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Wine tasting #6 Lustau Manzanilla Papirusa Sherry

First sherry tasting on my blog. Very interesting and easy going Lustau Manzanilla straight from the southern Spain

  1. Wine info

Classic and not complicated manzanilla shery from San lucar de Barameda in spain. Made in a same way that fino sherry is made but specific coastal conditions of its home city provide fresher and more saline aromas as well as lighter body. Made with palomino grapes.
Drink well chilled.

2.Appearance

Pale lemon

3.Smell

Saline like the sea water and medicinal.

4.Taste

The flavours complement the aomas. Saline and medicinal bone dry with medium + acidity. Well balanced.

5.Verdict                                                             7,5/10

Typical and not complicated manzanilla. Easy going and drinkable.

Extremally food friendly. Pairs great with tapas. Creates extraordinary pairing with olives, especially of the Gordal variety. Great as a palate cleanser when eating multiple dishes. Goes well with salty food, fish, seafood, and green vegetables. Also great as a cooking wine.

Similar tastings

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Wine tasting #5 Milberit Parcelas Seleccionadas

This is a very unique wine from Milberit range that shocked me with its many layers of aromas and flavours during tasting

  1. Wine info

Blend of 27% Merlot, 26 % Syrah, 25% Tempranillo,  22% Cabernet Sauvignon. 12 months maturation in French and American oak barrels. 2016 vintage from Spain

2. Appearance


Medium Ruby. Surprisingly bright judging from varieties used in this blend. The brighter colour could be a result of oak aging and Merlot addition as well as wine age.

3. Smell

Very complex and evolving. At first very fruity with dominant black cherry, black berry, chocolate and toffee with a hint of jaminess. Later as the wine opens in glass more spice, wood, tobacco, licorice and smoke aromas appear.

4.Taste

At first it was a fruity, wel structured wine with medium+ tannins, clearly dry and acid enough to balance its body but not to bring out this to the taste. Red cherry and  black cherry dominated the palate until the vanilla, sour cherry and chocolate notes. Chocolate was especially intense and bold in this bottle.

5.Verdict                                                                                   9/10

I’m stunned by richness and complexity of aromas and flavours in this wine.
Although assembled in roughly equal parts from the grape varieties that I don’t like and the ones that I admire, it magically took every good characteristics from them and make an amazing wine. I rarely give dry wines a 9 mark but this one is special. Absolutely recommended ! Second bottle is cellaring to develop more complex aromas and flavours.

Pairs well with hard sheep and cow milk cheeses (Spanish Manchego), hams (Spanish Jamon), steaks, ribs, mushrooms and heavy dark sauces.

Similar tastings



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Know your grape #3 Sauvignon Blanc

Quick and easy guide to one of the most common crowd pleasing wines – Sauvignon Blanc , that has an unexpected more serious side.

Sauvignon Blanc is a white wine grape that orginated from France. Now this grape variety is one of the most widely planted in the world. Wines made from it are mostly light, refreshing and their aromas remind freshly cut grass, lime, citrus fruits and herbs.

They are meant to be drunk fresh and very cold. They tend to have big amount of acidity and light texture. There are high differences in wie aromas between different parts of the world. For example Californian SB tend to have peach notes, while New Zeland SB is rich in passion fruit aromas. Classic SB from France is commonly associated with lime flavours.

Perfect companion to a salad, seafood or as a refreshing drink during hot summer.

Main growing countries are France, New Zealand, Chile and South Africa.

What most people don’t know is that there is also a growing group of much more serious types of this wines.

Oak aged Sauvignon Blanc from Bordeaux in France that are much more bold and complex. Many places in the world now replicate this style, making more deep in flavour wines. These wines introduce heavier structure and spice armas from oak contact.

Sauvignon blanc from Sancerre and Saint-Bris AOC region in Franceare are also very interesting because they tend to be more complex and full bodied because of special soil and climate conditions. They also are somtimes aged in oak.

Fun fact: Sauvignon Blanc is a parent grape (with Cabernet Franc) of Cabernet sauvignon, the red grape that is number 1 planted grape variety in the world.

Do you like Sauvignon Blanc and will like to try an alternative ? Try:

  • Verdejo
  • Albarino
  • Vermentino
  • Garganega (Soave)
  • Gruner Veltiner

Suggested food pairings :

  • For light Sauvignon Blanc: salads, seafood
  • For oak aged or Sancerre/Saint Bris : zucchini, asparagus, cauliflower, turkey, chicken

More grape variety desctiptions

More wine knowledge

Check out my Sauvignon Blanc wine tastings

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Wine tasting #3 Guarda Rios Signature Red

Tasting of interesting and budget friendly blend from Portugal. Blend including Syrah. Nice looking bottle, but will the wine live up to expectation ?

Wine Info:

Guarda Rios Signature is an interesting wine I brought back from my trip to Portugal. It’s a premium bottle from the series of Guarda Rios labels from Monte de Ravasqueira winery in Alentejo region of Portugal. Blend consisting of mostly Syrah with Touriga Nacional, Alicante, Aragonez. Aged in french oak barrels for up to 9 months and fermented in low temperatures to preserve the fresh fruit aromas. Alcohol content of 13,5%. Wine was 4 years old upon tasting. Open and decant about 30 min before serving . Vintage 2015.

Appeariance:

Clear, deep ruby red wine.

Smell:

Light aromas of various red fruits reminescent of red cherry, red berry. Earthy notes with a little hint of vanilla.

Taste:

Full body red dry wine with low acidity. Jamminess, red cherry and red berry fruits dominate the palate. They are complemented with tobacco and leather flavours clearly obtained from barrel aging. Powerfull tannins that are the result of chosen grape varieties.

Verdict: 6,7/10

I would name it very high end market wine that goes well with food. Powerfull and not complicated. Surprisingly quite weak aroma intensity, which is weird after I checked the vinification process..

Pairing suggestions:

beef, pork, lamb, dark sauces, grill

Syrah grape variety description

My wine tasting method

Other tastings

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Know your grape #1 Syrah

Syrah, red wine grape variety that is used to produce bold red dry wines that has high tannins, black and red fruit flavors with subtle, yet clear spicy aftertaste.

One of the most popular grapes planted worldwide. Its origin country is France. Well known Syrah growing regions are France, Australia and Spain. It is also used in productiom of some rose wines.
Typically needs 30-60 minutes of aeration before drinking because of high tannin content.

Syrah or Shiraz, depends what country it comes from is one of the most essential grape varieties to know, when exploring the wine world. It orginates from France, but its universality and great taste led to worldwide planting of this delicious grape.

We can divide it in 2 categories, warm climate Syrah and cool climate Syrah. In colder climates (like France) Syrah has more acidity and tends to be lighter bodied, typically paired with leaner dishes, like lamb. Warmer climates (like Australia and Spain) tend to produce fuller bodied, more fruit forward and alcoholic (14% and over) Syrah wines, that pair better with heavier dishes.
Syrah, blended with Grenache and Mouvedre (the GSM blend) is used in French Cotes du Rhone wines.

Suggested food pairing:

Pairs well with red meats like pork and beef, especially steaks and ribs. Also tastes great with: lamb, mushrooms, hard cheeses, tomato, onion barbecue sauce, pepper sauce.

Syrah wine tastings:

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How to drink red dry wine and enjoy it?

Why people, who enter the wine world typically tend to hate the red dry wine? Because nobody told them how to make it enjoyable. That’s your plan for befriending the enemy:

  • Open a bottle
  • Pour it into a decanter (or any vessel that allows big area of contact between air and wine, preferably something that you can pour from without spilling) or into a glass, if you hate washing dishes.
  • Leave it. Just don’t do anything with it for at least 30 minutes, 60 minutes for a bolder red wine. Just let it “breathe” oxygen.
  • Now you can try your wine, tastes completely different than a wine directly from a bottle, right?
  • Let me tell you why it happens…

Why do we need such a ritual ?

Wine, especially red one is rich in tannins, alcohol, contains antioxidants, sulfites, amino acids, sugars and other stuff. They help to preserve wine and hold it together against light, oxygen and time. When you open a bottle of red dry wine and take a sip, all of these compounds aggressively attack you, leading to unpleasant sensation and leave you with a felling that this wine is too harsh and intense. After releasing your wine to the wild, the process called oxidation starts. It slowly evaporates sulfites and softens tannins. A part of alcohol evaporates too, making the vine more aromatic, because as it rises from the glass, it takes aromatic compounds with it. After introducing oxygen for a half-hour, wine softens noticeably and becomes more drinkable. Swirling wine in a glass also helps, when you are short on time.

Important note: oxidation is a double-edged sword, because in short run it helps You enjoy Your wine but after some time it starts to slowly kill its flavor and taste, because they evaporate in a contact with oxygen. When You still aren’t convinced with the sensations, try to consume wine while eating some red meat, like pork or beef, because fat can break down tannins as well, helping soften overall taste.


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