Pour Another and Sing to My Heart

Bodegas Grupo Yllera
Campo de bueyes
Crianza 2014
D.O. Ribera del Duero
Boada de Roa, Burgos, Spain
100% Tempranillo
Hand harvested, 6 months in French (Allier) and American oak barrels

This is dark, dark, dark, ruby purple…I can’t see through it. Uncork and here comes oak, caramel, cocoa, raspberry, blueberries, vanilla, plums, and gold ol’ cherry. First sip and realize it’s rustic yet velvety. There’s oak, a delicious vanilla wafer dipped in a smidge of caramel, cherries, some lovely portiness, blueberries, raspberries, tellicherry peppercorn, dark chocolate and coffee. Kind of like a little mole sauce. Where’s my side of saffron rice? In the end this juicy goblet has a nice dry finish.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: just wants me to have another glass

Grupo Yllera is in its 6th generation and has over time acquired wineries and vineyards that had been pretty much given up on or were amenable for a sale. They also acquire grapes from some cooperatives, but are strict across the board on quality. Vines have to be of a “certain age” (wow, I can’t believe I’m using that term as a good one), and the company as a whole strives to reduce their impact on the environment albeit from residue to emissions to water. This may be a large group, but as they say on their site, “At Grupo Yllera wineries we consider ourselves a great little family.” Well, this extended family received a Decanter Bronze for this velvet beauty, so hats off to that! There’s just something about this wine that is hard to put into words. It’s more than the smell and taste, but the emotion it brings out. While sipping last night, my thoughts drifted to an old memory and an old well loved song that always makes my heart hurt in a good way. Tom Waits’ “I Hope That I Don’t Fall In Love With You” is what is in this bottle, or at least for me. I know most people would think, it would be a cigarette and whisky neat, but give this Boada a try and let me know how you feel.

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Finding the Real Dory

vinho tinto 2019
IG Lisboa
Turcifal, Portugal
Touriga Nacional 38%, Syrah 27%, Pinot Noir 12%, Aragonez 23%
Winemakers: Anselmo Mendes and Diogo Lopes

Cherry purple gothiness. Uncork and let it breathe…then exhale and breathe in deep cherry, plum, baking chocolate, and warm pepper. Another deep hug in a glass. Rolling around back and forth over my tongue and there’s cherries, strawberries, blueberries, fresh picked blackberries seeds and all, and fenugreek. Nice and juicy and a happy wine. Don’t over think it. Just enjoy and maybe order some bacalhau croquettes. Mmmmm.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: makes it more velvet, sweet, glorious

Dory’s name comes from a nod to the small shallow boats the cod fishermen of old (not the cute Pixar/Disney fish). One would wonder, why that? Well, João António Alves founder of AdegaMãe, is also the founder of Riberalves which is the leader of cod in Portugal. He and his family now have a hand in two of the best of Portugal, wine and cod (bacalhau). The more I read on the history of how the fishermen used to travel so insanely far and believe me not in a luxurious quarters, I wonder at their amazing physical and mental strength and endurance. Once the home base ship ended up in Newfoundland they’d take off in the smaller one man boats (Dóris) into perilous waters and fish their fill, return to the main and immediately salt the fish. These guys make “Deadliest Catch” look like child’s play.

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