Thursday, July 14, 2011

Spirit of Wine Review & Rating: *** $ Caracol Serrano Tinto Joven, Jumilla, Spain, 2005 - BEST VALUE

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Original Review, June, 2009: The Caracol Serrano Tinto Joven, 2005, from the well-regarded region of Jumilla, Spain, is a meritage of monastrell, cabernet sauvignon, syrah and small amounts of merlot and peit verdot. It is taken from the mountain area, with the vines said to be growing among other aromatic plants like thyme and rosemary.

In the glass, Caracol Serrano Jumilla is quite deep red, moving towards opaque right in the center. The nose is truly bold, with spicy, candy apple red predominating.

On the palate, it is more earthy than round, with a bright, almost raspberry middle, a bit of cheek-tightening acid and some still-notable tannins despite being bottled for three years or more. While a bit "bright and hot" for my taste, I'm just shy of three stars, giving two with a plus for its intriguing intensity. Perhaps its tight peaks will soften with a bit of decanting, or even more time in bottle.

Jay Miller of the Wine Advocate awarded 88 points, and said, "Dark ruby-colored, it has an expressive nose of earth, herbs, mushroom and garrigue, as well as ripe blackberries. This hedonistic effort has gobs of ripe fruit and spicy flavors in its surprisingly full-bodied personality. At the going price, this wine is a steal. Drink it over the next 1-2 years."

Updated review, over two years later, July, 2011:  Color remains deep and dark red, opaque away from the edge of the glass.  Spicy, red fruit nose, no more candy apple.  Dry raspberry fruit remains on the palate, not quite as acidic as before, melding together better now.  Elements of fuller, darker, dry fruit blend with the raspberry notes in a distinctive blend.  Just taps three stars now, six years from vintage date. Best value. Following long decant, full day kept cool in partially filled bottle:  Muddled red fruit on the nose.  Remains dry and fruity raspberry on the palate.

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