2009 Bodegas Vetus “Flor de Vetus” Toro

Pretty pleased with this excellent value red from Toro, Spain. Smoked blackberries and black cherries, dried wood, dried purple flowers, brown spices, and incense on the nose. Black and red cherries on the palate with fresh and dried flowers, fresh wood, and dried cherries on the finish. 

4/5 bones



13.5% abv


Looking hard to find a must have, value wine every week. Loaded up on a bunch a few days ago and gave the 2009 Volver Tempranillo from the La Mancha region of Spain (central Spain growing region working hard to brand itself with a bearded man silhouette icon) a whirl tonight.

Epiphany? Not really, but with a good, mandatory 2 hour airing it is rather a substantial mouthful for the $12. Probably won’t eclipse their fabulous Manchego, but would make a rather nice mate I think (those and some Jamon Iberico)! Worth trying. *


2005 Marcques de Riscal Rioja Reserva

Marcques de Riscal has been around in one form or another since 1858, and essentially began as a venture to train Spanish winemakers in the techniques used in Bordeaux. Fast forward about 150 years, and they are producing a decent rioja, but nothing anyone’s raving about. However, this vintage has received a 90 point rating from the Wine Advocate and has started flying off shelves. Has Marcques de Riscal managed to revive this tired and somewhat forgotten wine? What do you think?

I don’t know if I’ve told you how much my husband and I enjoy Tempranillo!  It’s been a while since we treated ourselves to one, especially since I’ve been focusing my education on South American wines. But it was time to relive an old favorite.

So, we tried a new one! haha  I have to say I was taken by the garnet and gold looking label (Go Noles!), but the deep cherry (or garnet?) color was also a good sign.  I"m still developing my nose (I’d love to take a class), but I picked up hints of earth (not surprising for an Old World wine), cherries, raspberries, strawberries and plums.  The flavor did not disappoint!  The texture was velvety smooth and elegant with notes of jam and youthful fruit.  The limestone allows the old vines (about 60-90 years) to grow deep roots and enjoy a good supply of water without diluting the flavors of the grapes.

We sipped on the wine in the company of good friends and live music.  I can’t think of anything better to complement!  Except perhaps some cheese, olives, and even hummus!

Castillo La Paz. Tempranillo Syrah. Cosecha. 2009

Winner of multiple recent awards and stereotypically Spanish-ly branded. This bottle was a good alternative to most above average Riojas. Considering the combination of varieties this was surprisingly light on the palette, distancing itself from often over strong tones of plum and vanilla found in Tempranillo. I would suspect this a younger product, not barrelled for any length of time. 

I would definitely go for this again, as long it came in at the £7 or lower range.  Which, if I recall correctly, it was slightly above on this purchase.


October in Cannon Beach doesn’t usually look like this. We enjoyed two crisp, clear days with only a slight breeze and daytime temps that reached the mid-70s. We rode our bikes for miles during low tides on the pristine beaches, all the while keeping a lookout for whole sand dollars. At dusk, we set up our beach tent and drank wine next to the cheery fire of gathered driftwood.

Sorry for the radio silence, but it was good to get away from everything for a while.