Tasting Report: Wines of Castilla-La Mancha U.S. Tour 2012

We’ve covered this land of Don Quixote before, a vast region in central Spain that stretches from Toledo to Albacete where 46 grape varieties are grown and a staggering variety of wine styles are produced. A recent roadshow brought what seems to be the vast majority of them to San Francisco, where I was delighted to discover a nice little white wine grape — Airen (vastly planted in this region but not often exported and being ripped out so more red wine grapes can be grown) — which I’d describe as a creamier take on Sauvignon Blanc, although one with numerous different styles in which it is made.

Thoughts on all wines tasted follow.

2007 Vincola de Castilla Senorio de Guadianeja Crianza / A- / nice body, lightly sweet
2005 Vincola de Castilla Senorio de Guadianeja Reserva / B+ / big more earth
2010 Altolandon White / B / anise notes
2010 Vina Cerron Remordimiento White / B / dramatically different, pineapple with a long finish
2011 Vina Cerron Todo Sobre Mi White / A- / very clean and crisp
2009 Bodegas Piqueras Castilla de Almansa Crianza / A / easygoing and light
2008 Bodegas Piqueras Castilla de Almansa Reserva / A- / grander, more burly
2007 Bodegas Piqueras Castilla de Almansa Seleccion / A / more acid and structure
2010 Bodegas Piqueras Valcanto Monastrell / B+ / lightly sweet, raspberry notes
2011 Bodegas Villavid White Verdejo/Macabeo / B+ / light, lemongrass notes, slight toughness
2011 La Tercia Vemanueva Airen Organic / B / buttery chardonnay character
2011 Bodega Los Aljibes Vina Aljibes Blanco / B+ / flavorful, chardonnay is evident
2008 Bodega Los Aljibes Cabernet Franc / B / lots of greenness, tight
2008 Bodega Los Aljibes Petit Verdot / B+ / rich and silky, big finish
2007 Bodega Los Aljibes Selectus / A- / Bordeauxish blend, nice balance, complex
2011 Vincola de Tomelloso Alsur Collection Macabeo / B+ / very grassy
2011 Bodegas Alcardet Somellier White / B / blend of 3 grapes, lightly bitter
2009 Finca la Estacada Syrah-Merlot / B+ / good syrah character, light finish
2009 Aurumred Cabernet Sauvignon / A / 70% Cab, 30% Merlot; lush and well balanced… it better be, it costs $500
2011 Centro Espanolas Allozo Blanco Verdejo / B / minerals, steely
2011 Centro Espanolas Fuente del Ritmo Blanco Airen / A / butterscotch character, bigger body
2009 Bodegas del Saz Vidal del Saz Tempranillo Crianza / B+ / cherry notes
2010 Virgen de las Nieves Artesones White Macabeo / B+ / fruity, green apples and figs
2011 Castillo de Consuegra Aire de Fiesta Airen / A- / grassy, loads of tropical notes
2011 Baco, Bodegas a Sociadas Domino de Baco Airen / A- / brisk, tasty

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