Friday, April 29, 2011

Spirit of Wine Review & Rating: ***+ $ Lineas Tempranillo, La Mancha, Spain, 2007

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By way of background, original review, October, 2009: Lineas Tempranillo employs 100% of Spain's well-known tempranillo grape in its offering, which finishes at 13.5% alcohol.

In the glass: The Lineas is almost black-purple in the glass, opaque within about a quarter inch from the edges. Looks potent!

On the nose: Aromatics are a fairly shy, sweet, ripe, raisiny offering, seemingly pretty old-world in style.

On the palate: A pinched, tight noose around your nose is the first reaction. That follows with clear recognition of tannins surrounding the dry raisin flavors, pulling your entire mouth, tongue and cheeks together to a single point - kind of like the "Church Lady" on Saturday Night Live. Pretty potent in that respect.

And the finish: When your mouth recovers from the constrictions, the fruit slowly exudes from the tannins, drop by drop. The tannic sandiness goes on for a remarkably long time.

In summary: I've got to give Lineas Tempranillo three stars for the sheer fascination with its backward tannic nature. It's potent stuff for sure - either wanting a decant or a few more years in my cellar before releasing its real pleasures. Intriguing, powerful, and definitely not for the faint of heart. Great value!
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Updated Review, a year and a half later, April, 2011:  Deep magenta in the glass, still opaque to nearly the edge.  Aromas are of a gentle tawny port.  Now the palate is sweeter and looser, a blend of purple round fruit and lightly circling but definitely apparent tannins, along with a welcome touch of cocoa.  Flavors are a bit unidimensional, but at the price-point, the balance, potency and complexity are hard to beat.  A plus is added to the three stars for this pleasant power.  Outstanding value.  

Following long decant, one day kept cool in partially-filled bottle:  More tobacco coming through now on the nose.  Cocoa and dry port on the palate.  Holding up very well to air.

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