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Will be back in september...

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Lustau Moscatel "Emilín"

Producer: Emilio Lustau
Wine Name: Moscatel "Emilín" Solera Reserva
Type: White (Fortified)
Wine Region/ Appellation Jerez-Xérès-Sherry 
Vintage: No vintage 
Grape varieties: 100% Moscatel (muscat)
Alcohol: 17%
Guide Price: 20 USD 

Our rating: ++++++ (6+) 

About the area

Jerez is a mythical centre of viticulture, and it has been so since wine-making was introduced to Iberian Peninsula by the Phoenicians in 1100 BC.

Sherry wine must come from an area known as the sherry-triangle in the province of Cádiz, its three corners being the towns of Jerez, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, and El Puerto de Santa María.

The Jerez district has a predictable climate, with approximately 70 days of rainfall and almost 300 days of sun per year. Summers are dry and hot, with temperatures reaching as high as 40 °C (104 °F), Ocean winds bring moisture to the vineyards in the early morning and clays in the soil retain water below the surface.

Before the phylloxera infestation in 1894, it is estimated to be over 100 varieties of grape used in Spain for the production of Sherry.Today there are only three white grapes grown for Sherry-making: Palomino, Pedro Ximenez and Moscatel (muscat).

The Palomino grapes are harvested in early September, and pressed lightly to extract the juice. The must from the first pressing, the "primera yema", is used to produce Fino and Manzanilla and the must from the second pressing, the "segunda yema" is used for Oloroso.

Sherry is produced in a variety of styles, ranging from dry, light versions such as Fino to darker and heavier versions known as Oloroso, all made from the Palomino grape. Sweet dessert wine Sherry is usually made from Pedro Ximenez or Moscatel grapes, sometimes blended with Palomino based wine.

About the wine.

The Moscatel grapes, grown in a vineyard known as Las Cruces are laid out in the sun until they become raisins. Fermentation is arrested early, in order to keep the natural sugar of the grapes.

Immediately after fermentation, the wine is sampled and the first classification is then performed. As in other sherries, this wine is fortified using "destilado", the produce of distilling wine.
The fortified wine is stored in 500-litre casks, filled up to five-sixths of their capacity, leaving "a two fists gap " on top to allow flor (flower) to develop on top of the wine. Sherry is then aged in the solera system where new wine is put into wine barrels at the beginning of a series of three to nine barrels. Periodically, a portion of the wine in a barrel is moved into the next barrel down. At the end of the series only a portion of the final barrel is bottled and sold.


Colour between mahogany and golden, Mediterranean dusk. 

Complex aromas of candied orange peel, coffee sweets, walnuts and vanilla. 

Sweet and tasty in the mouth, good acidity, persistent but not sickly. Walnuts and vegetables come back to nose, with pepper, coconut and lemon candies. 

Fleshy, long and delicious. 

A great dessert wine, will be excellent with strong cheese like Blue Stilton, Cabrales, Gamoneu or Bergader. Pairing with chocolate or whipped cream desserts, superb.


El Coto Crianza 2008

Producer: El Coto de Rioja
Wine name: El Coto Crianza
Type: Red
Wine Region /Appellation: Rioja (D.O.C.)
Vintage: 2008
Grape varieties: 100% Tempranillo
Alcoholic level: 13%
Guide Price: 8-12 USD 

Our rating: ++ (2)

About the area

The Rioja wine region is located south of the Sierra de Cantabria, along the river Ebro, in the North of Spain. The climate is continental. It is surrounded by mountains, which helps to isolating the region which has a moderating effect on the weather. The region is subdivided into three areas - Rioja Alavesa, Rioja Alta and Rioja Baja. Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Alta, which are located closer to the mountains, are located at slightly higher elevations and have a cooler climate.

Most of the territory covered by the the Rioja Protected "AOC" is in the La Rioja region, even though their limits do not coincide exactly.

La Rioja has a total of 57,000 cultivated hectars , yielding 250 million litres of wine annually, of which 85% is red.

Among the reds, the best-known and most widely-used grape variety is
the Tempranillo grape. Other grapes in use in the region are Garnacha (grenache), Graciano, and Mazuelo (Carignan).

About the wine

El Coto's vineyards are in Cenicero (Rioja Alta) next to the east bank of the river Najerilla, northwest facing and their soil is mainly based on ferric clay. The rest of the grapes come from selected vineyard owners from the Rioja Alavesa. The winery produces over 20 million bottles a year.

Grapes for El Coto Crianza 2008 came from the three subzones. The wine was fermented and aged for a year in new american-oak barrels and rounded in the bottle, for at least six months, before its release.


Ruby-red. Firstly smoke, tobacco and vanilla in the nose. Deeper, you can find glaced cherries and ginger. Light in the mouth, good acidity (sligthtly unbalanced), dry tannins, medium-short "after taste". Oaky. Commercial. Easy drinking, but hard to find its true personality.

To be honest, I do not like it very much. In my opinion, this wine really far away from what a mythical "appellation" like Rioja is capable of producing.