Pesquera reserva 1996 (review)

91 points.

Ribera del Duero, Spain. 13%.

A very good vintage and this wine is going strong. Matched against Rockford Shiraz the fresh acidity of tempranillo is apparent, though the wines are reasonable partners. Both rich, soft and savoury. The Pesquera is more a wine for food.

Pesquera’s reservas do tend to be finer, with higher acids, than the normal label. Built to age longer. This has lost the flush of youth with the primary fruit flavours subdued now, but I think it is settling down for a few years of very slow development. Drink now, but no rush whatsoever.

Review Pasanau Finca la Planeta 2001

89+ points

from Priorat, Spain, 14%

Cabernet from Spain in a good vintage, serious winemaking.

Big wine, with dense aromas, rather neutral oak but plenty of it, and chocolaty tannins, and shiny acids. Needs food. Very very impressive.

Hard to pin down but seems like the sort of wine that will have an exciting future. But I’m not sure, it’s so “all over the place” and at the same time enjoyable now (albeit with strong flavoured food – like serious margarita pizza) so I’d hedge my bets. Keep trying over the next 10 years.

Review: Laurona 2000, Chateau Potensac 2000

90 points

Last night I tried these two wine which I thought might be similar young shiny sophisticated wines of similar weight. I was only a little bit right.

Chateau Potensac is one of the best wines from the humble Medoc appellation of Bordeaux, and run by the Delon family who manage Ch Leoville Las Cases (and have brought it up to 1st growth quality). 2000 was a fantastic vintage. The wine is deep red, with aromas of lead pencil, and tastes very savoury, with metallic and blood like qualities.

Laurona is from Montsant a new appellation from near Taragona (not far from Barcelona) Spain. And made by the people who make Clos Mogodar one of Spain’s best wines. Lighter in colour than the Pontensac there are flashes of purple (it looks younger), and the wine is less concentrated, fresher with higher alcohol, and completely different flavours. Fig and jam hints.

I was surprised how different these similarly priced wines from the same vintage were. Given that they come from different countries and are made from different grapes I probably should have expected this. It was the difference in fruit sweetness that surprised me, I expected the Laurona to be more savoury – and it probably would not have noticed the sweetness except for having it alongside the Pontensac.

Both are very good wines 90 points each, but if you don’t like the flavour of grenache then you might want to steer away from the Laurona, and if you expect your cabernet’s to show fruitiness then the Pontensac will be a surprise. Both wines should really be left until 2007.