Friday, May 5, 2017

E Is For España

Locations is an experiment of place for winemaker Dave Phinney, of Orin Swift fame. It's his attempt at making wine a country-wide effort. At first, I wasn’t on board with the philosophy. Specific locations are important because of what they are, where they are, why they are. After sampling through a few "letters," I'm on board.

Yes, the letters. These wines are labeled only with a big letter or two, depicting the place of origin - F for France, P for Portugal, I for Italy, TX for Texas. Yes, he sources grapes from Texas. The wines are bottled at the Locations headquarters in Spain. Or, in this case, España.

E is the fourth release of the Locations wine from the Iberian locale. Phinney uses Garnacha, Tempranillo, Monastrell (Mourvèdre) and Cariñena (Carignane) grapes grown all over the Peninsula. The locations for this wine include Priorat, Jumilla, Toro, Rioja and Ribera Del Duero. Grapes from low-yielding, old vines, assure that the aromas and flavors are concentrated.

Carrying alcohol at 14.5% abv, the wine was aged in barrels for ten months. It retails for around 20 bucks.

Aromas of currant produce an elegant first whiff of this incredibly dark wine. Layer in some tobacco, pepper and sweet oak and you have a nose worth remembering. It brings to mind great wines I’ve had from the varied regions, er, locations of Spain. The sip is lush with black fruit, and spiced with white pepper, mocha and a hint of vanilla. There is enough tannic grip here to tame a steak right off the grill.

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