By: Joe Manekin | K&L Spanish & Portuguese Wine Buyer
Let's start off by thanking everyone who made it to our tastings this past Saturday. The first tasting of the year can be a tough one to guage - will people turn out, excited to once again have a Saturday tasting after a few weeks without one? Or perhaps people would want to take it easy after the holidays?
Well, as it turned out a lot of people wanted to taste some wines from Rioja and Ribera del Duero. And, since we only have the opportunity to do this a few times a year, we had the chance to open some good bottles: 1996 Viña Sastre Pagos de Santa Cruz Ribera del Duero, 1996 Bodegas Las Orcas Reserva Rioja, 1996 Finca Allende "Aurus" Rioja. In Redwood City we were fortunate to have a bottle of 1970 Viña Tondonia Blanco, a rare relic which, frankly, I was tired of passing by in the jewel rack without pulling it out and opening it for curious customers and staff.
Let's keep that Rioja feeling going this week. Based in the Rioja Alavesa town of Laguardia, Bodegas Las Orcas farms tempranillo as well as a bit of garnacha and graciano. Their wines are delicious, though at the same time they are serious and built for the long haul. Amongst tasters' favorite wines last Saturday was the 1996 Bodegas Las Orcas Reserva Rioja. At 15 years old, it has developed into a beautiful, aromatically complex, medium weight, silky wine, still showing fruit but with plenty of mushroom and sous bois notes to grab your attention. We hardly have any more of this wine left, grab some before it disappears.
People also enjoyed the younger and fruitier 2006 Bodegas Las Orcas Crianza Rioja. This is tasty now, though our experience with this wine suggests that, for those who prefer softer tannins and a bit more savory nuance, its optimal drinking period will not begin for another few years, and will continue through its 10th birthday.
Finally, the 2001 Bodegas Las Orcas Reserva Rioja is drinking great now, though it too will continue to reward cellaring.
2006 Bodegas Las Orcas Solar de Randez Crianza Rioja - $14.99 http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1075877
2001 Bodegas Las Orcas Solar de Randez Reserva Rioja - $24.99 http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1049887
1996 Bodegas Las Orcas Solar de Randez Reserva Rioja - $29.99 http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1058127
Spanish, Portuguese, Latin American Wine Buyer
K&L Wine Merchants
Ph: 877.559.4637 ext. 2748