut squash soup
  • Arugula salad with Parmesan cheese
  • Veal ravioli with tomato sauce
  • Beef medallion with potatoes and vegetables


Marcello Averbug; José Brakarz; Jorge Requena; Ruth Connolly; Clara Estrada; Jorge Garcia; Claudia Perazza; John Redwood; Lucía Redwood; Ricardo Santiago; Érico Silva; Cecilio Berndsen; Alfredo Gutierrez; Raimundo Arroio invited by José Brakarz; and two friends invited by Ruth Connoly.


Places and DOs

  1. The Basque Country: Getaria

Txakoli de Getaria is a DO wine zone located within the province of Gipukoa of the País Basco, between Bilbao and San Sebastian in the northern coast of Spain. In Getaria, nearly all the land situated between the Garate mountain, and the coast is covered in vineyards, due to the microclimate that this area generates. Getaria’s main sources of income are fishing, tourism, and the viticulture of the Txakolina (in Basque, or Txakoli or Chacolí in Spanish).

Txakoli is a slightly sparking, very dry white wine with high acidity and low alcohol produced in the Spanish Basque Country, and also in Cantabria, and northern Burgos. The most common white variety has a pale green color, but there are also red and rosé varieties. Most txakoli grapes are grown in the Atlantic region of the Basque Country, in areas with high rainfall (between 1000 mm and 1600 mm per year) and average temperatures between 7.5o C and 18.7o C, occasionally suffering from frost.

Txakoli from Getaria was the first variety to receive the DO certification in 1989.  The cultivated area has increased from 60 ha to 177 ha since certification. Annually, some 900,000 liters (240,000 gallons) are produced in this area, mostly on south-east facing slopes to protect the vines from the harsh Atlantic weather. The grapes for this Txakoli are grown according to the trellis system, in which the vines are cultivated at a greater height above the ground with the foliage forming a contiguous canopy to improve the microclimate. The white grape variety used in Txakoli from Getaria is Hondarribi Zuria.


  1. Navarra Region

Camped along the northeastern boundary of Rioja, the wine region of Navarra was long been in competition with it (and indeed part of France), until the Bordeaux merchants chose to place their post-phylloxera trade in Rioja. For most of the 20th century, Navarra’s scattered vineyards were dedicated chiefly to Garnacha and the useful rosados, and strong, deep red blends that it produced. Then, came a revolution in the form of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Tempranillo, which overtook Garnacha in the total area.

Yet, curiously, few Navarra wines from these newer varieties have experienced commercial success. It is red blends that make the running, while wines such as Chivite’s Gran Feudo Viñas Viejas Reserva show just how good old-vine Navarra Garnacha can be. The best producers turned to older vineyards planted with Navarra’s traditional varieties – Garnacha and Moscatel de Grano Menudo – to make either single variety examples or to increase the percentage of them in ambitious blends.

In Navarra, there is a world of difference between the hot, dry, flat Ribeira Baja and Ribeira Alta subzones in the south, which lie on the banks of the river Ebro, and the less-planted cooler climate and more varied soils of the north. Ribeira Alta is measurably warmer and more exposed to the influence of the Mediterranean than Ribeira Baja, which is protected by the Sierra del Moncayo to the south. The best Garnacha wines in Ribeira Baja come from Fitero because its poor, Chateauneuf-like soils are open to Mediterranean warmth.


  1. Campo de Borja

 Campo de Borja is a Denominación de Origen (DO) wine zone in the Aragon region, northwest of of Zaragoza. It encompasses the Campo de Borja comarca consisting of 16 municipalities. The DO is located in a transition zone between the plains of the river Ebro and the mountains of the Sistema Ibérico. The Moncayo mountain range is the dominant feature that creates a microclimate which gives the wines a special character.

It is assumed that the ancient Romans introduced and developed grape-growing in this region, but the first written reference is a document in the archives of the Cistercian Monastery of Veruela, which refers to donations of vineyards in the year 1203. The Veruela Monastery was very influential in the development of wine production right up to the 19th century and was responsible for the replanting and grafting of the entire area after the Phylloxera plague. The area was finally recognized as a DO in 1980.

The climate is continental, with Atlantic influences during the winter, notably a cold, dry wind from the northwest, while in summer, there is a Mediterranean influence. The temperature varies a great deal, both on a daily and seasonal basis. Annual rainfall is very low, only about 350 mm in the low-lying areas and 450 mm in higher areas. The soils are mainly dark lime-bearing soils, of average rockiness, good drainage, average level of organic matter and rich in nutrients.

Grape growing conditions are affected by altitude: the vineyards are planted on a series of high plateaus at heights ranging between 350 m and 750m above sea level. There are currently about 6,300 ha under vines which produce between 20 and 25 million kg of grapes. The vines are cultivated both as low bushes (en vaso) and also on trellises (en espaldera). The authorized grape red varieties besides Garnacha, are Tempranillo, Mazuela, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah; young reds are made both as 100% Garnacha and also in combination with Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon.


  1. Toro

 The wine region of Toro is a predominantly red-wine appellation in Castilla y León wine region in north-western Spain. Toro is situated in the province of Zamora, west of the Rueda and Ribera del Duero wine appellations, near the Portuguese border. It is becoming increasingly well known for its powerful, full bodied red wines made from Tinta de Toro. This Spanish grape variety grown in the Toro DO is a strand of Tempranillo that dates back to the Roman times, around the 2nd century B.C. Some of the vines around today are hundreds of years old, having survived the phylloxera plague. Very small amounts of white wine are also made in Toro.

The quality of the wine was recognized by the granting of DO status in 1933, one of the first Spanish regions to achieve it. However, the area has suffered during and after the Spanish Civil War and, consequently, the original DO became obsolete. The modern version of it was created in 1987.

The region lies at the very heart of Castilla y Leon, on the vast, high plateau that separates the Cordillera Cantábrica and mountain ranges of Sistema Central. Altitude is the key to Toro’s wine quality, as so often in Spain, and plays an important role in Toro’s terroir: at 1,970 to 2,460 ft (600-750 m) above sea level, the region’s growers can depend on cool nights to “fix” the color and flavor in the grapes ripened during the torrid summer days on the region’s various red clays and sandy soils. Temperatures range from –11°C to 36°C (12°F to 97°F) and annual rainfall averages just 350mm (14in). The Duero River provides a much-needed source of water, and vineyards stray very little from its path.

To be a Tinta de Toro wine, it must be at least 75% Tinta de Toro, blended with small amounts of Grenache when permitted.


The Wines


  1. Txomín Etxanix 2021 – Txakoli — Basque Country/Getaria (alcohol: 11%)

The winery: The winery is owned and was founded by the Txeuka family, one of the oldest and most historic families in this region. There is primary source documentation proving that the family has been producing wine near the town of Getaria since 1649, around the time the town was founded.

The Txueka family currently works exclusively with the indigenous varieties of Hondarrabi Zuri and Hondarrabi Beltza, planted between 1915 and 2000 on pergolas and terraced trellises. The slopes that the vines are planted on are incredibly steep, so where pergolas cannot be used, the family plants on trellis. The winery and vineyards are only located 100m from the Atlantic, so precipitation levels are extremely high. The must is fermented in stainless steel with indigenous yeast at very low temperatures to retain a small quantity of dissolved CO2. The resulting wines are beautifully refreshing, high acid white wines that pair flawlessly with seafood.

The wine: according to the winemaker notes, this wine is greenish yellow, bright with fine natural bubble. Citrus and fresh apple aromas, and mineral notes. In the mouth, it is fresh and fruity, with characteristic acidity and light carbon (Wine.com).

Tasting Notes: This wine exhibits bright aromas and flavors of brine, lemon peel, and a hint of chalkiness. 92 points (Wilfred Wong of Wine.com).

Limpid, green-hued straw. Taut and sharply focused on the nose, displaying vibrant citrus zest, quince and floral scents and a chalky mineral overtone. Dry and nervy on the palate, offering juicy lemon, green apple and honeysuckle flavors and a spicy touch of ginger. Displays firm tension and spicy cut on the finish, which hangs on with strong, mineral-driven tenacity. 92 points (Vinous).


  1. Viña Rubican 2021, Tempranillo, Navarra (alcohol: 14.2%)

The winery: Bodegas Correllanas has been in operation since 1900.  It is from the small municipality of Corella in the Ribeira Baja in southwest Navarra, bordering on La Rioja to the west and the larger town of Tudela to the east. Due to high demand its initial installation was first expanded in 1920 and in 1980 a project began to rebuild the wine cellar with high technology and the introduction of modern machinery. In 1940, the Viña Rubican label was introduced. In 2015, under new ownership, a new plant was built to treat the grapes better, while maintaining the traditional methods and natural processes for which the winery was famous. Their vineyards include Tempranillo, Garnacha, Sauvignon Blanc, and Petit Grain.  

According to the owners, “their vineyards are present in the best locations in the region and spread around 60 hectares of land” and that “the soil, unique microclimate, and optimum rainfall make the region perfect for the cultivation of vines”. Also, “their best grapes are used to make their famous award-winning red, white, rosé and dessert wines”.

The wine: Viña Rubican, having fresh fruit with ripe tannins, this simple red is made from partially pressed 100% Tempranillo grapes. Aged in American oaks for 3 months, the result is an easy drinking, well-rounded wine with a complex nose, and a soft mouthfeel. A great food wine, it has a “cherry, spice” taste and is “medium-bodied (Total Wine).


  1. Borsao Tres Picos 2019 – Granacha, Campo de Borja (alcohol: 15%)

The winery: Bodegas Borsao is situated in Borja in the northwest of the province of Zaragoza, considered to be a subunit with its own characteristics within the Moncayo region in the western part of the province. It has been the origin and engine of the D.O. “Campo de Borja” in Aragón, northeastern Spain, also known as the “Empire of Garnacha”. It is an internationally recognized wine producer and one of the world’s leading Garnacha producers. It has won numerous awards and recognitions.

Bodegas Borsao originated in 1958, when the Borja cooperative was founded with the mission of establishing the benchmark for premium Garnacha wines. It consists of some 350 growers stretching over some 2,260 ha with altitudes ranging from 350-800 m. Harvest is carried out manually in key vineyards and transported in 20-kg cases.

The wine: Borsao Tres Picos is the flagship wine, the first 100% Garnacha produced in Spain, back in 2000. Grapes are handpicked in 300 kg boxes. At the winery, a manual cluster selection is sorted. A cold maceration during 1-2 days in steel tanks with controlled temperatures of 22-30o C. The wine is aged for 5 to 6 months in new bordelaise barrels of French oak. 150,000 bottles produced.

Tasting Notes: Very intense red color with tones of purple. Presents in the nose a great concentration of aromas of ripe red fruit with floral nuances. In the mouth, it is a well-structured rich wine that evokes tastes of blackberry, plum, and tones of leather and vanilla, with a soft and silky tannin.

It pairs well with barbecue, vegetables, beef, and pork; rice and pasta-based dishes. Goes well with cheese and hearty meals, such as Chili, Shepard’s Pie, and Lasagna.

The grapes for this exceptional wine were harvested from old vine Garnacha vineyards that cling to rugged terrain on the slopes of the famous Moncayo mountain. Low Yields of less than two tons per acre produce a rich deeply colored and aromatic wine with concentrated flavors of blackberries, strawberries and nuances of leather, vanilla, and plums (description on the bottle).

This is a rich, flavorful Grenache that won’t break the bank. Big characteristic flavors of raspberry with complex herbal spice blend punctuating the finish.” It is also described as “medium-bodied” but of “intense” style (Total Wine).


  1. Uro Toro 2016 – Tinta de Toro (alcohol: 14.5%)

Tinta de Toro wines are full-bodied, mildly acidic, and have an intense ruby color. The wines aroma consists of berries, and the taste resembles dark fruit, black cherry, cassis fruit, smoke, and black pepper. A key tasting characteristic of Tinta de Toro is the powerful tannic flavor that come from the thick dark skins of the grapes. The best Tinta de Toro wines hold a balanced blend of oak, tannins, and fruit flavors. Wines that have extra degrees of oak and tannins can become overbearing and sometimes unappealing.

The winery: At the Hacienda Terra D’ Uro winery, the grapes are only from pre-phylloxera vines, about 140 years of age, which grow on a unique “terroir” situated in the historic Pago “Bardales” at about 750 meters above the sea level. The majority of the work is done manually, like pruning, hoeing around the vines, the treatment with Sulphur or powder of stinting nettle. Only for ploughing mechanical means are applied. For the harvest, small cases of 10 kg are used. Destemming is also done manually, and fermentation takes place in oak barrels. To respect the natural qualities of the wines, no filtration or fining technique is applied. Powerful but velvety. Respecting the ripe fruit with the right touch of wood. The grapes come from their three vineyard fincas destined for their high-quality wines. For the Uro Toro 2016 The grapes come from the pre-phylloxera Finca La Coscojosa vineyard, which is more than 90 years old with the vines planted in bush growing 100% Tinto de Toro grapes.

The wine: The wine is made in the traditional methods, was fermented in 500L oak barrels with manual daily punching down and aged for 20 months in new French oak casks. The best food pairings are robust meals.

The wine is described as “full-bodied, mildly acidic, and has an intense ruby color.” Its aroma consists of berries and the taste resembles dark fruit, black cherry, cassis, smoke, and black pepper. Its “powerful tannic flavor” comes from the dark skin of the grapes. Also described as a “serious, powerful and full-bodied red wine with lots of fruit and a juicy palate that nicely balances the abundant, fine-grained, chalky tannins, it ends very tasty, with a supple, almost salty note.”

Lots of plum, floral, and light vanilla aromas follow through to a full body with round, polished tannins, and excellent intensity. Needs time to come together, but already very enticing (James Suckling-Castilla y Leon, Spain).

Rated 94 points by James Suckling.


CV Members Rating

Individual ratings ranged from Mediocre to Exceptional by 16 participants before disclosing their prices. The combined results are as follows:

Best Rated Wine: Uro Toro 2016
Best Buy: Borsao Tres Picos 2019 and Txomin Etxanix 2021.

♣     View a printer friendly Tasting Summary in .pdf format


  ♣     Notes on the Wines and their production regions by John Redwood      .pdf format



Hugh Johnson & Jancis Robinson, The World Atlas of Wine, 7th edition, 2013.


Total Wine

Wine searcher

Hacienda Terra D’ Uro


Laughing time:



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Tasting #245 September 27, 2022 Ribera del Duero, Spain

Tasting #245 September 27, 2022 Ribera del Duero, Spain

Capri Ristorante, McLean, VA

Tasting Overview

The purpose of this tasting is to explore the wines from the Ribera del Duero Region in Spain. This is one of the best wine regions in Spain and could very well be among the most renowned Dos in the country, but in fact, it is one of the de least known. The Tempranillo wine is the main product.

We will taste one white Albariño and three 100% Tempranillo reds and have the opportunity to compare wines from different wineries.

Type of tasting: Open

Presenter:  Marcello Averbug

The wines:

1. La Caña Albarino Blanco 2021 – 13% alcohol.
2. Condado de Haza Crianza 2019, 100% Tempranillo -14,5% alcohol.
3. Pico Cuadro 2016, 100% Tempranillo – 14,5% alcohol.
4. Malleolus Emilio Moro 2017, 100% Tempranillo – 14,5% alcohol.

The menu:

Eggplant a la pizzaiola
Minestrone soup
Escalope al Marsala


Marcello Averbug, Jose Brakarz, Jorge Claro, Ruth Connolly, Agilson Perazza, Claudia Perazza, Lucía Redwood,  Jairo Sánchez, Ricardo Santiago, Érico Silva

The Ribera del Duero Wine Region

The Duero River Valley houses wine-producing areas such as Ribera del Duero, Toro, and Rueda.


The Ribera del Duero is one of the best wine regions in Spain. It would deserve to be among the most recognizable “denominaciones de origen” in the country. Rioja may be the most famous region in Spain, but Ribera del Duero is no slouch.

The region is isolated by the mountains that protect it from any maritime influence. It comprises 2.000 hectares of vinyards in the provinces of Burgos, Segovia, Soria and Valladolid. The local climate is ideal for Tempranillo, known locally as Tinta del Pais, IT which is the most prestigious wine in Ribera del Duero. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are increasingly used in modern red blends.

The popularity of the local wines slipped drastically in the 1970s. Extremely long barrel aging and old winemaking practices made the wines extremely inconsistent. With modern winemaking practices and attention to detail, these wines are now becoming as consistently remarkable as they should be.

In recent decades, the Ribera del Duero has become a magnet for skilled winemakers from around the world. Hot, dry days and cool nights here can produce concentrated and lively red wines. Its 250+ wineries look for their own differentiated wines, expressing all the nuances of the terroir and variety of the Tempranillo grape.

Some facts about Ribera del Duero:

 archaeological presence of wine dating 2500 years ago;
 in 17 th and 18 th centuries, wines from the region were exported;
 99% of wines produced are red wines;
 Ribera del Duero wines are known for being strong, dark-colored wines filled with dark
fruit, tobacco, and vanilla;
 There is not one, but many Templanillo “types” from la Ribera del Duero.

The Wines

1. LA CAÑA Blanco, 2021

La Caña is a white wine that Jorge Ordonez and his winemaking team
craft to demonstrate the potential that Albariño shows as a serious,
high-quality wine. He was the first person to export this variety.
La Caña demonstrates the complexity, intensity, and longevity Albariño can achieve when sourced from old vineyards and using good winemaking practices.

Hand-harvested and stored in small baskets. 25% fermentation by
indigenous yeast in French oak. 75% fermentation in stainless steel

Aged 8 months sur lie in the fermentation vessel. 25% in puncheons and demi-muids and 75% in stainless steel, with battonage.

Wine Enthusiast called Rías Baixas Albariños, “some of the world’s most elegant white wines”, and La Caña is one of the region’s prevailing specialists. The Albariño is aged for eight months on the lees (sediment), adding a silky polish. Partly aged in stainless steel and partly in oak, the finished wine boasts a fine balance of depth and fruit purity.


Of a deep mature cherry color, this wine, by Emilio Moro, stands out for the intensity and quality of the sensations it offers. From black fruit aromas to strong and mature tannins that fill our mouth.

The 2017 Malleolus is pure Tempranillo from small parcels (in Spanish "majuelo" and in Latin "malleolus") of vines aged between 25 and 75 years. Yields were reduced by 50% in 2017, so it is a very unusual vintage. It matured in French oak barrels for 18 months. 

Very expressive, aromatic, and fresh, without excess ripening and with fruit in the foreground and the oak neatly folded into the fruit. It  is  juicy, medium to full-bodied, perhaps as concentrated as others, but balanced, with fine-grained tannins.  R. Parker, 93 pts


Lots of body, well integrated acidity, well-rounded tannins providing volume and persistence on the palate. The licorice aromas are present on the aftertaste. Ideal for accompanying all kinds of meat.

Clean and brilliant with an attractive black cherry color and purple undertones. Quite intense aromatics revealing ripe red berry and black fruits. A fleshy, silky entry on the palate with perfectly integrated acidity and very pleasant, gentle tannins. The oak is very nicely integrated, expressing notes of toast and vanilla, characteristic of a wine aged in American oak barrels. A medium to long finish.

Great with rice dishes, white and red meats, roast suckling lamb or suckling pig.


Riper, darker, and more concentrated. It shows more rusticity and black rather than red fruit. It has abundant, fine-grained tannins. Would pair beautifully with cured meats, smoky cheeses, or grilled veggies, such as eggplant. 

Original is a tasty and opulent wine that reveals notes of ripe black fruits, flowers, and sweet balsamic touches that are very well proportioned. The wine has great depth with captivating and generous tannins. Very balanced, it offers a long and delicious finish. This is typically the kind of wine you need to enjoy with a beautiful perfectly grilled prime rib.      Robert Parker 90 pts.

CV Members Rating  – It will be posted after the tasting

View the full evaluation here:

Best Rated Wine:    Malleolus Emilio Moro

Best Buy:    Albariño blanco. 

References: Several sites provided by Google.


Es un vino con el que las archiconocidas Bodegas LAN demuestran que su presencia en Ribera del Duero no es ninguna aventura.

Un vino creado para dejarlo envejecer y comprobar cómo mejora en botella en los próximos diez años.  Crianza de año y medio en barrica de roble y al menos seis meses más en botella. Su producción es limitada.

Un clásico ajeno a modas del mercado y muy centrado en la identidad vitivinícola de la  Ribera del Duero. Con mucha dedicación en la selección de la uva, 100% Tinto Fino, de 18 meses en barrica y con edición limitada y numerada.

10 años cumple ya este vino especialísimo. Un 100% Tinto Fino Soriano, con doce meses de crianza en barrica, apto para todos los días. Proviene de cepas de entre 80 y 100 años, cosechadas a mano y distribuidas en unas 350 pequeñas parcelas de viñedo.

Elegancia y sutileza. Es lo que ofrece Bodegas Bohórquez con este vino a la vez fresco y vivo, bernet- Sauvignon y un 3% de Merlot, pasa su crianza de doce meses en barrica.

Elaborado con uvas muy selectas, procedentes de viñedos de cuarenta años, el Condado de Oriza Gran Reserva encarna a la perfección la evolución de los Ribera del Duero en las últimas décadas. Sus diez días de fermentación a temperatura controlada logran que la Tempranillo ofrezca todos sus matices. Se perfecciona después con 24 meses de permanencia en barrica de roble francés y americano y otros 36 meses en botella.

Un vino creado a partir de cepas centenarias de Albillo y Tempranillo, combinadas con Cabernet-Sauvignon. Es por tanto un vino de gran madurez y equilibrio, con una elaboración prácticamente artesanal. Su finura la alcanza tras veinte meses de crianza en  barrica.

Una joya elaborada con Tempranillo de viñedos centenarios. La climatología, a priori adversa para el viñedo, en realidad se configura como un condicionante definitorio de la personalidad de estos vinos.

Este vino es la variedad Tempranillo elevada a obra de arte. Se caracteriza por una larga maceración antes de fermentar, siempre con el objetivo de que la uva se exprese, muestre todos sus perfiles. Sus crianzas en barrica van desde los 14 hasta los 60 meses.

Portia ofrece una gama de tintos 100% Tempranillo de la Ribera del Duero con diversos niveles de crianza. Van desde el Roble, con cuatro meses en barrica de roble francés, hasta el Prima La Encina, con quince meses. Son vinos muy limpios e intensos en aromas.

Este Tempranillo es un reserva de 24 meses, durante los que reposa en barricas de roble americano y francés situadas en una bodega subterránea que data del siglo XVI. Se elabora a partir de viñedos seleccionados con más de 80 años y producciones muy escasas. El mayor patrimonio de la Val Sotillo Bodegas es la galería subterránea de más de 1.200 metros cuadrados, que garantiza una maduración en excelentes condiciones.



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