Tag Archives: Summer wine

New Varietal Discovery: Bobal – Academia de los Nocturnos

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Academia de los NocturnosSpring is in the air and with it the luck of new wine discoveries. Some of which I hope to be writing about in the near future. First up is my latest Spanish find the grape varietal Bobal: thanks to Pago De Tharsys Academia de los Nocturnos, From the DO Utiel-Requena area of Valencia.

Interesting internet tidbits:

  • Utiel Requena is a Spanish Denominación de Origen (DO) for wines located in the province of Valencia. It takes its name from the two neighboring towns of Utiel and Requena. It is renowned for the predominant use of the Bobal grape variety. Grape growing and wine production in the area dates from at least the 7th century BC.
  • Bobal is the third most planted variety in Spain coming behind Airén  and Tempranillo.
  • Founded in 1591 Academia de los Nocturnos was a meeting place for some of Valencia’s greatest literary and artistic figures.

Third most planted grape in Spain? Have I been living under a wine glass? Always so much to learn, discover and of course share. Not knowing any of this history I fell for the fruity embodiment of what could be a big hit for my customer base at Whole Foods.

 

My tasting notes:

Light bodied, good acidity, light to no discernible tannins, red fruits noted, nice flavor richness at the back-end of palate, not fruit forward yet somewhat complex as in no one flavor jumps out, herbal/floral/spices [violet, cedar] appear on the palate after breathing 30 minutes.

I would describe this wine to be comparable to old world affordable Pinot Noir, Ventoux, and Beaujolais. An easy drinker and excellent choice for everyday drinking, as a party wine when trying to satisfy a crowd, a light Summer red (specially in Miami!), and holiday meals like Thanksgiving when you have many different styles of foods you are pairing with.  We happened to pair it with a Whole Foods Cowboy Burger, potato salad, fresh sliced tomatoes and a cucumber dill salad. This Bobal paired well with them all.

I am happy to report that three weeks after stacking the Academia de los Nocturnes in our North Miami wine department it has been discovered. Could be the cool minimal label, the newness factor, or did I mention the price? A whopping $8.99! Not even on sale, regularly priced. Yes, many factors to consider but I think the repeat customer business is all the proof we will need. To new discoveries!  ¡SALUD!

 

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The Luck of the Blends – The Dreaming Tree Crush by Steve Reeder & Dave Matthews

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The Luck of the Blends – Red Wine Blends

The luck of the Blends has been with us as of late. It wasn’t planned as good things usually aren’t and no rhyme or reason was applied when choosing, other than the combinations or producers intrigued me. None came recommended but  my recommendations of these wines have since surprisingly sold quite a few bottles at our store.  I now more than ever realize the power of knowing what you are talking about and the fact that I must continue to taste more wine 🙂

These delicious Wine Blends do not have much if anything in common. They are all reds, they are all wine and they are all blends.  For the most part the known varietals are all different as are the winemakers and the countries of origin which include; Argentina, Australia, California and Chile. I originally planned on doing a combined post on all four recent success stories but have since decided to dedicate more time to each. They deserve the attention.  The first up is from California.

The Dreaming Tree Crush


the-dreaming-tree-crush-red-north-coast-usa-10345285I
have to start by saying that this wine is SMOOTH! It goes down way too easily [in a good way of course] with little tannins to speak of. After taking in the aromas for a few minutes the delicateness of this blend truly surprised me. I would say this is the perfect red for those who think red wine cannot be enjoyed in the summer. Even a South Florida summer.

From the winemakers:

When Steve Reeder and Dave Matthews first met, they realized they had a few things in common, like a passion for making wine at least as strong as their passion for drinking it. For The Dreaming Tree wines, they set out to create an approachable Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Red Blend, finding inspiration in the down-to-earth characters and unforgettable flavors that give California’s wine country its rare charm. At The Dreaming Tree, we think the best vintage is pretty much right now and the best pairing is your favorite people. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with collecting wine, but isn’t it more fun to drink instead?

In my research I found that their wines are sometimes racked to clarify the wine and to help develop the smooth tannin structure. This would explain my smoothness comments above. After approximately 19 months of aging in oak, the individual varietals [see below] were blended to create The Dreaming Tree Crush Red Wine Blend. 

This is one wine I would not aerate or decant. It is perfect straight out of the bottle. On the nose I detected a herbaceousness I noted as crushed leaves and also dry tobacco along with cinnamon and a dark fruit forward aroma that was Zinfandel like.  On the palate I noted the already referenced smoothness, low tanin level along with; violet, cinnamon, dark fruit and a grassiness I would describe as being close to freshly cut grass.

In my opinion and as the Dave Matthews pedigree implies: This Wine ROCKS!  Which I decided to Tweet recently. Soon afterwards The Dreaming Tree contacted me to thank me directly and then shared my feelings with all of their followers. It is always good to see an organization so involved with their product line, specially when the product is worth spreading the word about.  I also appreciate their way of doing business when it comes to sustainability with the use of; lightweight bottles manufactured with clean-burning natural gas, 100% recycled paper labels, black ink printing—no bleaching, reduced toxins and heavy metals and natural corks from sustainable farms.

The Dreaming Tree Crush Red Wine Blend truly provided an enjoyable night of wine drinking. So much so that I would easily buy this wine again and recommend it to customers.  The price range for this wine is in the $15-$18.00 range but I have seen it being sold for as low as $12.00. If I had a local source pricing this wine that affordably I would be buying it by the case! ¡SALUD!

Additional information:

2009 Vintage

Moderate temperatures throughout the spring and summer made 2009 a very good growing season. The lack of extreme temperatures resulted in higher acidity and aromatic concentration in the white grapes and higher color and tannin development in the reds.

Varieties:

67% Merlot,

33% Zinfandel

Vintage: 2009

Appellation/AVA: North Coast

Aging: 19 months in oak

Total Acidity: 6.1g/L

pH: 3.53

RS: 7.0g/L

Alcohol: 13.5%