Tuesday, June 16, 2009














JOSE ORDONEZ SELECTIONS
Recently, I attended a tremendous wine tasting in Manhattan, hosted by America's number one SPANISH wine importer, TEMPRANILLO. The tasting was comprised of JORGE ORDONEZ SELECTIONS.
Jose Ordonez introduced Spanish wines to America in 1987. He is the true pioneer. Presently he imports 130 different wines from 40 wineries, mostly boutique. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to sample 76 Spanish wines from his portfolio. It is very hard for me to choose my favorites from the Jose Ordonez selections, but, I will do my best.
If you have the opportunity to purchase any of these wines and can't find them at your local wine shop, please make them aware that TEMPRANILLO, Inc. from New Rochelle, N.Y. is the distributor.
The wines ranged from most of the Spanish D.O's and were heavy weighted from four areas: Rioja;Ribera del Duero; Navarra and Campo de Borja.
My favorites were many. The first wine that was exceptional was from the most traditional Rioja producer in the world, MUGA, who still use only oak barrels (50% French 50% American) 100% of the time to store their wine.

My favorite MUGA wine at the tasting was:

PRADO ENEA GRAN RESERVA 2001. (80% Tempranillo 20% Garnacha, Mazuelo & Graciano)
This wine is aged one year in oak vats, three years in Bordeaux barriques and a minimum of three years in a bottle.
++Only 1200 are in the U.S. market

A second Rioja that stood out was:

SIERRA CANTABRIA COLECCION PRIVADA 2006
from the vineyard: BODEGAS SIERRA CANTRABRIA
This lush wine is 100% Tempranillo, unfiltered and estate bottled for eighteen months in French and American oak. The wine is from 60 year old vines.
Only 250 cases in the U.S.
93 points from Josh Reynolds International Wine Cellar

The third Rioja that was exceptional was:

FINCA de GANUZA RESERVA 2003
from the vineyard BODEGAS FERNANDO REMIERZ de GANUZA
This dense wine consists of 85% Old Vine Tempranillo, 10% Old Vine Graciano, 3% Old Vine Garnacha and 2% mixed grapes. This unfilytered wine comes from old vines, which range in age anywhere from 33 to 73 years. The grapes are divided into 'shoulders' and 'bottoms'. Only the 'shoulders or tops' are used in this wine. The must is fermented for 30 days, then rests for one year before being moved to the barrels, which are made of 70% French oak and 30% American oak. The wine ages for 25 months in the oak, then is estate bottled by Fernando Remierz de Ganuza.
Only 600 cases in the U.S.
91 points by T.M. Wine Specttator

The fourth wine I enjoyed is from the D.O. TORO:

ALMIERZ 2007
from TESO la MONJA
This estate bottled wine is grown on sandy soil in Toro and is from 30 year old ungrafted Tinta de Toro vines. The wine is racked every four months and is stored for 12 months on Bordelaise French oak barrels.
Only 1,000 cases in the U.S. market.

From the D. O. of Valdeorras comes a new wine:

AVANTHIA GODELLO 2008
from BODEGAS AVANTHIA
This wine has been created as a new project between the Gil family and Jorge Ordonez. The garpes are from 35 year old Godello vines, located on mountain slopes and terraces. The land is slate. 2008 is the first release of this wine. It is sure, in time, to become one of Spain's most famous new world wines.
Only 400 cases were released, worldwide.

From Malaga comes a great dessert wine:

JORGE ORDONEZ & COMPANY-VICTORIA 2006
Harvested at 2,250 feet above sea level, this 100% Old Vine Moscatel de Alejandria is an exceptional wine. The 375ml bottle is full of harmony, finesse and concentration. It is a great wine to end a meal.
Only 300 cases of six bottles each were shipped to the U.S.
93 points by Dr. Jay Miller of the Wine Advocate.

It was a real pleasure and eye-opening experience to taste the wines from the JORGE ORDONEZ Selections. I hope that you have the opportunity to try these wines I have suggested.
They will make you realize that he is the true 'father of Spanish wines'.

Philip S. Kampe
philip.kampe@thewinehub.com
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