A Wine Lover’s Near Weekly Review Of $15 Wines – A White Blend Signed Central Spain

I tend to prefer varietal wines to blends. But it’s important to give blends a chance. Some, for example, Champagnes and fancy Bordeaux can be great. Today’s wine comes from a wine producer of organic and kosher wines. The grapes originated in the province of Cuenca (Castile-La Mancha, Spain) of central Spain. As its Ribera del Jucar DO designation indicates, the vineyards are near the Jucar river. This is the most recent DO in Spain. The 9 thousand hectares (about 22 thousand acres) are on a high plateau whose soil is pebbly, a feature said to be positive for producing fine grapes as do the cool nights. The companion wine is an inexpensive blend from Sicily.

All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed Elviwines Ness Blanco Ribera del Jucar DO 2009 13 % alcohol about $13.

Let’s start by quoting the marketing materials. “Description: A blend of 50% Suavignon Blanc and 50% Moscatel. Tasting Note: Golden straw in color, medium-bodied, showing aromas and flavors of summer and tropical fruits along with grassy and mineral hints. Lively and refreshing. Drink now. Score – 85 (Daniel Rogov at the wineloverspage website, January 29, 2011).” And now for my review.

At the first sips this wine was long offering tropical fruit and feathery. I started with Japanese rice crackers that intensified the wine and rendered it oily. The initial meal centered on a stovetop chicken leg cooked in mushrooms, onions, and spicy salsa. The wine responded with citrus and mouth-filling acidity. It was metallic. When paired with organic whole-wheat pasta this Spaniard offered refreshing acidity and citrus. Fresh cherries rendered it long and nicely acidic.

The following meal was homemade chicken fingers dusted in a mixture of garlic powder, basil, and Middle Eastern spices. Now the blend came out sweet and oaky, long and metallic. A generous dose of Louisiana hot sauce lengthened the wine, which remained subtle. Buckwheat groats (kasha) in puff pastry (knishes) brought out its tropical fruit. The wine was oily and quite assertive. When it met a lightly spicy Moroccan Matbucha salad/salsa containing tomatoes, onions, sweet red and green peppers, and tomato paste the wine was very long and feathery. I tasted honeysuckle.

My final meal was a barbecued veal rib chop that I marinated in a mixture of ketchup, honey mustard, fresh ginger, fresh garlic, and black pepper. This wine responded with a pleasantly dark taste and was really great long. The microwaved redskin potatoes finished on the barbecue rendered this drink multilayered. It was dark for a white wine. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. A barbecued Portabello mushroom muted the blend somewhat but it remained forceful.

When paired with Mediterranean Jack cheese this wine was oily and round. It had a pleasant, slightly burnt taste. Brushetta-covered goat’s milk cheese muted it somewhat and gave it a tinge of sweetness.

Final verdict. Even though I have to pay a few dollars more than the Internet price I will definitely buy this wine again. And I intend to offer it to my wine club tastings as soon as possible.

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, but prefers drinking fine Iwine with good company. He teaches computer classes at an Ontario French-language community college. His global wine website www.theworldwidewine.com features a weekly review of $10 wines. His Italiian  travel website is http://www.travelitalytravel.com .

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