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.