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Wine Review: 2009 Ovidio Garcia Esencia

Spanish wines have been really interesting for me to watch. I jumped on Spain when it was re-defined as a new world country (even though it’s technically an old world country). In the late 90’s when Jorge Ordóñez started to import spanish wines and we saw things like Muga and López de Heredia hit the American scene. Then the ’98/’99/’00 vintages started picking up big time Parker scores, and all of a sudden wines from Toro like Numanthia started getting 96-98 ratings, and wines like the ’98 Remelluri were described by parker as being comparable to Chateau Margaux.

There was a little bit of a crash where all of a sudden we had an influx of $15-$20 wines drinking like $40 bottles and it changed a lot of things. Of course by then everybody was giving everything 95 points, so it didn’t matter anyway.

On the sniffy-sniff, this has an unbelievably dynamic nose. Really bright strawberry coming through for me on the attack. There is also this air-freshener thing going on which I’m really liking. The kind of thing you’d spray in your dorm room to clear out the smell of dirty socks. This flavor would be called “Rose Gardens” since there is that kind of rose petal component going on.

On the palette, there is really nice acidity up front. A charcoal/burnt bacon component. Boysenberries and blueberries (which, if you look at my reviews, you’ll see I don’t use very often because I’m actually a huge blueberry fan, so a wine really needs to bring blueberries in order for me to feel like it’s gone there). All that transitions into a really really long finish.

All of this comes together to be a really incredible “casual food wine.” When you’re only paying $15 a bottle, you don’t think twice about popping it with some chili, or burgers. Maybe you some friends over who aren’t your special wine friends.

This wine acts like a lot of $40 wines. This is actually what Spain does that I think Italy doesn’t do. In the world of Italian red wine, you can usually feel pretty confident that what you pay for is what you get (especially now that people have sniffed out how valuable Barolo really is). There are a lot of really interesting Tempranillo-based Spanish wines that you can still steal because the “brand equity” of Spanish wines has been suppressed over the last few decades. For normal wine consumers, that presents a really great opportunity.

Pair this with pizza, hot dogs, or cheese. If you’re a cigar fan I could see this working too because of those charred notes. It Might be a bit too big for some of you to enjoy on its own but it’s a really good wine overall. Check it out.

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