Surviving the Winter Blues with Spanish Reds
Posted: March 03, 2009
The forecast calls for chilly, rainy days this week. Though this winter seems to be endless, a little cold weather is all the excuse I need to pop open a few heavy reds. Though last month was Spanish month at Binny's, here are a few Spanish wines you won't want to miss: 2005 Finca Sandoval This is one of those wines where I look forward to every new vintage. A red blend of primarily syrah (the 2005 has less syrah than previous vintages, with more mourvedre and bobal making up the balance), Finca Sandoval offers some serious weight and intensity vanilla and powdered cocoa on the nose and dark raspberry on the palate. It's just what you'd expect from importer Jorge Ordonez - an intense, New-World styled red that over-delivers for the price (The Wine Advocate gives this one 94 points). One case has hit the shelves at our South Loop store, and we should be able to get more. It's a good value at $42.99. 2005 Pico Madama I try not to put too much emphasis on numerical scores, but the 95 point Wine Advocate review for the 2005 Pico Madama piqued my interest. An unusual 50/50 blend of petit verdot and monastrell, this wine has more tannic backbone than a lot of the mourvedre-based reds coming out of the Jumilla region. That backbone comes from the petit verdot, which is best known for being used in small amounts in Bordeaux and Bordeaux-style blends. Of course, layered on top of the tannins are floral notes, minerality,and tons of fruit. What's even better is that Binny's has Pico Madama on sale through the end of March usually $34.99, it's on sale for $31.99 (with your free Binny's card). 2007 Altos de la Hoya Bob Calamia, our Spanish wine buyer, wanted me to be sure to include the Altos de la Hoya Monastrell in the Binny's Blog. This is the deal of the day: Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar gave this wine 91 points, calling it another crazy value. (They have it listed at $14; Binny's is selling it for $8.99!) Robert Parker has referred to past vintages as a stupendous bargain and a perennial Best Buy. The Altos de la Hoya is another red from the Jumilla region of Spain, this one is 92% Monastrell with just a bit of Garacha blended in. It offers a balance of weight and lift usually found in wines three times this price. We've got plenty on hand right now, so stop by and grab a bottle. Or a case!