Bodega Osborne Wines: Tasting on 7th January 2010

Bodega  Osborne is one of the oldest Spanish houses. Primarily known for their Sherries they make wines in other styles too. We could tell you lots more about Family-owned and still upholding traditional values and wine-making practices, but that is what their company website is about. Here instead, is our two bits’ worth on the wines we tasted recently.

1. Solaz Viura-Sauvignon Blanc 2008:

Gurjit: Refreshing is what you feel when you take a first sip. The wine is floral with notes of stone fruits especially apricots. Dry and easy drinking with a medium body & a clean well balanced finish. Goes well with light salads & fish in a lemon butter sauce.

Magan: The nose is clean and dry, the palate also replicates this simplicity, with the dryness. There is a certain sourness but the mildness of it can only help classify this as a starter wine, great as an aperitif.

2. Solaz Merlot-Tempranillo 2007:

Gurjit: Star wine of the tasting session. Tastes like a plate full of stoned prunes. Well balanced with hints of spices on the finish. Just a hint of residual sugar with medium tannins and a medium body. A perfect accompaniment to lamb tikkas and kebabs. Indeed a memorable one.

Magan: Light robe but an oak-kissed bouquet. Good fruit on the palate and a supporting tannic grip, a very well-rounded medium-bodied style of wine. We may have had it first but even on revisiting this turns out to be the most drinkable.

3. Solaz Tempranillo-Cabernet Sauvignon 2007:

Gurjit: Both, Magan & I felt that we should have tasted this one before the Merlot Tempranillo blend. This wine is big and has notes of raspberries & other soft red fruits. Oak and vanilla does come through nicely. Light to medium bodied wine with medium tannins and a dry finish.

Magan: A light fruity base with a soft attack and palate, the wine is not intimidating at all. Tannins mount towards the end and feel like they will take over. They almost do. But with a wine that is generally a fruit-forward style with almost undetectable oak, if any, it works. Verdict: likeable.

4. Solaz Shiraz-Tempranillo 2007:

Gurjit: This one took my by surprise. It tastes something like Indian Shiraz at the first sniff…..surprised, well so was I. I had to beg Magan to give it a second chance. The wine does open up in the end with notes of peppers & sweet spice on the nose. The wine is dry,  medium to full bodied with an interplay of peppers, prunes, strawberries on palate. Decanting this wine before enjoying will do justice to this one.

Magan: The wine is not bad but it lacks any distinct characteristics that would make it seem Shiraz, Syrah, whatever. Tannins are high and seem to mask the fruit and a glass later, this feeling could over-ride the initial euphoria of having uncorked a feisty Spanish number. Sorry Gurjit.

5. Solaz Rosé Multivarietal (Shiraz-Petit Verdot-Merlot) 2008:

Gurjit: A very pale ruby red in colour wine but actually it’s a rosé, & indeed a nice one. Medium dry & medium bodied with notes of strawberries & raspberries.

Magan: Lovely robe, aromas are soft but fruity and the wine itself is not too severe. It is a soft style Old World rosé i.e. dry with a good fruit component and not extremely dry with just that right hint of sugar that gives it weight but doesn’t make it sweet. A contemporary style, if you may.

6. Fino Sherry:

Gurjit: A straw coloured, light & dry sherry with nutty & notes of dry sea air on the nose. Acceptable and approachable. Nice offering for all dry Sherry wine lovers. Perfect accompaniment to shell fish based dishes & will make an ideal appetiser.

Magan: Finally, a dry Sherry. After having being subjected to umpteen pours of Cream Sherry, this comes as a pleasant break. The nuttiness and hint oxidative aromas greet you at the very rim of the glass as you approach for a nosing, the lovely mineral salty taste can be a surprise to those who don’t expect it but a welcome pleasure revisited for those who have tasted such before. The wine has balance, focus and density of flavour and length but without all of it being too stuffy or intimidating. In short, this is a great wine to start an evening, in small measures, in tiny quantities and at no pinch to the pocket. Must, must, must!

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