This weekend, just for the laugh, I opened 8€ of wine: two bottles of Tinto Maceración Carbónica 2003 from the area of Albacete: the locally-much-acclaimed Cantofino Intenso (VTC) and the hero of the D.O. Almansa, Tintoralba.
Both are made with Garnacha Tintorera and the profile is just short of identical, to the point I had to attach a piece of string to one of the glasses, just in case.
As the bottle said Serve at 14ºC I decided to give it a try. I invariably find them better at 16ºC and this was no exception. Reasonably fresh acidity, overtly upfront fruit, easygoing though not wholly clumsy, nicely focused, good quaffers both of them. Among the best in this style.
Notice that I usually HATE wholecluster maceration wines from the Canary Islands but I find some (few) Riojas are good enough for food, and I sincerely appreciate unoaked Monastrell. In the case of these Garnachas Tintoreras I must say I loved the volume and weight in the palate, which other varieties fail to deliver in this style, and had some fun for 3,5 + 4,5 € but still I find they could rarely get anything over 87 in my book and that’s only in the special circumstances of food+outdoor heat that the style seems to demand.
Well, in fact I don’t expect to find big differences between carbonic maceration wines produced with the same grapes. In general there are some common characteristics between almost all CMW as red juicy fruit, strawberry yoghurt and “lactic” notes in the nose. And an extremely noticeable fruitful character in the mouth. Probably being Monje Hollera one the most “differentiated” I’ve ever tried.
I find this kind of wines really nice to be drunk in summer because they can be served at about 13-14º C and are easier to drink than “heavier” red wines.
Yep, the only criteria I’d use here would be qualitative, perhaps. And acidity, of course. But these two seem to be very much in the same level of everything. Lots of redberry yoghourt are what I call clumsy, in the sense of not allowing much room for complexity, and even the licorice note fades with time. I’ve kept the rests for nosing today, but I don’t expect them to be drinkable...
Just a few days ago I tried ";primero 2003"; from Bodegas Fariña, and it was perfect drinkeable for three days (with vacuvin, of course and kept in the liebherr). It was very red fruit, strawberry and banana youghourt, and without any carbonic trace in the mouth, so very friendly. I think you will like it (about 4 eur.) however, I very much agree with you about never scoring something like this better than 7.5/10 because this lack of complexity.
Jesus Norje, PeñaBilbao
It is getting to be that time of year to drink this type of wine. Recently I posted this tasting note on a good one - Bodegas y Vinedos Pujanza ";Qertos.";
As far as I know, Qertos joven represents a style of wine is unique in the US market. It is common in Rioja Alavesa for winemakers to make carbonic maceration wines for quick, easy drinking. Of course in many cases, the wine is not made from the best fruit or made by the more serious bodegas and, presumably, the wine only lasts a few months. In other words, these are on the order of Beaujolais. Qertos joven 2001, made by Bodegas y Vinedos Pujanza, is a more substantial version of these wines without being less fun (and it is still just $12). Rather than wimpy Gamay as in the case of Beaujolais, this wine is made from 45-year old Tempranillo yielding something considerably more substantial than, say, a Beaujolais cru such as Brouilly. The wine is a flagrant, decadent purple in color and it smells of ripe mulberries, strawberries, and flowers. On the palette it’s juicy and plush, showing nice fruit concentration, and it even has enough of a light dusting of tannins to make one confident that it will not fade too fast. Make no mistake: Qertos is still only foreplay - a quaffable wine that go well with tapas and suntan lotion - but that is precisely its allure.
I’m friends with the distributor of Pujanza in Tenerife and we had a tasting of the 3-step lineup not long ago. Your raise a pretty interesting issue: what would Quertos be like if they had used in it the bunches reserved for Norte? Perhaps a few years in bottle would make it superb but unaffordable?
Right now what’s hot in Carbonic maceration in Rioja is Muga’s Eneas 2003. I’ll be opening mine sometime next week out of sheer impatience, though everybody says it’ll grow until after the summer.
When I read the Tasting Note from Walt some time ago my first reaction was to modify the name of the wine introduced by Walt (Qertos) because I thought there was a spelling error. But after googling a little bit I concluded that ";Qertos"; is the right name, even if in Spanish the logical name could be ";Quertos";. Is that correct?
Qertos is correct. No u.
Speaking of spelling errors in tasting notes, I see that my recent note on the ’95 Prado Enea is is misspelled as ";Prada"; - No, this is not a new designer Rioja. Please fix it if you can. Thanks.