First of all, many thanks to Tom Cannavan ( http://www.wine-pages.com/features/solis.htm ) for his detailed research on Vina Albali and its owner, Felix Solis ( http://www.felixsolis.com/ ).
And what is the battle in Valdepenas? High on the plain of La Macha (from which comes the name for the mighty wind that blows from there), moisture is low and rot and coloure are flights of the imagination from other places. Even the lack of moisture hardly seems to be a problem as people have been growing grapes here for centuries without end, and only about 30% of the winecrop is grown with the use of irrigation.
Bravo Felix Solis.
2002 Vina Albali, Gran Reserva, Valdepenas DO, Spain
13% ABV, $23 CAD **Excellent Value**
Temperanillo (Cencibel) based blend
Viña Albali Gran Reserva 2002
- Challenge International du Vin 2010. Bronze Medal.
- The best Spanish Wines in Asia 2009. Silver medal
- USA Wine Enthusiast- October 2009- 83 points. Suitable for everyday consumption. Often Good value
- International Wine Challenge 2009. Bronze medal.
- International Wine and Spirit Competitions 2009. Silver Medal (Best in Class).
- Premium select wine Challenge Wein in Prowein 2009. Silver Medal.
- AWC VIENNA 2009. Silver medal.
- visual: clean with slight sediment; deep garnet core with obvious cherry rim
- nose: clean; fully intense developed aromas; red and black berries (currants, raspberries prevail), caramel-vanilla of American oak, baked earth (sometimes noticed as terracotta), modest wild flowers, distinct spicy edge
- palate: clean, dry, moderate+ to fully intense (raspberry) acids, moderate+ (soft, chalky) tannins, moderate body, moderate+ ABV, moderate+ to fully intense developed flavors of baked earth, dark berries, vanilla - American oaking, some savory herbs and once again a spiciness of pink peppercorns and mild peppers. Very well balanced, fully developed structure (for the price) and full length on the palate.
- conclusions: drink this now, as this wine has peaked. It will last a few years longer, but will shortly start to lose all the things that make it a wonder for the price
- PAIRINGS: big rich flavors! Anything your heart could desire really; from grilled beef to a classic bourguignon or Stroganoff... even a Calabrese styled stewed tuna or Portuguese stewed octopus (in tomato) would be lovely... wild red meat will play well off the mixed berry notes and fatty food will balance the acids
Quality is possible on any level, if people are willing to do the work. I have seen chefs mess up a soup for 2 people, and have seen flawless execution of a 7-course meal for 1100. Do they require different skill-sets? Of course, but the one thing they share in common is that in both instances there must be a complete and total adherence to flawless quality. Because really, what would be the point if one didn't?
CIN-CIN~!!! SLAINTE~!!! CHEERS~!!!