Atalaya 2008

Ok, so here I am saying I don’t particularly dig Spanish wines and yet I’m reviewing two of them back to back. I noticed this one at Costco on the last trip and it had a reasonable price and a rating for some pedigree. I tend not to give too much weight to the ratings from the various wine rags, but the fact that it is rated counts a touch in my book. Anyhow, on to the review:

  • Wine: Atalaya
  • Price: ~$13 @ Costco
  • Vintage: 2008
  • Varietal: Monastrell, Garnacha Tintorera, et all.
  • Winery: Almansa
  • Origin: Spain
  • Alcohol: 14%
  • Rating: Wine Advocate – 91

Much like the other spanish wine I tried, this one is also very dark. It smelled a bit musty, but without any trace of alcohol like the other one. It had a very earthy/chalky (muddy?) taste to it that wasn’t altogether unpleasant but left me trying to figure out what that oddly flavor was. It had some hints of fruit and a very very mild touch of oak to it.

Ok, so the first half of the bottle was consumed with pan fried salmon (no breading), asparagus, and spinach. It actually went pretty well with everything on my plate. And the rest stood reasonably well on its own. I’d say that this is probably the first Spanish wine that I’d try another bottle of and maybe even suggest it to a friend if they asked for something different. I think I’m going to rate this one a B- and would buy again.


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2001 Marques de Caceres Reserva

Ok, so while I’m proficient at enjoying all varieties of wine, the wine review thing is fairly new to me. Here’s the first attempt:

  • Wine: Marques de Caceres Reserva
  • Price: ~$20
  • Vintage: 2001
  • Varietal: 85% Tempranillo, 15% Garnacha Tina & Graciano
  • Winery: Marques de Caceres
  • Origin: Spain
  • Alcohol: 13.5%
  • Rating; WS93

So, we found this bottle of wine kicking around the house (yes, wine tends to just float around the house until someone notices it and its promptly killed and consumed.) I’m not typically one for Spanish wines, and this bottle did not disappoint. It was pretty dark when I held it up to the light, and it had a slight smell of alcohol. The wine itself tasted a bit spicy/peppery but it was a bit weak for the strength of the garlic, and overpowering compared to the butter laden cauliflower mash.

Wine Spectator rated it a 93. I’m not sure if maybe 10 years is pushing the wine a bit but I didn’t particularly dig this bottle and I’m not sure I agree with WS. The wine wasn’t and insta-flush, and it was a drinkable, but I can’t say that I’d recommend it to someone that asked for a good Spanish wine. Overall I think I’m going to rate it a C- and would pass on in the future.


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Hello and Welcome!

Hi, my name is Karl. My friends, family, and I enjoy enough wine that I thought I would start keeping track of what we consume. This blog is where I plan on documenting my humble, unbiased, and unsponsored opinions on the various wines consumed throughout the course of 2011.

Each Monday I plan to post a review of a new wine that was tried over weekend. The wine will typically be purchased at either my local grocery stores (Whole Foods and/or Trader Joe), Costco, or one of my local wine shops. For the most part any wine will be under $20 per bottle (presents, birthdays, and special events excluded from the price cap).

I plan on writing most of the reviews myself, but will feature guest reviewers from my pool of wine imbibing friends and family. The hope is that you will either fully agree or disagree with one of us and make it easier for yourself to find a new an interesting wine.

I hope you enjoy the ride,


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