Lots of tastings this week…so hopefully I'll get a few interesting posts up!
This was a very interesting and original wine I tried last week. Prieto Picudo is a little known indigenous variety from Leon that is becoming fashionable among winemakers. It is not allowed in Denominacion de Origen (DO) Wines, but is sometimes blended with the more well-known Mencía in lower category wines. I've only tried it twice so far, but both wines had a lot of similarities in aromas and flavors. The grape certainly has a very strong and unique aromatic profile. Some winemakers consider it the next, great grape of Spain…the two I've tried, though extremely interesting, have not completely convinced me of that.
As to the category of wine: Vino de Calidad de Tierras de Leon…it is neither a Denominacion de Origen nor a Vino de la Tierra! It is a fairly new category VCIG (Vino de Calidad con Indicacion Geografica), that is in between the two. Vino de la Tierra is not actually quality wine or VCPRD as defined by the EU, but rather a table wine. The VCIG is seen as a stepping stone to become a DO, and a region must wait five years as a VCIG to request DO status. Castilla Leon has been one of the most proactive regions in creating these new areas.
Part of me thinks it is a good idea to make areas wait to get DO, but another part of me thinks this is just another way to confuse the consumer!!!! Though these lesser levels often offer good wines at very inexpensive prices, the number of categories of wine in Spain is now overwhelming!
Wine: Tinto Villeza Doce Meses 2004
Winery: Bodegas Villeza
Appellation: Vino de Calidad Tierras de Leon
Grape variety: Prieto Picudo and Mencía
Oak regime: Six months in French and American oak with six months bottle aging
Visual: Quite dark color
Nose: Very complex, quite unique nose! Medium intensity…with violets, blueberry and ripe banana. There as also banana in the other Prieto Picudo I tasted! Very nice nose
Mouth: A bit disappointed…quite different from nose. Lots of structure and tannic…too tannic, intense vegetal notes, very little fruit. Interesting, but quite rustic.
Food: no food
Retaste: No retaste
Conclusion: Very interesting and unique wine. Really great nose, but too rustic in mouth and is not a wine I would recommend to easy drinking friends. Though any wine geek would appreciate it a lot! This grape has a lot of potential but I have yet to be blown away!