Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sierra De Viento Tempranillo and Garnacha

Last week, I was invited to a tasting of two wines produced by Bodegas San Valero, a cooperative located in north-east Spain in the province of Zaragoza. This cooperative was established in 1944 with 60 vine growers from the Carinena region. Today, there are over 700 members with over 3,500 hectares (8,650 acres) of vineyards.

The first wine we tasted was the 2008 Sierra de Viento Tempranillo. The grapes for this 100% tempranillo wine have made picked from 20-25 year old vines. This unoaked wine has a crimson color with an intense aroma of fresh red fruit and some floral notes. On the palate, it was fruitier than most other tempranillo's that I have tasted. In fact, it was too much. Although the flavors lasted for a while, the back end was a sour cherry flavor that didn't entice me to drink more.

Next up was the 2007 Sierra de Viento Garnacha Old Vine which was produced from grapes harvested from 30+ year old vines. This garnet colord wine was fermented in new French oak barriques for 3 months and then transferred to American oak barriques for 5 months. Following this, it is aged in the bottle for an additional 12 to 15 months. This was an interesting wine. Upon the inital opening and pouring, it had a big oak and vanilla aroma. But, within 5 to 10 minutes, this vanilla aroma mellowed and I started picking up more dried fruits, some toast and tobacco. The flavors were more blackberry and currant along with some oakiness. The Garnacha had mild acidity, but did have some chewy tannins.

Overall, neither of these wines were that impressive. As of now, the cooperative has not chosen an importer or distributor for these wines. When they do finally hit the US shelves, they will likely retail for $10-$11. Even with these prices, I think they will be difficult to sell.


  1. I am always disappointed when I find yet another bad value wine... I think there are more and more of them but that doesn't mean that ANY of them are any good... what do you think?!


  2. I have had more than my share of disappointing wines lately. Is it because I am drinking more wines below $20? Maybe. Yet there are some nice wines in this range too. I would like to pick a few good ones and only drik them, but then I would have nothing to write about.

  3. LOL! If you could open and write about any $20 bottle of wine, which one would you choose?

  4. Wow, that is a tough one. Although I enjoy wines from all over, my favorite is still Italian so I would say a nice red from Tuscany or Piedmont. I also think there are some great Spanish Riojas that are in this range. Unfortunately, many of the nice US reds are outside this range. But the Austrian wines rank right up there.

  5. Yeah, much easier to find good values in those regions... not so much in the US! :)