Monday, January 25, 2010

TN: Luna Beberide 1999 Tinto

Once again, I'm following in the footsteps of Jeff at Viva la Wino in tasting the Luna Beberide 1999 Tinto. It's a $20 wine from Castilla y Leon in northern Spain with over a decade of age on it. What really pulled me in, though, is the curious blend of 30% Mencia (an indigenous grape) with 40% Cabernet and 30% Merlot (Bordeaux varietals).

While this is a decent wine, it didn't really have a wow factor for me. There's plenty of life left in it, but it tasted like a fairly green and extracted Bordeaux blend. The nose opened with a medicinal cherry aroma, but evolved to show mostly dried herbs, mint and bell pepper. Although I like green aromas, the flavors essentially mirrored the bouquet. The acidity is high, and there's a definite seam of rustic tannin complementing herbaceousness on the finish.

From my perspective, this bottle--for older wines, there are great bottles, not great wines--seemed to have lost most of its primary fruit, yet hadn't developed much in the way of tertiary characteristics. However, there's plenty of structure, and this would be a relatively inexpensive wine to lay down for even longer. I'll probably stick with varietal Mencia in the future, though, as it works better for me expressing itself as opposed to blending into a Bordeaux-styled wine.

Pros: Herbaceous, Fresh, Mellow Tannins
Cons: One Dimensional
Decant: Yes, there is sediment
Price: $20 from K&L Wines
QPR: Fair (out of Poor, Mediocre, Fair, Good or Excellent with Fair denoting expectations were met for the price point)


Jeff said...

Sorry to hear that you didn't like this one as much as I did. I was pretty floored by it honestly. I wonder I had a better bottle than you did? The bottle that we had had a lot of secondary characteristics that had developed, so it was a very interesting 20$ bottle of wine.

CabFrancoPhile said...

Yeah, it seemed like this bottle hadn't blossomed like yours did. It seemed to be missing the openness and transparency you found. Like it was in the middle of its aging curve--a dumb phase, perhaps. It would be fun to open two or more next to each other, because I bet there would be surprising differences.

Dan K said...

I had this recently too and while it was a very good bottle of wine, I found it a little oaky and perhaps a bit too extracted (although admittedly I may mix these two up sometimes). My wife liked it alot.

Everyone's experience of a wine is a little different, and of course there are variations between bottles, but I just thought I'd share with you my impression.

CabFrancoPhile said...

So true as well. I can't count the number of times I'll share a bottle with my girlfriend and we'll diverge wildly in our opinions. It's not that we find different qualities so much as we like certain qualities more or less. Barnyard, oak, and in your face tannin structure are definitely features that we like to different degrees.

It was definitely the high level of extraction that stuck out to me, I think. It ended up seeming pretty monolithic to me.