Category Archives: Wines from Spain

Old World Wine Producers and the “Mystery” of New World Flavor Profiles

Wine Old-New

Last night I joined a group of consumers for a tasting of wines from Spain & Portugal. Roughly twenty wines were presented at price points from $10/btl to $25/btl. Tasting through the wines, all I could think was: “This is the most ridiculous tasting I have ever attended”! Not that the venue was awful. or that the attendants were rude, but it was the wine itself that had me shaking my head.

What is going on? Virtually all of these wines were from Spanish & Portuguese producers trying to make New World style blends. The classic regions were represented: Ribiero del Duero, Rioja, Toro, Duoro for reds and Rias Baixas and Vinho Verde for whites. Granted, I did not recognize these producers, but if classic Old World regions are going to embark on such a strange path, they need some help. There were all sorts of blends with the traditional Tempranillo, Grenache, Mourvedre (Monastrell) and Albarino mixed with Cab Sauv, Merlot, Cab Franc, Alicante, Macabeo, etc. Ugh! These producers need to import wine consultants from the Rhone, where blends are their forte! What junk!

Spanish Wine Classifications

Then out of curiosity, I looked for the DO (Denominacion de Origen) – printed right there on the label! The issue here is not that they were blended wines, it is the amazingly poor winemaking in play here, BECAUSE they were trying to copy New World styles. Oh God, please don’t tell me wineries in Europe are going to start trying to guess at the American palate and alter their classic wine styles to appeal to our market! I don’t want all wine to taste alike AND these traditional Old World wine styles are made that way for a reason: to accompany local cuisine. Local foods always pair well with local wines in Europe. Think about it. They have had generations to get it right.

Shouldn’t Wine Taste Good?

OK, I am done with my rant. This wine Op-Ed piece was not just about wine styles really… if these wineries are going to start making unconventional blends, how about they make them taste good?

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2009 Bodegas Del Rosario Bullas Tesoro de Bullas


Bodegas Del Rosario Bullas Tesoro de Bullas

Spain, Murcia, Bullas DO

Wine Tasting Note:

My first wine from the Bullas region in Spain. Apparently, the region is known for young, fruity Monastrell (Mourvedre). This varietal is not typically produced in a lighter style. Mourvèdre is usually made in a fuller bodied, textured style in South France and the Cali Central Coast – by itself, or in GSM blends. I enjoyed another 100% Monastrell from the nearby Jumilla region several weeks back. It had more structure, but i need to keep some perspective, this IS a $12/btl of wine. The nose is very fruit forward with a grapey, raspberry tone and a stoney minerality that does not come through to the palate. Medium acidity and medium tannins. The texture is light and soft. The palate is fruit forward and tends toward black fruit, with plum moving to undertones of raspberry and black pepper and finishing with a touch of bitter chocolate. Very simple wine and an easy drinker… I can see this as a wonderful sangria and I get the impression that is the intent.

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Filed under Bullas, Mourvedre / Monastrell, Wine Tasting, Wine Tasting Notes, Wines from Spain