Friday, May 17, 2013

Fat Guy Strikes Again

Tondonia in winter
I'd been waiting for some time to taste Eldad Levy's's new Spanish portfolio.

R. Lopzez de Heredia, Vina Tondonia, Rioja Reserva,  2001

Word had it that this is a long distance runner and might need more time, and, for my tastes, while it's in a very good place already, it's still in a grumpy phase where it seems to talk about the cave and barrels it was raised in more than about the land where the grapes came from. For me, it's quite alright, as the barrels and caves are part of the heritage, but I look forward to further developments. Anyway, an intense nose, with sweet (as opposed to ripe) fruit that starts red and morphs into black, embroidered by hints of balsam and spices. The palate is sweet on the attack with a saline, savory, yet grainy finish. Oscillating between soft and grainy, it develops into a rich fullness, one that doesn't broach the line into senseless extravaganza, staying balanced and classy. (May 9, 2013)

Needs more time, not to soften and open up so much as to settle down. How much time? Anywhere between two and fifteen years.

Questions. Doubts. The Gran Reserva Blanco '91 was really great, but does this Reserva hint that its big brother, the Gran Reserva red, could be as great as Ygay or La Rioja Alta 890? I'm not quite sure yet.

235 NIS.

Ossian, Castilla y Leon, 2010

I was surprised to find this Verdejo weights in at 14.5% ABV, because it would usually signal a style not exactly up Eldad's alley. But the alcohol is rather well held in check, giving the body weight, roundness and creaminess, rather than burning on the finish. Stylistically, it's not unlike the Austrian Gruner Veltliners Eldad carries, with a mix of herbs and minerals on the nose belying the ripeness of the palate. It seems to require at least some cellaring, although I hesitate to mention that, because the winery's PR machine is broadcasting hints that are too obvious (and I can't promise my thinking wasn't affected): old, pre-Phyxollera wines, Burgundian techniques. Only time will tell whether the marriage of technique and variety was too forced, but it's certainly a very interesting wine and worth a try. (May 10, 2013)

199 NIS.

6 comments:

eldad said...

Thanks,
just to mention it pays to be a member in our mailing list
:-)

Wait 3-4 years with the Ossian, and sell it as a 1er cru Mersault.

Chaim Shraga said...

Hopefully not the oxidized kind of 1er Cru Meursault.

Unknown said...

I bought one of the RLDH '01 Reservas a few months back and have been waiting to open, so thanks for the note. I did also get 2005 Cubillo Tinto Crianza, which is a very, very nice tipple and not too dear. Highly recommended to drink while waiting for the Reserva to sort itself out (if it's available over on your patch).

Chaim Shraga said...

Thanks for the feedback. Eldad also imports the Cubillo, we just got our wires crossed so I still haven't purchased any.

Unknown said...

Well worth it, well for me anyway. Sorry for some reason I ended up Unknown (some sort of electronic existential crisis) above.

Unknown said...

Damn it did it again. Anyhow this is Kelly.