My tasting notes from previous offer.
- La Tribu
5/9/2012: I was rather disappointed with the first two bottles I tried from this shipment. They both had a nice aroma of red fruits, with a touch of leather and a bit of funk, but on drinking they were rather disjointed. To me, both bottles had two disparate profiles - a forward one that was bright but a bit thin, with a touch of effervescence. Butting up against that profile was a distinct darker profile that was denser and bitter, with no astringency. There was also some acidic bite and some noticeable heat. Overall pretty disappointing, and I just moved on to other bottles in my cellar and forgot about my remaining bottles of Tribu.
Now opening a bottle about a month later, I Vinturied the contents into an 850 ml decanter with glass stopper, and let it sit for about an hour. What a difference!!!!! Much the same aroma, but with much more depth. The same bright cherry-like notes notes, but then a lot of deeper notes of darker plum combined with aromas that reminded me of new leather and fresh-cut red cedar or redwood. In my mouth the bright fruit hit immediately, then the other flavors elements started coming on a bit later as the bright notes began to fade. The other components continued to emerge and stayed around for quite awhile. Finally just a bit of tannin came out at the end. There was none of the unfortunate effervescence I noted in the previous bottles and almost no heat. There was a bit of acidity remaining; not sharp but pleasant. The unintegrated darker profile I noted in the first bottles had now come opened up, with all of the components blending into a nice satisfying whole. Not hugely structured, but a very solid entry. This was very enjoyable all on it's own, and should go well with a wide variety of foods, though I think it could get outflanked a by a very intense steak or prime rib.
Added note after returning to the bottle after al couple of hours. The initial brightness and structure are fading, with some increasing sharpness in mid-palate. Now it tastes like just an ordinary, moderately fruit forward $10-$15 bottle of Spanish red.
Rated very good (85-88). Initially I had it scored two to three points higher, but I knocked it down after it faded.
- Barranc Del Rei
PnP and consumed over four hours. very good legs and deep garnet coloring. very earthy nose, with just a few elements.
Vibrant right after opening. flavors of berries - very bright and forward, with strong acidity and a touch of heat, and some tannins. Seemed as if there was a touch of effervescence - not sure if that was real or just apparent from the acidic bite. Maybe both. I didn't find that off-putting, but I can see where others might react negatively. The bite/effervescence dissipated in about one hour. Flavor notes sustained well in the mouth. After opening, the flavors also muted somewhat over a couple of hours. With brighter profile and lack of deeper fruit elements, this struck me as a wine that would go well with "lighter" red wine fare - marinaras, pizza, tapas.
I found this very enjoyable, and excellent QPR at less than $11/bottle.
I'm not in on this offer. For about the same price WTSO periodically offers Riojas from Bodegas Ondarre and Bodegas Olarre (part of the same cooperative in Spain) that have more years in the bottles and that I enjoy more than these.
I'm not saying that there are bad wines; in fact I think my notes made clear that I enjoyed them. There's just others that I enjoy more for the same price, but i can see where these might actually be more appealing to others. Read the notes and decide for yourselves.