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La Cueva Spanish Grenache (4)

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Last Purchase:
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Quality Posts


rjquillin


quality posts: 170 Private Messages rjquillin

Yes, it ~was~ a launch, if only for a moment.

CT

chipgreen


quality posts: 183 Private Messages chipgreen

2012 La Cueva Old Vines Grenache

When the Flying Monkeys dive-bombed my yard a couple weeks ago, they not only dropped a bottle of Italian Merlot but also a bottle of Spanish Garnacha.

Light purple in the glass with nose of strawberry, raspberry, a touch of oak and a little heat. Slightly sour/acetic. Palate is very similar to the nose, strawberry leads the way with raspberry close behind. Light oak and there's that slightly sour/acetic note again. It starts in the mid-palate and carries into the finish. Thankfully it doesn't persist through the finish. There are some mild earthy/leathery tannins at the end that are very nice.

After some time in the glass, the wine seems to have smoothed out a bit and it may be more of a green streak than acetic acid. Perhaps because the wine is still so young. Asparagus? I'm noticing it less now that the bottle has been open for over an hour but it's still there. I'm also picking up some tartness, like pomegranate, and it may actually be that acetic component evolving in the glass. Time will tell....

Another hour later and it's about the same as an hour ago. I really like the upfront fruit on the entry and the earthy finish on this wine but not a big fan of the mid-palate. I'll save some and try to give a Day 2 update tomorrow.

sdfreedive


quality posts: 22 Private Messages sdfreedive
chipgreen wrote:2012 La Cueva Old Vines Grenache

When the Flying Monkeys dive-bombed my yard a couple weeks ago, they not only dropped a bottle of Italian Merlot but also a bottle of Spanish Garnacha.

Light purple in the glass with nose of strawberry, raspberry, a touch of oak and a little heat. Slightly sour/acetic. Palate is very similar to the nose, strawberry leads the way with raspberry close behind. Light oak and there's that slightly sour/acetic note again. It starts in the mid-palate and carries into the finish. Thankfully it doesn't persist through the finish. There are some mild leathery tannins at the end that are very nice.

After some time in the glass, the wine seems to have smoothed out a bit and it may be more of a green streak than acetic acid. Perhaps because the wine is still so young. Asparagus? I'm noticing it less now that the bottle has been open for over an hour but it's still there. I'm also picking up some tartness, like pomegranite, and it may actually be that acetic component evolving in the glass. Time will tell....

Another hour later and it's about the same as an hour ago. I really like the upfront fruit on the entry and the earthy finish on this wine but not a big fan of the mid-palate. I'll save some and try to give a Day 2 update tomorrow.



Bad bottle? The acetic comment worries me. Would love to have another tasting comment.

chipgreen


quality posts: 183 Private Messages chipgreen
sdfreedive wrote:Bad bottle? The acetic comment worries me. Would love to have another tasting comment.


That was my first thought as well because it was fairly strong when I popped the cork but it mellowed out after that initial sniffy-sniff and slowly but surely has continued to mellow out in the glass... but it's not completely gone.

I am also hoping that there are additional notes to see if someone else would think of it as more acetic or green or even notice it at all? I seem to be fairly sensitive to bitterness and acetic acid. This is more sour than bitter. It's not overwhelming by any means, but it's there... at least I perceive it to be there.

sdfreedive


quality posts: 22 Private Messages sdfreedive
chipgreen wrote:That was my first thought as well because it was fairly strong when I popped the cork but it mellowed out after that initial sniffy-sniff and slowly but surely has continued to mellow out in the glass... but it's not completely gone.

I am also hoping that there are additional notes to see if someone else would think of it as more acetic or green or even notice it at all? I seem to be fairly sensitive to bitterness and acetic acid. This is more sour than bitter. It's not overwhelming by any means, but it's there... at least I perceive it to be there.


A question, if the acetic flaw wasn't present would you buy this? And how similar is it to a paso Grenache?

I was really leaning towards that yellow button until I saw your notes.

chipgreen


quality posts: 183 Private Messages chipgreen

One last glass before bed and it's really starting to pull together now. The sour note has dissipated to being practically non-existent and the mouthfeel has become juicier than before. THIS is what I like in a Grenache! Juicy mouthfeel with plenty of strawberry/raspberry fruit.

Succumbed to late-night munchies and broke open a wedge of Beehive Barely Buzzed cheese and it pairs beautifully with the wine. Will see if it continues to improve on Day 2 but for now, I like where it's headed.

chipgreen


quality posts: 183 Private Messages chipgreen
sdfreedive wrote:A question, if the acetic flaw wasn't present would you buy this? And how similar is it to a paso Grenache?

I was really leaning towards that yellow button until I saw your notes.


Yes, I would buy this if not for that acetic note. In fact, I'm considering it now that the wine has continued to improve. It seemed like maybe it had hit a wall at the 2 hour mark but the next glass surprised me. Pairing it with the Beehive took it to another level as well. It's possible that I am just noticing it less - developing a tolerance, if you will - but I don't think that's the case. Tasting it again in about 12-14 hours should tell a lot.

cortot20


quality posts: 136 Private Messages cortot20

Thanks international chip for the notes. I was thinking of picking this up for the SoCal meetup next month featuring Grenache/Grenache blanc but after your notes I'm not too sure. Did anyone else get to try this? Chip please report back later.

CT

jmdavidson


quality posts: 55 Private Messages jmdavidson

The monkey came by my house so long ago that I forgot where I even put this wine for “safe” storage. Hmm. Not in the wine cellar. Not in the wine fridge. Not in the secret stash location. Oh, well. Wait. Now I recall. It’s in the kitchen fridge. Oh, oh. Better let it warm up a bit. Should I taste it now or wait? Why wait. Pnp’d anyway. Color is light cranberry and clear. Initial smell is a little cherry and oak. Well, this is a light, fresh wine that immediately made me think summer wine. Thoughts of serving this instead of or along with a nice rose were instantaneous. I detected a little berry, perhaps blue, along with a citrus, perhaps orange or tangerine, and a finish of spice, perhaps pepper. I would say this is medium bodied with a little dryness. The tannins are pretty soft for such a young wine. I always look for an acidic finish and this one had none.

After an hour (of warming up), I tried it again. The flavor profile is pretty much the same. The finish is a little more tart and/or citrus-like than before. This was still easy to drink. Overall, I would say this is a wine that you would not go wrong with serving chilled or slightly chilled. Also, it should pair well with lighter fares, such as appetizers, milder meats and medium cheeses. Drink it by yourself or share it with friends.

Now that I see the price point ($14), I would say that it is a fair price for a tasty wine.

chipgreen


quality posts: 183 Private Messages chipgreen
jmdavidson wrote:The monkey came by my house so long ago that I forgot where I even put this wine for “safe” storage. Hmm. Not in the wine cellar. Not in the wine fridge. Not in the secret stash location. Oh, well. Wait. Now I recall. It’s in the kitchen fridge. Oh, oh. Better let it warm up a bit. Should I taste it now or wait? Why wait. Pnp’d anyway. Color is light cranberry and clear. Initial smell is a little cherry and oak. Well, this is a light, fresh wine that immediately made me think summer wine. Thoughts of serving this instead of or along with a nice rose were instantaneous. I detected a little berry, perhaps blue, along with a citrus, perhaps orange or tangerine, and a finish of spice, perhaps pepper. I would say this is medium bodied with a little dryness. The tannins are pretty soft for such a young wine. I always look for an acidic finish and this one had none.

After an hour (of warming up), I tried it again. The flavor profile is pretty much the same. The finish is a little more tart and/or citrus-like than before. This was still easy to drink. Overall, I would say this is a wine that you would not go wrong with serving chilled or slightly chilled. Also, it should pair well with lighter fares, such as appetizers, milder meats and medium cheeses. Drink it by yourself or share it with friends.

Now that I see the price point ($14), I would say that it is a fair price for a tasty wine.


Hmmm, maybe I got a bad bottle. I did pick up something resembling a citrus note now that you mention it but it was separate from the sour smell/taste that I experienced. I'll assume that you didn't notice anything like that or would have mentioned it.

I'll check back in an hour or two with my Day 2 impressions....

jmdavidson


quality posts: 55 Private Messages jmdavidson

[quote posted="5748338" user="chipgreen"]Hmmm, maybe I got a bad bottle. I did pick up something resembling a citrus note now that you mention it but it was separate from the sour smell/taste that I experienced. I'll assume that you didn't notice anything like that or would have mentioned it.

I'll check back in an hour or two with my Day 2 impressions....[/quote]

On occasion, the monkey has left me a bottle or two that were possibly oxidized, past their prime, ruined, etc. Things happen, either in storage or transport. I never figure out why. That being said, you might have been unfortunate to have received a "changed" bottle. I have read numerous reviews of yours and you are a pretty spot on reviewer. I did not detect any bitterness in this wine. My first and foremost impression was that this was a very easy wine to drink. If you did not get the same impression, me thinks maybe it was a bad bottle.

chipgreen


quality posts: 183 Private Messages chipgreen
jmdavidson wrote:On occasion, the monkey has left me a bottle or two that were possibly oxidized, past their prime, ruined, etc. Things happen, either in storage or transport. I never figure out why. That being said, you might have been unfortunate to have received a "changed" bottle. I have read numerous reviews of yours and you are a pretty spot on reviewer. I did not detect any bitterness in this wine. My first and foremost impression was that this was a very easy wine to drink. If you did not get the same impression, me thinks maybe it was a bad bottle.


I think you're right. I am trying it again right now and it tastes sour again. I think I just noticed it less as I continued to drink it last night. That, and once I paired it with some cheese, it masked that characteristic. I was overdue for a bad bottle, I think that may be my first!

Really glad to hear you got a bottle and it was good. I still enjoyed the fruit and mouthfeel of the wine even through the off-note.

cortot20


quality posts: 136 Private Messages cortot20
chipgreen wrote:I think you're right. I am trying it again right now and it tastes sour again. I think I just noticed it less as I continued to drink it last night. That, and once I paired it with some cheese, it masked that characteristic. I was overdue for a bad bottle, I think that may be my first!

Really glad to hear you got a bottle and it was good. I still enjoyed the fruit and mouthfeel of the wine even through the off-note.



A couple of questions. Is there any fine sediment that give the wine a slight haze? And how long ago was it shipped to you?

I have also noted that food often hides tart/sour notes in more acidic wines. It might just be that the wine demands good food for full enjoyment.

CT

chipgreen


quality posts: 183 Private Messages chipgreen
cortot20 wrote:A couple of questions. Is there any fine sediment that give the wine a slight haze? And how long ago was it shipped to you?

I have also noted that food often hides tart/sour notes in more acidic wines. It might just be that the wine demands good food for full enjoyment.


It was shipped 10-12 days ago so it's had time to rest. There was a little bit of sediment but I didn't notice a haze in the wine although when I viewed the color, I wasn't really looking at the clarity - something I should probably start doing.