Friday, May 11, 2012

Vinos Unico - Bodegas Ochoa, Robledo Family Winery


Vinos Unico is a wine importer and distributor which deals in wines from Spain, Portugal, Argentina and California.  Their people poured a smattering of the wines they represent recently at the Port4lio tasting in Culver City, California.  I was particularly taken with the wines of two producers who were there to pour their own wines themselves.

Bodegas Ochoa came all the way from Navarra, Spain to promote their wines in the US.  Javier and Ariana Ochoa are the father/daughter winemaking team, while Ariana’s sister Beatriz (left) graced the Ochoa table at this event.  Beatriz told me that her sister represents the young side of the family business, but assured me her father needed no help in thinking young himself.

Ochoa Mdo Moscato “de Aguja” 2011 - This 100% Muscatel wine bears Ariana’s signature.  It records a low, low 5% abv number, has a very floral nose and a lovely, sweet palate.  Hard to see how anyone could pass up this sweet sparkler.

Ochoa Blanco 2011 - A white blend of 70% Viura and 30% Chardonnay.  Uncharacteristically sweet-smelling for a Viura, with a fruity and floral palate.

Ochoa Rosado 2011 - This rosé is 100% Garnacha which saw only 8-10 hours of skin contact, but a very deep pink color resulted nonetheless.  It’s quite fresh and lively.

Ochoa Tinto 2010 - There’s no oak in this 50/50 blend of Tempranillo and Garnacha.  The nose and palate both show clean, fresh cherry notes, with a bright acidity in the mouth.

Ochoa Crianza 2008 - A young, 100% Tempranillo wine displays great use of oak.  Lovely cherry and strawberry abound.

Ochoa Mil Gracias 2008 - All Graciano grapes here, and not surprisingly it’s the one wine on the table that best fits the description "old world."  A very savory and spicy flavor profile is a winner.



Robledo Family Winery of Sonoma Valley boasts 400 acres of vineyards scattered across Napa, Sonoma and Lake Counties in Northern California.

Luis Robledo poured the wines of Reynaldo Robledo, who started working with vines in the 1960s.  His thirty-year path from immigrant field worker to successful vineyard manager to vineyard and winery owner is a testament to his tenacity and a source of much pride for his family.

Brut Cuvée 2008 - Los Carneros fruit - 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay - produces a toasty nose with a palate full of apples and pears.  It’s a multiple gold medal winner.

Seven Brothers 2009 - Lake County Sauvignon Blanc named for the male Robledo siblings (Luis Robledo is one of 9 kids, seven of them brothers.)  The nose bears a slight grass aroma, with grapefruit leading the charge of fruit on the palate.  Nice acidity and a tangerine finish leave me wanting another taste.  (By the way, the girls already have a wine named after them.)

Los Braceros Red Blend 2006 - The fruit here hails from Sonoma Valley.  The blend includes Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.  Black cherry and plum flavors are framed in a smoky, earthy setting.

El Rey Red Hills 2006 - Lake County is the source for the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in this one.  Earth and graphite show amid plum and blackberry, all delivered in a nice cigar box aroma.


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