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On Tuesday I attended a tasting sponsored by the Penin Guide. The guide lists what they consider the best wines from Argentina, Chile, Spain and Mexico. The event was held at the Bowery Hotel located at 335 Bowery in Manhattan. Cool hotel and mercifully, the event was indoors as it was brutally hot that afternoon.

I started with some whites and I always like to try wines made from the Verdejo grape which is pretty much unique to the Rueda region of Spain. You know you are drinking a Verdejo the minute you sip it, it’s like drinking a grapefruit. At this event I tried some Verdejo that were barrel aged and took on a different flavor profile with rounder fruit and more moderate acids. One that I liked was the 2011 Nisia, DO Rueda. Penin gave this wine a 95 rating and it had a nose of grapefruit and sweet mango with moderate and juicy fruit with notes of bubble gum on the fruit. It tasted more Chardonnay than Verdejo.

Some of the wines I enjoyed  from Spain:

The 2011 Abadia da Cova de Autor, DO Ribera Sacra and is 100% Mencia grape, a varietal pretty much unique to Spain and was dark purple with a nose of roasted coffee, young, juicy and dusty. Another Mencia I liked was the 2008 Men de Mencia, DO Bierzo and was dark red to black in color with a nose of earthy berries and mint and was fresh and juicy with some cherry earthiness in the glass.

The 2006 Frontaura Crianza DO Toro, was dark red to black with a closed nose and roasted coffee notes on the big finish.

The 2009 Don Miguel Comenge DO Ribera del Duero was dark purple to black with a nose of stewed fruit and was rustic and chewy with a long toasty finish.

The 2009 Domaines Lupier La Dame Vina Viejas, DO Navarra was dark red with a nose of stewed red fruit and spicy cinnamon and cherry fruit notes and a balanced finish.

The 2009 Eccoci Tinto Premium, DO Vino de Gerona was black in color with a nose of toasty stewed red cherry and plums and was concentrated and firm with a long finish.

The 2010 Urbezo Crianza, DO Carinena was dark purple with a nose of stewed fruit and was chewy and rustic with notes of dried mushrooms on the balanced finish.

The 2006 Vega Enix Damaris, DO Ribera del Andarax is 100% Merlot and was black with a closed nose of black licorice and was chewy with roasted nuts on the fruit and was nicely balanced.

The 2008 Marques de Caceres “Gaudium”. DO Rioja was a big wine, black in the glass with a nose of roasted coffee and black cherry and was very chewy with notes of toasted nuts on the long finish. Tasted like a big Cali red. 

Something different, a wine from the Baja region of Mexico. The  2007 Bodegas de Santo Tomas “Unico” which is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and is in an impressively heavy glass bottle, was black in color with a nose of black plums with toasty and juicy fruit.

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