Saturday, September 6, 2008


Every now and again, you stumble across something that really impresses you. Case in point, on a recent visit with Devon Ward, our rep for local distributor Tramonte & Sons (and a former LD wine consultant), Shannon, Jesse and I tried a trio of Spanish blends from Bodegas Lomablanca, the largest producer in the Aragon region of Spain. Each wine brought a different blend, different levels of oak, and different styles for a unique tasting experience when tasting individually or side-by-side.

First up, is the Gabarda II 2004 ($12.59), a blend of 40% Garnacha, 40% Tempranillo and 20% Syrah. The nuances of each grape brings depth and complexity to the wine, which exudes a light and lively fruit character that is smooth, balanced and expressive. Fresh red and black berry notes abound in both the nose and on the palate. Touches of mineral, earth, anise and black cherries add another dimension to the wine’s easy-drinking style.

Next, the Gabarda III 2005 ($14.98) is a blend of 34% Tempranillo, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon and 33% Merlot. Aging in American and French oak barrels provides a firm backbone to the stronger, firmer tannins of the Cab and Merlot. There is delicious toasty oak melding with a bouquet of red currants and black plums, lending to a plump, juicy, concentrated mouthfeel. The finish is plush and velvety, with much more body than the “II.”

Lastly, the Gabarda IV 2003 ($18.99) is a blend of Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Tempranillo and Merlot, coming together to form a more robust, densely concentrated red wine. Much longer time spent in American and French oak (19 months total) gives the wine a much more concentrated presence of vanilla and toast. Dark fruit aromas intermingle with mineral, earth and toasty oak tones, and the smooth, yet full-bodied texture of the wine lends to its lingering finish. This wine has the structure to age well.

These wines have just arrived, so come by and pick one of them up to try.

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