TANINIA BODEGAS Y VIÑEDOS
Taninia Bodegas Y Viñedos brings together, under the same metaphoric roof, five different wine producing areas: Navarra, Ribera del Queiles, Rueda, Toro and Ribera del Duero. Thus, they have the wines of five different bodegas, one in each area: Señorio de Sarría; Guelbenzu; Palacio de Bornos; Toresanas; and Vallebueno.
However, the wineries that come under this umbrella operation are practically autonomous. Indeed they were chosen to be part of the group because of the success of their wines long before Taninia became an entity. If it aint bust, don’t fix it!
The point is that whilst each retains it’s own identity, it’s own unique portfolio of wines, all five bodegas are nevertheless working towards a common goal. Each bodega strives for quality through innovation and a modern approach, but recognising the contribution of the past. It’s a winning philosophy.
Bodegas Señorio de Sarría’s Rosado Viñedo No. 5 is made from Garnacha vines that were planted in the year of my birth! Now that makes them old, and, as regular readers will know, this means that although such aged vines will produce fewer grapes, those that are produced will be richer, producing deeply flavoured wines.
The wine is crimson red, perhaps the classic Spanish rosado colour, though you might not glean this from the huge selection of shades available nowadays. And, yes, it does have that extra depth of flavour making it a food wine as well as being a super Spring and Summer aperitif wine.
There are strawberry and redcurrant notes with a slight whiff of red rose petal on the nose. On the palate the wine opens as it warms where, like me, you might detect the tantalising flavour of rhubarb, loitering with intent!
Orot Crianza 2005 is, for these days, quite elderly for a crianza wine and I have to say that I was expecting a slightly ‘dusty’ wine whose forward fruit was now on the back foot. Not a bit of it!
Having been sent straight from Bodegas Toresanas cellars where it has obviously been kept under perfect conditions, the wine retains a pleasing vibrancy, providing a lift to the more mature flavours of dark fruits and some earthiness, which is quite common to wines from DO Toro.
Tinta de Toro (aka Tempranillo) is the variety used here and after fermentation in stainless steel the wine is left to repose in French oak barricas for a year, before its, in this case, rather long bottle ageing. The oak’s influence in taste terms has tempered with age, the wine is now perfectly harmonious and drinking perfectly right now!
Staying with Tempranillo, though giving it one of its other aliases, Vallebueno Roble 2011 is made with 100% Tinto Fino. This wine is made in Ribera del Duero, a DO whose wines, I know, are very often the preferred drinking of many readers.
Bodegas Vallebueno was founded under 30 years ago. It makes just two wines: the Roble, meaning that it has had a, relatively, short ageing in oak (French and American) – six months, in fact; and the Vallebueno Crianza.
Its dark cherry colour also has a brightness about it when poured into the glass, inviting you to come and join it! Slightly toasted aromas of vanilla and very faint coconut will waft towards you quickly followed by rich fruit, so typical of wines from this DO.
You’ll enjoy the first taste so much that you’ll probably not linger, swallowing quickly to make room for the next. But this time, hold it in your mouth and savour it a little longer. You’ll be rewarded with lovely brambly fruit and integrated oak notes.
Finally, though the wines here and those discussed in Part One are but a few of the range available from Taninia, I’ll tell you about Guelbenzu Evo 2010, the wine that perhaps just pipped the others for my favourite from this group. Firstly, though, a little about its area of production, Ribera del Queiles.
This wine hales from another of those Vino de la Tierra officially recognised wine making zones. Geographically, you’ll find it between Zaragoza and Navarra and it, like all of the VdlT areas, is well worth seeking out.
In truth I’m not over enamoured with the label on this lovely, deeply flavoured and attractively scented wine. As a party to an ongoing conversation recently between a prospective client bodega and a major league UK distributor, I had the importance of label design reconfirmed. The label will sell the first bottle of wine, the contents will sell subsequent bottles. Therefore those with an old fashioned label will be left on the shelf, without people having the chance to judge on the wine inside the bottle. Harsh, but true. And this wine should not be left there!
Guelbenzu Evo 2010 is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, grapes that were surely harvested at their optimum ripeness. It’s dark in the glass and there are dark forest fruits on the nose and rich blackcurrant flavours on the palate. Its 12 months in French oak have added complexity and integrated depth of flavour. It’s a mouthful, and yet elegant too.
It’s drinking perfectly now and will age for perhaps five more years, if kept under the right conditions!
NB We have 10 places only left for an excellent Wine Pairing Dinner with Classical and Chill-Out Music at Moraira’s Swiss Hotel, Friday 8th May. Wines from Bodegas Castaño, presented in English by Señor Daniel Castaño; Music from Dolce Divas (www.dolcedivas.net). First come, first served – please contact me asap!