Atalaya “Laya” (2012)

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Laya 2012Atalaya “Laya”

Red Blend: 

70% Garnacha and 30% Monastrell

YEAR: 2012

REGION: SPAIN

AVERAGE RETAIL: $10 

What they say about it:

“Laya is 70% Garnacha Tintorera — Alicante Bouschet — and 30% Monastrell planted around 1000 metres (3280 feet) above sea level and aged for 4 months in French oak. Garnacha Tintorera is known for its deep color and here it coats the glass and imparts aromas of brooding black fruits, licorice, espresso, and pepper. Dense, savory, and rich.”

What I say about it:

This wine is another market find. I haven’t been branching out much beyond my safety zone of wines from the Northwest and CA lately so I decided to pick up the red blend from Spain recently. The 2012 Laya is a very big and bold wine and if you are a fan of bold “old world” wines, I recommend it. 

Out of the bottle and into the glass. This is a big wine and a letting it breath (or aerating) opened it up more. A very deep garnet to purple color with very long legs in the glass. My first impressions were deep and rich tones – earthy (flint), licorice, coffee / espresso, leather and tobacco. Oddly the fruit, mainly cherry, hit me afterwards on the finish rather than up front. Slight touch of oak and smoke also noted. Medium body but a little heavy on the tannins. For it’s price, it does have characteristics of older and more expensive wines. Proving that price isn’t the only indicator for a good wine. Overall I liked it. My only reservation, a little too bold on some notes for me, particularly the licorice and espresso, for my taste, but easily recommended.

Would Bukowski drink it?  I ever tell you about this Spanish broad I met at the track? Gimme that wine. 

Overall Rating: 3 BUKS

3-BUKS

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Zen of Zin “Old Vine Zinfandel” (2011)

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Zen of ZinZen of Zin “Old Vine Zinfandel”

Zinfandel

YEAR: 2011

REGION: US: California

AVERAGE RETAIL: $11 

What they say about it:

“This Zenful Zin has bright, ripe scents of cherry and strawberry jam; spice vanilla and orange peel complete the exotic aura. Very juicy, fresh, ripe and round flavors give the impression of boldness without heaviness. The finish is long, soft and flavorful.”

What I say about it:

I spotted this wine at my local market on sale for $7.99. I am continually on the search for good wines under $10 and Zinfandel wines are among my favorite reds so I had to give it a try. The Zen of Zin brand is actually made by Ravenswood, reknown for their Zins.

Out of the bottle it was very drinkable. It’s a jammy type of Zin with long legs in the glass. It’s on the fruitier side and would agree that my first impression was strawberry followed by plums. It’s a lighter Zin and I quite enjoyed it. Very easy to drink. Flavorful but not overpowering. I think this is best matched with spicy and savory dishes. I had it with some pizza (topped with sausage, onion and sun ripened tomatoes) which it matched really well. Overall a good drinkable and tasty wine. A steal for $7.99, but just not great.

Would Bukowski drink it?  $7 buck is a steal. Put it on my tab. 

Overall Rating: 3 BUKS

3-BUKS

Francesco Bonfio Chianti Colli Senesi (2012)

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Francesco Bonfio Chianti Colli SenesiFrancesco Bonfio “Chianti Colli Senesi” 

Chianti (Sangiovese Blend)

YEAR: 2012

REGION: Tuscany, Italy

AVERAGE PRICE: $12

What they say about it:

Francesco Bonfio is not a made up Italian name. He is a wine merchant in Sienna and a friend who has been producing reasonably priced, honest Chianti for many years. This is not your big, extracted Brunello wannabe Chianti but rather a gentle, elegant wine with aromas of red fruit and fresh earth, a silky, softly tannic structure and pretty cherry/plum fruit. As with most Italian wines it shines with food and we would recommend simple pastas, roast chicken, pork or something with the aforementioned chanterelles.

What I say about it: 

I am fond of Chianti when having Italian food and on this particular evening it was pasta and meatballs. Like most Chianti wines in this price range, it’s a very drinkable everyday wine and excellent with a meal. My first impression was that it was on the dry side. I got a lot more of a chalky mouth feel and a lot of earthy tones first off. The finish brought out some subtle fruit (cranberry and pie cherries, more tart than sweet). The Francesco Bonfio “Chianti Colli Senesi ” is subtle and not bold like some Chianti wines can be. Overall I enjoyed it. It’s a value at its price and I would recommend it for drinking with a meal. On it’s own it may be a little too subtle.

Would Bukowski Drink It?  Gimme that bottle.

Overall Rating: 3 BUKS

3-BUKS

Colonia Las Liebres “Bonarda Argentina” (2012)

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20131119_201931Colonia Las Liebres “Bonarda Argentina”

Bonarda

YEAR: 2012

REGION: Argentina, Mendoza

What they say about it:

100% Bonarda Argentina grapes come from high-trellised vineyards located in a unique microclimate in the area of Medrano and Carrizal de Abajo, Mendoza. This area sits slightly higher than the neighboring vineyards to the north, which contributes to cooler nights, resulting in acid development and retention. The low fertility soils paired with parral trellising help control the natural vigor of the Bonarda vine, and deep soils with good drainage facilitate root development.

What I say about it: 

Out of the bottle and into the glass, the first thing that struck me was the color. Such a deep purple with a vibrant red hint. Really striking. My first nose of the wine was a little alcohol heavy. Letting it breath helped and I recommend aerating.  The wine opened up nicely. Lots of warm, deep berry flavors with slightly earthy tones.

Would Bukowski Drink It?  Most definitely.

Overall Rating: 3 BUKS

3-BUKS