Saturday, May 12, 2007

Marques de Grinon, Dominio de Valdepusa, Petit Verdot, 2002

This was really an impulse buy on a business trip to Madrid. I can't quite re-construct what made me buy it except a Petit Verdot varietal wine seemed intriguing. The description in Hugh Johnson's Wine Pocket Book did make it seem like another Spanish New Wave venture but I'd already bought enough Sherries and Old World Riojas on the trip and thought I'd pick up a modern wine as well.

Marques de Grinon's Dominio de Valdepusa enterprise is based in Toledo. Spain legally recognizes a Vinos de Pago as "a vineyard or area of limited size giving rise to exceptional wines" (the Wine Pocket Book) and Dominio de Valdepusa was the first to be awarded this Denominacion de Origen. I did some more reading up and it does sound New Wave-y indeed: French varietals like the Petit Verdot, drip irrigation, gravity fed tanks, the works. Whatever, if I have to go New World, I prefer the Spanish version. For whatever reason, modern Spanish wines do seem to combine sleek New World winemaking with hints of their Latin origin. My romantic notions is they try to build up on lost traditions as they search for an idenitity whereas Super-Tuscans, for instance, seem to just try to court money with international varietals.

2002 seemed troubled in Spain, from what I've read, though there's no vintage chart on a small backwaters like Toldeo so it's hard to get a clue about this wine. I coould hardly find any tasting notes on it so I had to guess that five years post-vintage would be a good time to test it. As it turned out, it's quite well made and interesting, if not a thriller to remember forever and ever.

Very dark color. An attractive, smokey, New World nose just starting to shake off the barrel influences, full of red fruit, with hints of leather. Full bodied, ripe fruit, though not overly done, with near sweet tannins, yet quite balanced. I might have guessed Spain blind, but I’m not sure. As it opens, it shows herbal, meaty and gamey notes and I guess this is where it will devleop in time as it gains complexity within a year or two. Should last a few years at any rate.

I believe it was imported to Israel (had I known I'd have never bought it abroad) but I don't remember the name of the importer or the price.

2 comments:

Jan Schultink said...

Interesting: French grape, but your note has "Spanish" written all over it.

2GrandCru said...

So does the wine. Modern, but Spanish.