We're Off To Spain!!

Pack your bags because on this episode special guest, wine educator Madison Varunk and I take a short flight over to Spain to taste some fantastic Spanish wines. We start out with general deep dive on Spain, then things get exciting as we open three unique Spanish bottles, a 2018 Cune Monopole Blanco (aka a white Rioja), then a 2015 Rioja Alta Alberdi Reserva and then we wrap up with a 2017 Bernabeleva Camino de Navaherrreros Garnacha. Pick a bottle up and tune in for the deep dive on Tasting Notes!

Eric Turner  0:01  
Welcome, everybody tasting those podcasts. I don't know what episode we're on. So don't ask, but my guest today. I'm super excited. Madison Varunok. Hopefully I nailed that the one pronunciation I'm going to get right today is my guest. Madison, you are the first guest. That is just like a cold call. I'm really excited. How are you? Where are you? What's going on?

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 0:24
Yes, I am. Well, thank you so much for having me. I am at my in laws up in the Hudson Valley, in kind of not upstate, but like mid state, New York. I live in New York City, but I'm up here for the weekend. So I have the luxury of hanging out of that house and taste some wine today and I'm great and super excited to drink to that together with you today.

Eric Turner 0:47
Oh, I love having you. And I am very appreciative. I found you on your Instagram. Let's talk a little bit about your Instagram and what you're up to. So you are I've decided that I'm going to call this the dub set. I know, you know, that's just going to be how I'm going to call it dub set level three. I don't know if that's official, but I'm going with it. I'm level three. A somm like sommelier? I don't know what you call that? I don't know. Anyways, helped me out with your title with what you're studying for.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:17
You know where you are? Yeah. In the process.

Yeah, exactly. Yep. So I taken the first three levels of the wine and spirit education, trust, certification, kind of program courses. There's one more level that's the final level called the Diploma of the W.S.E.T. I have not started that yet. But plan to at some point. Oh, you know, these programs are really tailored towards you know, providing wine education about the different key varietals, key wine regions, wine making process processes, how grapes are grown all of the fundamentals of learning about you know, what goes into producing a glass of wine. And more from not as much the like service industry service industry side but more of from like a importer, distributor or business wine owner, or works like a business kind of lens through it. Not that plenty of people don't go on and you know, work in this service industry. But yeah, so I have completed those courses. I work at a wine shop part time, and I do have a wine, Instagram kind of focused on wine education called @vin_decanted.

And the the goal there is just to kind of teach people about the connection of what they're drinking to where it come came from, how it's made, and introducing people to new wines that they may not have heard of. So, you know, if you ask most people who you know, drink wine, you know what kind of, you know, white wines Do you like, you know, you're probably going to hear Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, there are thousands of other you know, wines out there that depending on what you like, you know, you may like these other you know, wine so trying to draw attention to some of those, you know, through my Instagram

Eric Turner 3:02
nice awesome, you have so much to unpack from that, I think is like one you're the perfect guest for what we're trying to do, which is the education piece and, and surfacing some of these things and one of the things on the on this topic that you're bringing up this like fictitious fictitious topic is, the first episode, you know, we're talking about isn't Albarino, Torrontes, and vermentino, which were three whites that I'd never even heard of before. So it's like an awesome episode, but your Instagram handle is kind of how I found you. And I was like, Oh, this is great. We're, you know, I think you're in the middle of your you're planning for your French food and wine pairing and to do some education there. Um, and I was like, just really stoked. Like, I was like, okay, like, here's a super nice person who actually responded to my random Instagram message is now gonna be on the pod. Yeah. So thank you. Thank you literally, were like,

so where are we today?

I'll let you introduce where, you know, our theme for the for today because I like I said, I'm really excited about it. We haven't done we haven't done it yet. So I'll let you take it away.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 4:08
Yes. So we are traveling across the, to Spain, and I, myself, unfortunately, have not had the opportunity to go to Spain. So I think you said that you have gone there. So you're ahead of me in that regard. But you know, in these times, especially where you know, we can't travel, I love to travel through wine through food, etc. And again, like I mentioned, kind of learn about not just you know, everyone's heard of a Rioja, but like, what is a Rioja? And what does it mean to be drinking Rioja and I you know, just the wine tastes that way, etc. So, we're going to you know, Spain is a huge wine producing country. They actually have the most acres under vine in the entire world. I think it's like near 3 million acres of, of grape vines, you know, in the, in the whole country. They're the second one Just producer of wine. So even though they grow the most grape vines, they're behind, Italy in volume. The reason being is that Spain have a lot of these big, large, arid, dry areas with really old vines. And some of these vines, because of the conditions are in and the age of the vine, they have produced very low yields. So while they might have a ton of vines, some divines only produce, you know, a small quantity of grapes, because, you know, maybe it's super dry. So, you know, the resource is given, they have, you know, water storage shortage. So they need, you know, as much water as possible given to each grape, so they'll have high quality grapes, you know, but at a low kind of volume. So trusting it's really important. Yeah, history.

Eric Turner 5:46
No, I'm sorry, I just,

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 5:47
you know, you've heard of

Eric Turner 5:50
Go ahead.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 5:53
Yeah, just gonna say like, so you've heard of, you know, Italy's wine and French wines and all this stuff. And I think that Italian or Spanish wines are a lot of times, I'm kind of glossed over, because they have like a lot of indigenous grapes that people haven't heard of. So sometimes in the international

they're kind of a fraud. Unfortunately,

Eric Turner 6:14
that's, that's kind of crazy that they have so much square footage, and yet are not the biggest producer. But it also like, it kind of makes sense. I mean, I don't know a ton about, you know, like viticulture and like growing, actually. But like I do understand to some degree that like, the more you like water things, the more the more like fruit through yield, but that fruit is not necessarily like better, like you kind of end up like, like, over almost over saturating the fruit and then it like kind of spreads, I kind of think about it, it's like each plant probably has like a set amount of like, flavor, whatever. It can produce

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 6:48

Eric Turner 6:49
Yeah, that's a that's a great word for it like energy that it can really like put out there. And if it does it over like 10 grapes, then it's probably really concentrated. If it does it over 100 grapes, it's obviously more spread out. I unfortunately, did go to Spain. And not unfortunately, I went to Spain. Unfortunately, I went to Spain, it did not take advantage of the wine there. Because I just I don't know, I think I just like didn't think of it. And I didn't know until we were like at dinner the first night in Barcelona. And I was like, oh, wow, bottle the wines cheaper than a bottle of water. I know what I'm having. Because it was part of this trip actually where we went to Barcelona, San Sebastian and Bordeaux. And by the time we got to, you know, I just don't know that. We just didn't do a bunch of wine. I mean, we did do some wine, but we didn't really like get into it. Like we should have looking at the map, I realized that like we really missed out on like getting out into some out of Barcelona, like into some of the countryside and and trying some, you know, maybe visiting a vineyard or two. I certainly do not skip on the wine in San Sebastian or Bordeaux. But I also didn't skip on the food or skip on really anything while I was there. But it was a successful trip. Nonetheless, um, that's crazy. That's that's awesome about Spain. I don't I don't know that. I think now I know Spain, like now that I've kind of gone down this wine rabbit hole. But I don't think that like, I think that Spain produces some things that are like kind of intimidating to me that like I don't understand. I think you look at France especially and you're like cab, I get it. I know what that is they make that in California. You know, like I understand that Pinot you know, like, those kinds of things. But even like you were saying, it's like, let's, I think this is a good question. And something that I want to ask you about? Because like, so when we're talking about Rioja, is Rioja. What is Rioja is it a region? Is it? Like what is what is it?

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 8:48
Yes, that's a great question. And something that I love to kind of explain to people who are new to wine about the old world because, you know, you hear about new world and Old World wines, new world being the United States, Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, and really the old world being Europe, so Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, etc. and the kind of history about why we call certain wines way we do is rooted in the fact that the old world has historically really strict wine laws. So to be able to make wine and label it a Bordeaux, you have to meet certain guidelines. So historically, if you're getting a Bordeaux, you can see the name Bordeaux on the label, and no Oh, it's a Cabernet Sauvignon Franc, and some sort of blend. And it's going to have been aged for at least this long, x, y and z. So there wasn't the need to label things by the bridle just because these names carried so much kind of weight in terms of what they meant since they were so highly regulated. So a lot of the old world wines you're going to hear, you know, Sancerre , Bordeaux, burgundy Chianti, all of these wines, these are references to the actual wine region. And that's the same with Rioja. Rioja. Rioja is a region and northern Spain. It's a larger area called the upper Ebro around the Ebro River. And it is probably, you know, the most important wine region in Spain, in terms of international prominence, everyone who, you know, has some sort of knowledge of wine, can look at a wine list and typically see a Rioja, most of the time, they're going to, you know, associate it with like a full, happy red wine. And today, we're seeing a Rioja and a white Rioja, because again, it is a region, and they do bake both red and white wines. So we'll start with kind of just giving a little bit of an overview about the Rioja region. And then we'll dive into tasting each of the two wines and talking about, you know, why they taste the way that they taste?

Eric Turner 11:04
Yeah, I love that. Because like, that's, that's definitely, that's a, that's an awesome place to start. Because one of the things I like to ask guests when they're on is, I understand like, part of the way that I wanted to do this podcast was to make sure that the stuff that we were drinking on the podcast was accessible to people. So and if it's, but I understand that it may not be depending on where you are. So talking about the characteristics of a region overall, I think is like really important. So that like, if you don't, if you can't find this monopole, which is probably pronounced much nicer in Spanish, for this monopole, Rioja, that we're gonna drink this white. Rioja, if you can't find it, in your local, you know, wine shop, you at least if you find something very similar, like maybe you could have some expectation of like, what that might taste like, Is it gonna be? You know, like you said, You're breaking up a little bit, but I think you said that Riojas are typically, most people think of a fuller body red wine. Um, so that's cool. I think that like, you know, that's, that's definitely like something that I really like, I think I asked most of the time, when we're tasting if like, you know, this is this, that's normally where we start is like an overall characteristic of like, these things. And then we can get like, more into this specific bottle for the sake of just you know, enjoying a gospel wine on a Sunday afternoon. So let's, I mean, I'm going to turn it over to you, because you're the educator. And I'm going to stop asking questions, if there's a spot that you think is like, the best place to start this conversation if we're going to talk about Rioja,

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 12:38
awesome. Yeah, so let's get kind of started in talking about Rioja, generally. And like I mentioned, it's in the north of Spain. And if you think about where Spain is, it's actually right connected to France. So we're going to talk about the importance in that in just a second. But one thing that I find very interesting is talking about climate in relation to wine, and how a climate impacts the style of wine that they're able to make in a certain region. So Rioja is hot. It is a continental climate, which means that it gets really, really hot in the summer, but then it gets pretty cool in the winter, and also has some cooling effects from altitude. So mountain kind of in the area, as well as the Atlantic Ocean isn't too far to the north, that provides some cooling so it's really hot, so the grapes are able to get really ripe. But because of these cooling influences, that grapes are able to retain some acidity. That's important because we don't want wine to become too jammy. If it's too hot and there's no cooling. There, wines are going to be heavy, dense and lacked that refreshing characteristic that you're looking for in a wine that's balanced. So in terms of the winemaking style in Rioja, Oak plays a very key role. So if you think about, like I said, it makes perfect sense with where you said that you went on your trip you went up to Bordeaux, when you visited northern Spain, Bordeaux is not very far away from from Rioja region.

Eric Turner 14:11
So very short train ride.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 14:12
Exactly. So that has played a key role in bringing this influence of oak into Rioja sometime in the late 1700s. a winemaker from Rioja visited Bordeaux and learned about the fact that the bordelaise use oak barriques in the fermentation process as well as the aging process for their wines brought that idea back to Rioja and that kind of set in motion this utilization of oak in again the fermentation of an aging of their wines.

Eric Turner 14:48
Well, what would they have used before would have been like clay I'm assuming 1700 so it's not stainless steel yet.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 14:54
No, not famous. Yeah, like, in fora like, like kind of clay containers, were, you know, at a certain point, the fermentation could have been done and just any type of vessel they had, again, whether it was clay or some sort of other kind of porcelain material, whatever they had. And they might not have been aging them at all. So, the longevity of the wines really kind of increased when this oak thought or the aging kind of process was brought to, I was brought to Rioja,

Eric Turner 15:31
can I ask you like a random question? That's a little bit of a side, do people still make and like ferment wine and clay? And yeah, if yes, how does that affect the taste versus like, oh, stainless I mean, I assume maybe anyways, I don't want to make some assumptions, but ya

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 15:48
know, so. So in Flora is you'll hear about it, like, flora aged wines. A lot of it is in northern Italy, some in Spain in some of the world, but where it's been most historically, kind of predominant, has been in northern Italy, and some of the kind of Eastern European countries that make wine like hungry or Croatia, in these countries that have been known for making orange wine. So French wine is skin contact white wine. Yeah, and those have been heavily used with M fora, as well as you know, white wines and red wines as well, like stainless steel, flora is not going to impart flavor. So

Eric Turner 15:51
Oh, interesting,

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 16:32
depending on how its produced is going to impart some sort of flavor to the, to the wine and from what, whether it's the vanilla , whether it's toastiness, if it's super used oak or neutral oak, you know, it's been used 100 times before, it's not going to impart that much flavor, but it's going to import some tannin and you know, it's porous, so it'll let oxygen in, and that will get the wine flavor. Cool. So that's the thing with in fora, so like stainless steel, it's not going to impart flavor, but it is porous, unlike stainless steel, but like, oak, so some oxygen is able to come in through the clay and oxidize the wine to a certain degree, and impart some of those toasty or nutty flavors that you get with oxygen in wine.

Eric Turner 17:20
Awesome. Cool. Okay, thanks for that. I, I don't know, it's just like, think about that. I was like, oh, cuz I'm like a magic. I actually have this like terracotta plant sitting over here. And I'm like, I'm assuming that there'll be some like terracotta flavor in there. And, you know, like, you're supposed to go lick your wet river rocks. And I was like, so like, lick some terracotta to, like, see how it tastes? But I don't have to do that. It sounds like so that's good. Okay, anyways, you were saying back in the 1700s. Somebody went to Bordeaux. And then oh,

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 17:49
Oak is introduced, and that starts like this winemaking tradition to Rioja, okay, um, and then what happens? I think I'm like, let's call it the late 19th century. So about 100 years later. phylloxera, which, for those of you who don't know, is a louse that kills vines, and there's really not a cure for it. There's been pandemics of it, triggering word and these days, but phylloxera pandemics all over the world for hundreds of years. And there was a really bad phylloxera pandemic, in Bordeaux in the late 1900s. And it killed, like the majority of their vines, so, you're not able to just replant a vine and grow wine again, it takes at least usually about three years for buying to be able to grow wine quality fruit. So the bordelaise had all this, you know, experience and knowledge and, and, you know, investment in wine producing. So they figured, where do we go, they went down to Rioja, which not that far away, had some, you know, wine history there. So all these bordelaise came to Rioja and started making wine there. Again, this really not only brought this oak tradition to Rioja, but also really increased the kind of reputation of the industry in Rioja because we now have all this experience and technology and expertise brought to increase the, you know, wine that has been produced in this region.

Eric Turner 19:26
That's crazy. Um, I never knew that that's super interesting as I just as like a self professed nerd. That that's cool. I wonder how I wonder how like, people in Spain took that, like, did they welcome the people from Bordeaux, the Bordelaise, as you were much fancy about it that the folks from Bordeaux, or bor decks, as my mother would say,


it's a different story? Um, or were they like, oh, who are these people? I think they know everything. I don't know. No, we don't have Get into that but kind of interesting.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 20:02
Yeah, I don't know, in the long run, it's not it's Yeah, and the long run has done nothing but help them because, again, now Rioja has a international you know, wine making region that you know people all over the world know of and while they're not the prices of Bordeaux's, you know, some of them get pretty expensive, you know, depending on the level of aging.

Eric Turner 20:23
Yeah, I so, we're just a clarification. Rioja then is on the, let's see the west side, right. And if you listen to Episode One, I made a awful geographical error about the location of San Sebastian, and I apologize. But so this is like the northeast and northwest kind of area of Spain.

Unknown Speaker 20:44
It's kind of North. It's kind of like central north, but like probably a little closer the east is it's gonna be like a little bit south east of Rioja. So it's not a coastal area. Just because the ocean is you know, maybe 100 miles north or however

Eric Turner 20:59
I see

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 21:00
many miles. There is some cooling but it's not it's not a coastal area. But it's probably more like do south of San Sebastian's

Eric Turner 21:09
a great TV show int he 90's but that helps because you said you said like near the ocean into my I immediately went all the way up to the Atlantic. Yeah, not not like okay, so

cool. That's I think it's probably I probably took a train straight to the heart of there from Barcelona to San Sebastian beautiful countryside. You should have stopped. We should have known I guess have to go back. Um, we do our next episode from from Rioja region. Um, cool. What? Okay, so, all these we have all this great wine coming out of Rioja. Is there is there something that like, Is there a style that that they're particularly known for? Are they known for the kind of the Bordeaux style do they have? Like, I'm looking at our stuff I noticed we have a temper temper neo terminalia Tempranillo whatever. The double L's never I can never do Tempranillo. Um It's but is there a grape? Is there styles or something that is really like Rioja known or is it kind of because of the Bordeaux influence? Do they steal. steals is a harsh word but do they take the this the Bordeaux kind of tradition of the Bordeaux blend the cab the melot, etc.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 22:27
Yeah, great question. So Tempranillo is the kind of you know, a favorite child of Spanish wines in general. Not just Rioja wines, but Spanish wines, Tempranillo like their little golden boy that is held to the highest regard and they really pride themselves on so when you hear a red Rioja. Rioja is like the easy name we all call it but 99% of the time if someone just says I want a Rioja that's gonna be a Tempranillo based red wine. I'm about 90% of Riojas are red. So again, someone would just say yeah, I'm looking for some Rioja. You know, I love a Rioja they're probably going to be talking about the second wine that we'll be tasting today. The white wines there's about eight permitted grapes I think in Rioja and that's one of the wines we're going to taste today. The first line is a Viura so vi u r a the grape. It's also called macabeo and the Spanish like take have like 10 different names for every grape. So

Eric Turner 23:37
you know there's the whole

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 23:38
Barcelona you know, they speak catalog and then like they have their own names for the same grapes that are different. Yeah, the French names it's like very confusing. But Veera or macabeo is a key grape and cava. So this. So that is going to be the main white wine. But in terms of style, really the the aging is what is Rioja is all about. So in addition to just labeling wines based on quality, like most of the other, you know regions and in Europe do. They also label the wines based on how long they've been aged. So you'll see like joven on JOVEN on a label or crianza Reserva Gran Reserva. So you'll see these different labels on wine. And that indicates how long they've been aged in total, and how long they've been aged in oak. So we'll talk about that more with the red. But that is that's kind of a key element again, in oak. But these kind of oxidation in wines has been something that they have been known for historically, kind of moving into our white Historically, the white wines were heavily oxidized. They're really toasty, nutty. They've been aged for a long time with a really kind of niche style of wine that fell out of favor in the 80s. And they started making fresh or fruity or kind of more, when you think of like a refreshing white wine, they started making wines more in that tradition. But historically, they wear these really, really heavy, nutty, heavily oxidized wines. Even in their whites. So that's the


Eric Turner 25:27
Yeah. Can we I want to jump back to something you said and that they are they have this like, kind of this sort of mo of a of aging being an oak? Is that like so if I'm in a if I'm in a regular bottle shop and I'm buying a rioja is then Is this a? Like most of the wine I know that we've talked about in other podcasts now is drink very young? is this? Is this a style or is Tempranillo style that we should maybe push back a couple more years, instead of looking at 2019? Or 2018? We should really go back and try to find a 14 15 16. And I assume by doing that, or kind of take some of that some of the jaggedness out of it maybe? Or like we haven't gotten into a lot of podcasts about what aging does for wine. Welcome. Do it now if we want to but I guess that's my question is when we're looking at riojas, it's something that we should go back in time a little further.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 26:24
So Tempranillo is a interesting grape in that it's pretty versatile. So they have early drinking styles. Again, these joven or crianza, you see that on a label, those are going to be fresher, more fruit forward, a little bit lighter. Not so tannic, and drink really well. In the style of something like I don't know like a southern rhone wine like a cote du rhrone. That's like a young cote du rhone. Again, it's like kind of in that medium range like medium acidity, medium tannin, medium body, and smooth, easy drinking. But Tempranillo also has the ability to, to age and to develop interesting tertiary flavors. So it'll develop more tannin, it'll develop more notes of things like leather, or like a gameyness or dried fruit instead of fresh fruit. So it's, it's great grape to be the kind of flagship grape because again, it can be sold in so many different styles in the rioja we'll drink today. Mine is a 2015 is labeled Reserva. Which, you know, which means that we'll have the wine has to happen aged in oak for at least a year, our wine was actually aged longer, and then a little so in the bottle or in Oak, or however else they want to do it for 36 months. So, um, no, it's a totally different style. But you can get the same grape the same region for you know, no aging, and they'll be very different.

Eric Turner 27:58
Interesting. Okay, cool. Um, good to know, I'll have to we'll have to do this in the in the show notes and stuff on the episode and, and probably in some of the follow up media, we'll have to like put some links into like, some further reading there. Because I feel like that's like, that's probably like a textbook on its own. That you've probably read and I have not, um, which is why you're here. So let's move in to the white then I think that's where we were headed. Do you want to talk about it here. It's, uh, I probably butchered it mano a mano poll 28.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 28:32
I'm from Tennessee, and I have never taken Spanish. So I am going to be way worse at pronouncing it than you and my husband speaks like fluent Spanish. And I asked him to help me and he was telling me how to say it. I was, you know, follow Him and it was like not anything like what he sounded like. So I'm the producer is C, D and E, which stands for in Spanish. It's compagnia wita. Something with viniculture or something in Spanish? North tay espanol. So basically, what it's saying is like the, you know, wine company of northern Spain. However, there is like the way they write it. It doesn't I don't see it on my bottle at least, but the way that Oh, yeah. On the side of the bottle in green resources C and E. Yeah. Basically, because of the way it was written a lot of people thought CV and he was c u n e, which is pronounced Cooney. So it's like the brand is cooney. But it's just because of some sort of misinterpretation of the initials cvne. So we're thinking that CUNE, monopole a, that's how I'm gonna say it, it's a white Rioja 2019 is the most recent vintage of this wine that's been released and this is an early drinking wine. Again, we're not drinking that heavily oxidized style of a Spanish white. We are drinking a fresh Fruit forward, refreshing wine that's going to be great for dinner, or great for drinking on its own on a, you know, hot summer day. Like I mentioned 90% of the wines in Rioja are red. So the 10% that are, you know, whites, there's a lot of diversity in there because there are eight permitted grapes, some of our blends, some of them are single varietals. So there's a lot of different kind of styles out there. So just because the white that we are drinking today, tastes the way we drink it. Not all white Riojas are going to taste like this. So make sure that you, you know, kind of ask questions or look at the vintage look at what grapes are in it. Because those may or may not be different than the wine that we're drinking today.

Eric Turner 30:49
We've managed we've managed to do it again. And that I have the 2018 we did this on another episode.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 30:55
But she's kind of funny. Yeah, because I bought this at my wine store. And this vintage just came in. So like this one is brand new. So they'll probably be pretty similar. Again, it's a pretty when they say simple style wine. Simple is not a negative word. Simple means that it's um, mostly primary flavor. So fruits, floral things that are going to come naturally from the grape not from aging or anything like that. So this is a pretty simple wine, and that kind of regard. So I imagine our ones to be fairly similar.

Eric Turner 31:31
Yeah, I mean, so I'm not, I'm not stressing just

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 31:34
to talk.

Eric Turner 31:35
No, I said, I'm not worried about it, I think we should be good

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 31:38
no. It'll be it'll be totally fine. So the way we taste wine, as taught in the WSET, and how I continue to taste it today is by first looking at the wine, and then doing the nose of the wine and then talking about the palate. So if you look at this wine, and it's always helpful to put a white piece of paper or something like that, behind it, and talking about the color, you know, mine is pretty bright, yellow, pretty pale. It's not like a heavy golden Chardonnay it's, I can see through my glass to the stem very easily. pinches of green at the rim. So it's a pretty young wine. So that's really what the appearance is going to tell us when we're looking at the color is, you know, what's the age of this wine?

Eric Turner 32:28
Yeah, that's mine's mine is pretty much the same, I would say that maybe mine doesn't have the green at towards the edge. But that might be an aging thing, which like we expect mine's actually a little bit more gold towards the edge. I don't know if that makes sense. In terms of like drinking a wine like this, it's very clear in the middle, a little bit gold towards the edge. But yeah, it's still it's still like, kind of that yellow, bright yellow, very, very see through, see through, is that the right word? Okay. Whatever clear. Um, you know, I can, I can see right through it. But color of it's great.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 33:01
And the other thing when you're, you know, one other thing you're looking at when you're looking at a wine in addition to just what the ages is, are there any faults in it so that you look at it and it's cloudy? Unless it's like an unfiltered wine? You know, that could be a fault. If you see, you know, something that doesn't quite look right. Then that could be you know, an indication that something's wrong with the wine.

Eric Turner 33:24
Cloudyness? I think is it like red wine? Like there's not like not sediment I guess and white wine because everything's separated pretty immediately. So like it's not so it is cloudy, then like that bottle needs to go back, right? It's not something that will eventually just like settle down or like decant out or

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 33:42
Yeah. So it depends on how the wine is made. Because

heavily processed wines or wines are from or commercial are typically find and filtered. So while Red wines are right are going to typically have some sediment in it just from the tannins or if it's been aged a long time, it'll have some sediment that falls to the bottom of the bottle. white wines are not going to typically have that. But there's a lot of more organic or biodynamic or natural producers who are not finding and filtering their wine. So like Christina is a producer I love out of Austria, she makes a gruner Veltliner very clean in its flavors, fresh fruity Apple pear floral, but it's unfined and unfiltered. So you look at it on the shelf and it looks cloudy, but it's supposed to be like that. So it's just important to know, hey, is my wine supposed to be like this? Or, you know, if I looked at this wine, which is find it filtered and saw that it had sediment in it, then I'd be like, well, what's going on here? Yeah, wasn't

Eric Turner 34:46
back then. Take that one back. Maybe Maybe, maybe. Amongst like new wine drinkers like a fact that's maybe like not super well known. But I just thought of this. Like I kind of didn't notice that when I first started with wine. If your wine has a fault in it, I think everyone's heard we'll take it back. Right and like swap it for you. But you don't have to. You're not just like stuck with like a basically broken bottle of wine. So if you know if you realize that the cork has been broken off and it smells like vinegar, or it smells, you know, or whatever, it's, in this case, cloudy. Get to get back to your wine shop, thy'll swap it for you

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 35:22
my wife. All back. Yeah, no questions asked. Like, I bought a bottle one from my wife, recently. And it started reformulating the bottle. So it like was dizzy. Yeah, so it's kind of like a sparkling wine where it's like fermenting in the bottle. And it was like, so horrible. So yeah, sometimes randomly, you know, bottle or the whole vintage or whatever, there'll be faults in it. And definitely, you know, this wines worth taking back.

Eric Turner 35:46
I said this, I said this on another episode, and like I have as much wine as I've been buying lately. I've never had a faulty wine, which maybe it's like a product of like, improved production, or just good luck on my part. But now I'm kind of like, kind of want to find one so I can take it back. Here's a falt

up. Anyways,

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 36:09
people are uninformed buyers and will buy like a really funky wine that's like a natural wine that you know, you know, spontaneous yeast and fermentation and not fine, unfiltered and they bring it back like this is bad. Like, no, it's supposed to be like this. But you know, we'll take it back. So

Eric Turner 36:26
just take it back. And it goes home with you then. Right? That's

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 36:29
right, exactly. At home for me.

Anyway, back to Yes, or knows of this one note, spell it again, another setup for us to see is their fault. So the first thing we're looking for is is it clean? Like Do I smell it? And it smells like damp cardboard it was smelling it smells like, like barnyard again. Not that all faults are bad. And not that that means it's a spoil, but it may be an indication. You know, it's always good to swirl your wine to aerate it. So to get some oxygen in there to open up the wine. And then when you stick your nose in like Don't be afraid. You want to stick it in there. My note? Yeah, the break I know.

Of my glass,

Eric Turner 37:13
big old nose like I did might you might you gotta be a little bit careful.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 37:18
Yeah, you don't want to break the glass?

Yeah. Most I just don't wanna like, you know, like, sniff snort some more.

You don't want to drink that one again after you snort it. And, you know, one thing we're trying to look for is the intensity of the aroma. You know, certain wines are naturally super aromatic. And you're going to put your nose in there and it's going to smack you in the face. Certain wines are certain grapes are naturally lighter. So like a Pinot Grigio is going to be a very lightly aromatic wine. So you often have to, like, sniff really hard to get much of any aromas versus something like a Riesling. It's a very naturally aromatic grape. So you're gonna put your nose in there, and you're going to get all sorts of smells. So this, I always like to think about it in terms of just like, how, how hard Do I have to smell to, like, get aromas. This one I would say is like, not hitting me in the face. But I get a little bit of something like I'll say, medium, medium minus, like, it's not overly you know, aromatic, but I do smell some fruit and floral notes on it.

Eric Turner 38:26
Yeah, that's a we, we've talked about this a lot. And I think because, like, it's one thing that like, I just never, I didn't put that in my like, repertoire when I was like, smelling things. Like, to me the first thing I would be like, this smells good. This doesn't smell good. It was like kind of how basic I was. But, um, you know, I like that. Because it does it. And then it tells you a lot of things about the wine, right? Like if it if it is, you know, to your point you're talking about, like, for someone like yourself, I don't necessarily do a lot of blind tasting, but if you are trying to do blind tasting, or you are trying to figure out what to expect when you smell a wine, like how strong or how, like kind of in your face, it is a really good indication of like, what kind of wine it is. So it's cool, it's something that is still very new to me. So I'm glad that you called this like medium plus, because like I was kind of fiddling with it, and I was like I don't it's not really that strong, but it's not it's there, you know, strong but it's not there. It's not It's not that strong, but it is there. So I think that like yeah, I'm glad that I'm glad that like as I was thinking that you said it and I was like yeah, yeah, she's right. Spot on.

But it's cool.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 39:36
Yeah, like white wines are too cold, they're really hard to smell. So we like to drink our white wines cool because um, you know, it's a refreshing style of wine. And but if they just come right on edge, then it can be really hard to smell so I always like to like afford this probably about 10 minutes, you know, before got on the phone, just to let sit out for a little bit because as it sits, goes from really cold to a little bit warmer, he starts to smell, you know, some some more different, you know, notes in the wine.

Eric Turner 40:07
Yeah, that's that's a good point because something I've done is I've like gone through this process, like when one of the previous episodes was Riesling and Riesling is very error aromatic, but I would keep them in a fridge and I would pour it and then when I would pour it, I would actually very intentionally smell it. And then I because I knew that like, I wasn't able to smell anything so like, to me it was almost like how do I hone? How do I start to hone in like, whate the right aromatics are for like the right temperature is, if that makes sense. But it's kind of like smelling it at these different stages. And like, I was messing around with like a cab franc over the weekend, where I like, poured it, I just pulled it like, poured it smelled it, let it sit for like, and then like at like every couple like 30 minutes, I was coming back to like kind of smell house changing. I was like putting down notes my tasting, but it is cool. Like how how it is, I guess an important part is to like realize that if you just pull this out of the fridge, most fridges are like 40 to 45 degrees, like it's it's going to be too cold to like smell anything you kind of gotta or like, when I'm having a bottle you look at if I know I'm gonna drink the whole bottle, which is most of the time, I will just pull it out of the fridge and like let it sit out for like 45 minutes, the whole bottle set out for 30-45 minutes, and then you know, just go to town. But no, it's good. Cool. Good. Call out good. Note that for white lines like and yeah, yeah. Making sure that they're at the right temperature. So then, after you go there, like where do you go from? You know, like, because we've kind of checked for faults, who kind of looked at, like, how strong are they kept punching? Or how, how strong the aromatics are, where do you then where do you kind of navigate to in your, in your process?

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 41:53
So I then like to smell for what I like, you know, the different notes in the wine, what aromas Am I getting? And those sometimes are the same as what you taste and sometimes they're totally different. So I'm certain wines are known to have, you know, certain aromas strongly of this, but then maybe when you taste it, you're not getting as much you're getting more of, you know, something else. So I think it's good to just kind of, you know, not spend too much time but don't think about what am i smelling. So you know, when I smell it. Again, this is a wine that's been made, you know, fermented in stainless steel. It's not been aged in oak. It's a very fresh fruity young drinking wine. So we're really going to get mostly primary flavors. So when I smell this, I get things like like, ripe pear, like a green apple or yellow Apple, lemon, lime. Pretty, you know, citrus, citrusy and green fruit family dominant. I'm not getting like ripe pineapple or ripe mango. I don't get those tropical fruit notes. It's more of a kind of green and citrus notes, like I said, and a little bit of flowers. I am like, not I have no green thumb and I do not know my flowers from one another. And as I continue my wine journey, I hope to learn, you know the difference between you know what, you know, honeysuckle smells like versus, you know, Jasmine, but like, I don't quite have that vocabulary yet. You know, it's like,

Eric Turner 43:14
yeah, you're gonna be like me with a bunch of lemons and limes and grapefruit and Megan smelling back and forth. except you're gonna have flowers in there. And I actually will I might have to join you for that.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 43:24
Yeah, I just wrote like, I know what rose smells like there's certain ones that I'm like, Yeah, okay, I know the rose smells like

Eric Turner 43:31
maybe yam

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 43:33
or white flower.

Eric Turner 43:34
Maybe if your husband's was saying like, hint hint, buy more flowers Just saying. Oh come on. You don't just have to buy them for Valentine's Day at

Poor guy. I don't even know when I'm heckling him.

No, but that's I coming off of some of the whites that we were drinking that I've been drinking a lot this summer. I feel like everything's been very citrus dominant and like very citrus dominant or very citrus as Forward. Forward. It's like the first fruit that I've that I've been able to pick out and I definitely didn't pick that out here until like I was a little bit confused because like I you know, I kept said like, this is a this is still like fairly new all to me. So, but green apple a definitely.

I think it's definitely there. To me, it also smells like it.

Like it does have a little bit of like,

I don't know, it just smells crisp, clean. It's I don't know if like, I need to like refine some of the things I smell because I do pick up like what I would call a little bit of like minerality on it. Um, but like, I couldn't tell you if that's like wet rock or dry rock or like, you know, if it's if it's shale versus graphite, I don't know, but I'm just being this point.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 44:55
The fact they smell that is key because I expect that that will taste that in the palette. But it does smell like it has fruit to it. But to me what kind of indicator of that minerality is it's kind of like muted a little like there's something that like cuts into the fruit. That it's not. It's not a one that you smell you're like, Man, this tastes like smells like it's going to be like sweet. Like, it's so fruity smelling like there's something that like you said, like a rock like a like a some sort of minerality that kind of blocks that full kind of fruitiness from the aroma side of things.

Eric Turner 45:34
Yeah, I think what you said there about like blocking maybe that's like, what how I was like, I didn't go all in on the fruit. I was like, kind of that you got to the fruit, but then you stop. It wasn't like, wasn't just like hitting you in the face with like a fruit stand. You know, like, you know, we're talking about, we're talking about, you know, Spain, it's like, it's not like you're la ramblas and you're like walking through the, like, fruit market fruit section of the market. Um, uh, you know, it's like, it's kind of like, not faint even, but it's like, like, it's mixed in and has some other stuff mixed into it. And that's where I kind of

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 46:07
sauvignon blanc is often like, it's grassy, but it's like very, very, very fruity. And this is just not just is just not that. What was it? I said,

Eric Turner 46:18
what was the grape here? I'm sorry, remind me what the grape was.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 46:22
Viura V I U R A. Also known as macabeo. And a lot of times, some of these wines won't even put that on the label. I see it and Tempranillo the red rioja labeled it but am I even put it on here.

Eric Turner 46:35
I see it. I see the Viura on the back label. This makes sense. It's in those second lines. I can pick viura grapes. Um, or at least the 2018 vintage shows. Yep. Okay, that that's cool. Because I just I. So this is something that's always like, just super confusing to me about like, the old world versus the new world is where they just kind of like expect you to like know what the grape is because of where it's from and I'm just like, i dunno that I need like a good like California like Cabernet. Like I could I know what this is. So I'll bring myself I'll rein myself in here. Um, so on the nose. It is there. I mean, I guess is there anything else that we should touch on on the nose? Or should we get to the

best part? drinkin? Yeah, yeah.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 47:22
Let's move on to the palate. Before we talk about what we taste, we're going to taste or we're going to talk about kind of how the wine is on our mouth. So we're going to start with the level of sweetness in a wine. So like, number one thing that people say when it comes to the wine store is I want to dry wine. So like, I don't know the percentage, but like most of the wines that like you're going to go by, like that are not mass produced in droves are going to be dry. The fact like there's a lot of missunderstanding of what dry is versus what fruit forward in. Wine can be dry, but very fruity. But that doesn't mean it has like residual sugar in it. So you want to kind of I was calling teeth sweaters like when you eat like a cookie, and you feel like you have that sugar left on your teeth. That's kind of what I look for when I'm drinking wine. Like I take a sip. And I'm like, okay, I taste fruit. But like, do I feel like there's sugar coating my mouth? And if I do then I think about how much So is it off dry? Is it medium kind of sweet? Is it totally lusciously sweet. Or if I don't. Like it's, there's it's just kind of like a train thing to learn of. Okay, there's not sugar in this, but I do taste fruit and just because I taste like ripe pineapple in this wine doesn't mean that it's sweet. So take a sip and just let it sit there in your mouth for a second. And think about like, do I feel like there's sugar in my mouth? Or do I feel like this is a you know, dry wine?

Eric Turner 48:54
It if there's one topic that's been covered on this podcast a lot. I like I like it because hopefully maybe we'll eventually hammer at home is that saying that you'd like dry wine as like, maybe your listener of this podcast? Please don't ever say that. Um, but to answer your question to me, this is very dry. I don't have any residual shirt or anything on the back of my teeth. You know? That is Yeah, I mean, I think that's that's cool because like I you know, we I think the easy one to identify and the one that even as soon as I had a sip of this I get picked up on is the acid and like the pooling in the mouth but I think to your what you're calling out is how to taste for the dryness and like we haven't covered that at all and I like that idea of like kind of rubbing your tongue on the back your teeth or like feeling how you know like feeling how the back of your teeth, you know that kind of like sweaty like fuzzy, fuzzy feeling on your teeth. Yeah. None of that from this though. Or at least In my humble opinion,

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 50:01
yeah. And this one's easy because the fruit like not overly ripe like it's pretty like we talked about with the aromas, pretty like green and citrus fruit. It's not anything like a super lusciously fruity. So that helps. But like you said the acidity that's the next thing I would taste for is you know, when you take a sip my the way that I was taught to taste for acid, take a sip, swallow it, and then you turn your head upside down and think about how much you salivate. My mom always thinks that you're supposed to turn your mouth upside down with the wine in your mouth. You don't do that. And you're just like, oh, but take a sip of wine. swallow it and hold upside down how much your mouth is salivating. And this one, I would say like, for me at least, it's like, it's not the highest acidic wine I've had. But I would say like medium Plus, you know, like I salivate a decent amount, and there is that like, kind of like bright pingyness to the wine. So I definitely think it's a medium plus acidity.

Eric Turner 51:02
Yeah, I definitely get some of that pooling and I and I don't even have to, like lean forward, I think like, it's like, um, you know, like, when it's the one thing that you can, like, pick out you. It's like the security. That's my like, Hero part of the structure and like, I always can tell the acidity. Um, and like, I you know, I yeah, there's, there's definitely some acid in there, but it's not as high as anything else. I do to your point, I get this like, quick, like, just kind of tingle, like a really quick tingle, and my jaw doesn't linger. Kind of hits once and then it's done. Um, but yeah, so good. Yeah, I think that that that's cool. That's, um, you know, the acidity is kind of, like, I think, like, the more I get into wine, I think that the acid is like, something that has, but that makes sense. I've always I was always like, a kid that like, like, Sour Patch Kids, and like, you know, like, candy that like, even when ou even, like looked at candy before you've even eaten it in your mouth starts like, like prepping for that like acid like, like, that's, that's my jam, sour patch. Kids and I are

good friends.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 52:05
It's like good wine. Indian food is a great pair. So this would be a great food one because, you know, it's not like overly aromatic in terms of like a really strong flavor that might interact with the flavor badly. But that acidity is going to make it you know, really pair well with a lot of foods. And then in terms of body, we don't have any tannins to taste for this white wine. But body you know, it's a little esoteric, because it's just kind of the accumulation of like, what's the mouthfeel? Does it feel like something like, you know, water in your mouth? Or does it feel like hot chocolate in your mouth? So, um, you know what this one is? For me? I think it's sort of in the medium range. It's not like a buttery Chardonnay, but it's not like a watery pinot grigio. Yeah. Wait,

Eric Turner 52:52
yeah, the last episode we were talking about body.

And yeah, I like the water to hot chocolate because we were talking about like skim milk to whole milk. And but I agree, like when you said that, I was like, This isn't quite water, but it's definitely not hot chocolate. Yet somewhere somewhere in the medium body range medium, a little bit medium plus, but like, maybe I haven't had a lot of Chardonnay. So like I would ask you are like is this is this is this is probably not as full body as a Chardonnay, maybe a little below?

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 53:24
Yeah, it depends on kind of where the shirt is from because like Chablis, that shirt that's on tournay but that's from a very cool area France and those are gonna be pretty light and all stir but if you think like a Chardonnay, that is like this oaky buttery monster Chardonnay from like California, that's going to be more of the, you know, okay, it's not so thick as hot chocolate, but it's going to be you know, on the spectrum that's gonna be looking really heavy wine in your mouth or we just had a the other night I drank a Chardonnay from Piedmont in Italy. And it was like so it was oily in my mouth so so so heavy. So this is definitely lighter than that, but it has, you know, have a little bit of weight going on to it.

Eric Turner 54:04
There's a total side but one thing I think is really cool about some of those grapes like Chardonnay Riesling especially like I think Riesling you know, we talked about this is that there's so many different ways that like a Chardonnay you know, to your point it could kind of be a Chablis from France it is a little bit lighter bodied, or it could be from Piedmont and be this like very, very, like thick, almost oily texture in your mouth. And, you know, same thing with Riesling is like we were saying you knowriesling kind of tells you where it's from, every time I think some of those things that are like that are pretty cool. Versus I feel like Cabernet maybe is like a little more straightforward. Most of the time. It pretty much is this like you don't have like a light body Cabernet. Or at least maybe not. Maybe you do and I just don't know about it. But anyways, total does the total side Note,

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 54:56
no, definitely wine plays a big part in in where it's from because Definitely You know, you're not going to light body Cabernet, but have Cabernet from Bordeaux, where it's going to be cooler than from Napa of Bordeaux Cabernet is going to be a lot more green, it's going to have like green bell pepper like cap station, like very verbal. Whereas a Napa Cabernet can be more fruit forward front. So definitely, you know, there are certain grapes that have a wider range, I think Chardonnay is one of the grapes that has a huge range of how it's made. But um, definitely all grapes. And all wines, you know, can tell you where they're from, it's not,

Eric Turner 55:36
I think those two just keep are those, those ones that have the wide range keep me on my toes. Well, there's more, there's more. I'm excited because there's more to drink. Really, you know, it's like, I got a whole bunch of stuff to drink. So

Alright, cool. So we went through Atlas up with your acid body

dryness with

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 55:54
alcohol flavors. Yeah.


for me again, like this wine isn't overly complex. There's no oak, there's no age, I'm getting the same thing to go on the nose in terms of like some flowers, some pear, some apple. A little bit of citrus, like peel maybe. But I'm getting on the palate, that minerality and like almost like a little bit of like stonyness aside a little bit of honey is like very pronounced and honey in a sweet way. But like that. I don't know, some of the flavors that you get from home honey, and that might tie into the the flowers that I'm tasting. But there is definitely that minerality that kind of cuts cuts in I taste fruit first and then that kind of like wet rocky. Kind of slate from the wine.

Eric Turner 56:42
Yeah, that's I think, I think one thing you said that I think is like kind of true too is like, to me, I didn't get a lot of floral in the in the bouquet. But I think I got a little bit of floral like tastes like in the flavor, which like I wasn't really expecting, I was expecting more like that. green Apple, I kinda have to come through and they kind of hit me in the face. And it really didn't do your point. I think the minerality really cuts it out. Um, and it was cool. It's different. it to your I think one thing you said is it is it's not super complex. I didn't have like, I think there was like maybe think i . Like in my mind, I just went through like three or four things, which is, could be a reflection of me just being really basic, or this wine being like not super complex. So yeah, but I did. But like that's not to say it was boring. I didn't think it was boring. I thought it was I thought it was interesting, the way that like kind of minerality cut through that fruit. Um, and I thought the balance just because the balance, like the balance was there, I didn't think the alcohol was super high, I just thought it was like, a is a pretty enjoyable, I could see myself being in Spain, in the middle of Spain, like, and like drinking this on like a really hot day.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 57:54
Right? easy Drinking, not boring, but like fairly straightforward wine that again, I think will be great with food. You know, a lot of the European tradition is, you know, eating food with wine. And so, you know, in American tradition, yeah, we, you know, a lot of times they're drinking wine on its own. And that can be a totally different beast. So while I think this one would be great on its own, again, like on a hot day outside, I think it I think because of that minerality it, like I think it would be really good with food because it would balance out some of the you know, maybe flavors, you're getting a food and you could eat this a lot of things like seafood, it was chicken us vegetarian dish. I think it'd be, you know, well received, you know, regardless, and I just looked at the back mine's 13% alcohol, which is exactly in the middle of, you know, the range. So it's not overly alcholic or, you know,

Eric Turner 58:49
yes, so it's right, in the middle. It's 13 as well. So if you're 18 or 19, about the same, um, was there anything else in the in the kind of taste that you've picked out? Or wanted to call out?

Yeah. Cool, really, I think at this point, kind of move on to the red Rioja, which is again, the, the star of, of Rioja, and most of the time you're ordering your rioja what you what you would be expecting to get

so okay, I like to I don't like to do ratings at the end. Because I think that's just horse shit for lack of better term. But like, where, you know, like, you know, we've had some, like, it sounds like we take this, you know, we drink this on hot day, but like, who, you know, thinking about your friends and I'm totally putting on a spot because i didn't tell you we're gonna do this. But if you're thinking about your friends who like who would you bring this to? Or when would you bring this to a party? It would you bring this to like people who are like, high high and mighty wine snobs. Or maybe like, like I always joke and say that there's certain wines that I would never serve my mother And there's certain wines that I will just out, you know, for for her all night. And just, you know, like, I was, I used to sort of like figurative mother, like the Royal mother, not necessarily my specific mother, but you know what I mean? So what are your thoughts on like, what's a good group of people? Or like, what's a good time to bring this as a wine or to buy this? Or like, what kind of mood Are you in when you're buying this?

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:00:28
Oh, this is a summer wine to me. Um, there are a lot of whites that I would love to drink in the winter. Those are probably a little heavier. I love an aromatic white. This is not super aromatic. I love this wine. But it's, it's a summer wine to me. Because it's lighter, it's a little more neutral. It'll be refreshing. The great thing about this wine is I would bring it to someone who is like a wine snob, and I would bring it to someone who had never had wine before. Or is like I only drink you know, Pinot Grigio. Because this is a wine that is not offensive, it's easy to drink. It's not you know, particularly dominant in one characteristic, it's not like an acid bomb. It's not like super light, it has some flavor. So it's a pretty agreeable wine, that I think most people whether they're, you know, experienced wine drinkers or not would like. But I also think of white rioja is a pretty it's a pretty rare wine, just because again, 90% of rioja's are white. So to bring a white Rioja, as like a cool summer wine to drink with your friends who do love. I love this and think it's cool because, um, it's a, you know, more esoteric kind of wine in the sense that, you know, it's just, you don't see a lot of them. So I think that for that reason, it's a it's a great versatile wine

Eric Turner 1:01:46
is perfect. It's cool, because it's a kind of, I think that's a lot you know, I've talked about before is like, that's a lot of the reason that I don't pick the wines for these because if I did, I would pick Cabernet and Pinot and that way, you know, it's like your classic mistake that everybody makes is just we find two great types that we like, and that's what we stick to. So it's a good wine to take to people that may branch out or are you know, looking for something kind of unique or esoteric as you say? Cool. All right. Anything else on the mano monopole?

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:02:19
White Rioja. Oh, no.

Eric Turner 1:02:20
white Rioja, fantastic. Fun.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:02:23
Yeah, it's super delicious, easy to drink. has some interesting stuff going on. But yeah, let's uh, let's move on to the la rioja alta vina reserva 2015, which is a delicious representation of what you're going to get out of a red Rioja.

Eric Turner 1:02:41
Hey, everybody. While we're taking a minute to switch up our wines, I want to let you know that support for today's show comes from will wavoto. say goodbye to multiple monthly subscriptions for your business and say hello to wavoto the all in one online hub for your website, email marketing, contact management, membership webstore. and so much more. A combination almost as good as a Bordeaux blend. Catch your online wave with wavoto at backslash tasting notes to get 30% off your first three months with promo code 30 for three, that's backslash tasting notes and enter code 30 for three, that's the number 30 fo R and the number three, when you sign up to get 30% off your first three months. Now let's get back to the wine.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:03:34
Again, these are going to be all over the board because depending on that label Rioja Reserva it's going to mean something else. So just to recap what I said earlier Reserva means that at minimum, this wine has to have been aged for 36 months 12 of which has to have been in oak. So this wine was actually aged for two years, in oak. And then a third year in the bottle. The first year was a new oak, so new oak, because it's not been used before, it's going to get more intense flavors, whereas in the second year it was aged in used oak. So it's not going to be quite as impactful in the flavors it's adding, but it is going to allow that oxidation to the wine to develop some of those tertiary notes that I think will taste during our tasting in just a couple of minutes.

Eric Turner 1:04:28
So they like actually they're like actually

making all of this and like a large bath and then putting it into a barrel for storage with some size of barrel and then actually will transition into a new barrel or like an old from an old noob from a new barrel into an old barrel.

And it has to stay very old for two years.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:04:48
Yeah, and that costs money right? So that's gonna be more expensive so that why Rioja for me I think was like $14 or something on the shelf and this one was like 25 and this is the this is a pretty juicer that a lot of you I think will be able to find. I've seen it at a lot of different wine stores, but some real hot you know, reserve a grand reserve us go for like 80 90 $100. So because oak is expensive, especially french oak. Historically Rioja has used American oak, which is less expensive, and it has different flavors, it's more vanilla coconut dill is a common flavor in American oak. And it's, it's a little bit more tannic, whereas French oak is a little softer, a little toasty, or a little rounder, and this was actually ancient American oak. So I think we're going to get a lot of those like vanilla E, coconut e flavors. Um, you know, as we as we toast taste it. And this is the Tempranillo Oh, 100%. I'm gern Asha or Grenacha. And France. garnock cha. And Spain is commonly blended into red Tempranillo. I'm sorry, red Riojas. Depending on the amount, you know, it's not always but it can be. This one does not have any garnacha. So we're just gonna be tasting that great. Tempranillo

Eric Turner 1:06:04
Tempranillo What?

I don't think we've talked about this, but in, in, like, we did talk about Tempranillo in, kind of in general, but they're rioja Tempranillo to like, um, you know, like, has a lot of like, versatility. But are there like, Are there like flavors that we you know, like, we talked about the oak, right? And the oak if we're looking at this, we're not using that soft French oak. We're using this like good, strong American oak. That that has, you know, some like characteristics, but is that of the Tempranillo grape? Is there anything that is more characteristic of that grape specifically? Because I don't drink a lot of Tempranillo. Tempranillo, and I think some of that is because I think I've had it, and I just think, maybe I just didn't get the right thing. Or maybe I drink it too young or too old or whatever. But in terms of like a characteristic, is there anything like, specific that we should, we should know?

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:07:11
Yeah, so when I think of Tempranillo, I think of strawberry. All grapes kind of have key flavors that go along with them. But Tempranillo to me is very strawberry flavored. A lot of red fruit, not as much black fruit that you didn't like a Cabernet. That's not to say we're not going to taste black fruit today. But there's a lot of red fruit in it. So like red cherry, ripe, red, cherry, red plum, strawberry. And Tempranillo is pretty medium in terms of its structure. So it's often medium body, medium tannin, medium acidity. So it's not like, you know, one extreme or the other. It's pretty middle of the road, structurally speaking. So again, I think that's why it can be drank both young and age because it has the structure to stand up to some age. But it also is light enough to be able to be drank, you know, younger age. Oh,

Eric Turner 1:08:03
yeah, that's it. So then my other I guess my other question about Tempranillo is, this is the this is like Spanish. This is a kind of Spanish born and bred grape craft like this is, but it is grown in some other places. But Spain is like really it's home.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:08:18
Yes, it's cool. I know. It is grown other places. And to be quite honest, I'm not sure exactly where those are. And they're probably like, I'm sure there's like random like, Cool wine producers and like California, who are like growing Tempranillo and stuff. But yeah, like, the vast majority of the world's Tempranillo is coming not only from Spain, but from Rioja, you know, specifically,

Eric Turner 1:08:37
it's okay, there was no, there was no geo geography test required to be on the podcast, so you're fine. It's all good. As we, as you all know, from previous episodes, my geography is catastrophic. So don't, I'm pretty good with directions. Just don't ask me. Geography. Um, anyways. Okay, so for the Tempranillo, that super, it's cool. I was intrigued by the things that you can deduct from the bottle. And again, I'll have to post some of the stuff on the site on the on the show notes in terms of like, what reserva are and the other one that you said that I've already forgotten the start of Ah, me and in terms of like, how long they've been, they've been barreled or how long you know, like they've been aged? This has a lot of Spanish on it, which I don't read would probably be helpful if I did.

But, yeah, I mean, it's, it's cool. That is

just like, you know, like any, any label, I think, anything, anything that you can read, especially in the bottle shop, to help you understand like how it might taste.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:09:44
Yeah, and one thing I want to say that I love, and maybe I'm a total nerd, is I love anytime I drink a wine, I googled the name of the wine. A lot of times I'll like look up who the importer is. Let's do this, like in New York Skurnik imports this wine so distributors, if it's a good importer distributor, they often have what's called a tech sheet on the website, sometimes the winemaker themselves. So if you know, Verdi, probably as the larger producer, they probably have tech sheets on their, on their website. But I like to look up the tech sheet for my vintage. And it will tell you how the grapes were grown, were vineyard plots they were, how the wine was made, how long it was aged, what it was agent, what the notes that are common for this one will be, what the structural components are common. And often they'll give you like pairing suggestions. So I love to look up the tech sheet. So it's super helpful is usually a one page document. So I would definitely recommend that anyone who wants to learn about the wines are drinking, you know, without having to do ample research, just google the tech sheet. And I'll give you a lot of great information.

Eric Turner 1:10:46
That's funny. Other people have talked about the tech sheet. And I just assumed that that was like something that like you got when you signed up for your classes, like here's all the textbooks or everyone ever, I never thought that like I could go Google it and find it myself.

But that's, you know, I knew

I should probably have known that. Um, okay, cool. It's interesting, you say that yours is imported from Skurnik because mine from blind bow. Um, anyways. So

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:11:14
it's like, yeah, it's a whole crazy system of importing everything. And that is a whole nother can of worms. But yet different states are gonna have different, you know, royalties over who gets import what and all this kind of stuff.

Eric Turner 1:11:28
That's good to know, though. I mean, usually, you know, some of the, one of the episodes we have, you're drinkning South African like Kershaw one, and like, the importer is like, very reputable. And we talked about it for a little bit. And like, that was like one of the ones that actually like, highly fell in love with so But back to this rioja, um, I think we've moved on from the label, should we start Should we start taking off characteristics,

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:11:55
take a look at the color of this line. And I think it'll be really interesting, we're not going to taste the other wine yet. But while we still have our Tempranillo in our glass, take a look at them and compare them to what they look like. Because I think comparing wines are like, it's one of the easiest ways to learn about them. Because I can tell you that this is kind of medium, Ruby or whatever. But until you see a line that's lighter or darker, it's not really gonna sink in. And we'll talk about why this wine, you know, the wine, the third wine, we're going to taste this way it is in a few minutes. But if you look at him, the rioja is a lot darker than the garnacha that we're gonna drink. Mine are both still, you know, generally Ruby, but if you look straight down and try to look at the stem, you know, I can still see the stem in the grenache, I'm sorry, the Tempranillo, but it's a lot darker than the garnacha with this, like very, very, very light. Color wise.

Eric Turner 1:12:56
Yeah, my good my Rioja not that like, it shades a little deeper, like a little more brown than, like, in like a maybe like brick. Is that a good term for it? versus like a Ruby like a bright red?

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:13:12
Yes. Perfect. And that has to do with age because again, this was 2015 that's, you know, five years ago,

Eric Turner 1:13:19
has some yars on it,

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:13:20
right. So I have some age on it and some brown on it. It's darker color, but you know, it's still a fairly, you know, bright wine. It's, you know, I don't see any sediment in it or anything like that. So, you know, that's just has to do with a great variety. Honestly, the, the garnacha has very, very light colored just naturally Tempranillo just happens to be like a darker skin is a little thicker and has a little bit more color to it.

Eric Turner 1:13:47

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:13:48
Cabernet that's like can be black almost when you look you know through the stem.

Eric Turner 1:13:53
Yeah, something you said that is cool that I had never done and now I'm trying to like stand up and do is to actually look straight down the glass with it to see if I can see the stem through it because I'm you know, like you always are told to kinda tilt the glass and look at a sheet of paper, but there's something to deduce and like an easy, it's like very easy to see the difference in the sort of like, the depth of these colors if you're looking straight down into the glass versus even if I turn them on the side like looking at this, I guess I can see like pretty pretty well, but I think it like it almost like displaces the wine. So it's like a little bit harder to tell, like really, to really pick out the difference in the depth of color. So it's a cool, cool trick. And it's like saying, I don't know if I've said this on an episode yet, but it's one thing that I think has been really cool about talking to all these different people is like unpacking all these different ways to like walk through a tasting and like deduce these fines has been super interesting. And hopefully people are able to like steal some of these tricks to pull if nothing if nothing else. Party trick

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:15:01
Exactly, so let's move on to the nose.

Again, let's go for the intensity first. To me, you know, again, it's totally different grape, a totally different style of wine. But when I put, you know, my nose in here, there's a lot more aromatics that pop out, and I smell a lot more than the white wine. And that's typical of red wines versus white wines. You know, um, red wines, typically, you know, especially ones have been aged, often have a little bit more going on. So I would say, this isn't, I would say this, like a medium Plus, you know, intensity, there's definitely a lot that hits my nose at once. You know, when I put my nose in the glass.

Eric Turner 1:15:37
Yeah, and I would say one of the, like, I don't we were talking about it's, I don't know if this is like an official thing. But one thing I do notice about this that I didn't, I don't notice about all wine is that this like, before you get to it, it you can, you can already start to smell it. And it's not, it's not huge, like, I'm not like five inches from my face, like, you know, getting hit in the face with the aroma, but, you know, definitely like as you like, and that's kind of like one way that I mo is like, or like what kind of taste is like all kind of slowly inhale as I like pull the glass to my mouth or to my, to my nose. Um, you know, to set up my logo shot, but which is, if you've never seen me, I don't think people know that that's like, not just a cheeky logo. That's like pretty much spot on what I would like. But yeah, that's, I think, I think it's like kind of, you know, like that, that ideas. You know, I don't know if there's anything to it, but it is something that I'm I am conscious of when I smell.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:16:38
Yeah, it like pops out at you more. And you know, in terms of like what I'm smelling. I'm getting more of like a cooked fruit, like a little bit not cooked all the way but like some dried fruit like I get some like fresh strawberry, some like plums and raspberries. But I also get some like, imagine taking some strawberries and like crushing them up and like, you know, sautaying them or like having like strawberry preserves, like there's something that's like a little bit more intense, you know, as fruit ages or as fruit cooked, it becomes a little bit more intense and like sharp and its flavor.

Eric Turner 1:17:13
Yeah, you're getting some of that. Yeah, this does have a lot of like, sharp pink sharpness. It's like a great word for it. Um, but yeah, that's, I don't know that, like, I can't pick out my red fruits as well as, and I think a lot of that's because I've been drinking so much like white wine, I think this summer. But I do think sharpness is like a good, like, word there, but I can't and like I said, I think there's like some progression. I think when you are like, deducing fruit down, it's like, I can pick out that that's red fruit. I just don't i don't happen to know what it is.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:17:51
Yeah. But I think it's important to note, you know, not per se like, you know exactly what fruit but at least like you're smelling some red fruit, you know, you know, someone who's, you know, kind of getting into this and, you know, it's not all fresh, you know, I smell some bruised, you know, whether it's bruise, whether it's preserved, or whether it's, you know, a dried strawberry, you know, there's some sort of tertiary more fruit that's been a little older. And again, this is five years old, so it is older. And then you know, with that I'm getting some non fruit flavors like a little bit of like caramel or a little bit of sweetness, like a vanilla. There's like a little bit of like a you know, it's not super strong right on the nose. I smell more fruit but it's a little bit about like cedar. Maybe there's some like nutmeg, like a little bit of like kind of woody spice like maybe like a cinnamon stick and not even like ground cinnamon like the actual stick which has smells a little bit more you know, like Woody a little bit of that in it there yeah there's

Eric Turner 1:18:54
Yeah, there's definitely something going on behind that fruit. I think the fruit is like primary. But you're right and like you know I think Cheers. I think that you know like that is something that's like kind of interesting if there is like and I think you called this out before you got to it was that we would have weeks you expected I didn't know what to expect. You expected there to be like secondary and tertiary like things going on in this. And I think it's like a it's really maybe a level of skill that I just like don't have is to be able to start to unpack the tools and you know, the second and the third aromas that are coming out of here. But as we talk about it, and I think as I smell it more and like as I get used to the sort of like, I think preserved like I do, like preserve I think I can pick out because to me that smells like if you ever open like a jar of like preserved strawberries or preserved fruit. It has like a certain like all preserved fruit but there's like a strawberry or blueberry I feel like has this certain like similar Like aroma to it. And I think that's there for sure. But the secondary thing is, I get it, but I don't like I can't pick it, if that makes sense.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:20:12
This is you start to recognize like it's there. Um, someone tells you Hey, like, this is probably there, and then you can kind of start looking for it. And then I think you start learning how to, you know, pick this up on your own. Um, but yeah, let's taste it. So again, assessing Is this a sweet wine, so I'm not getting any sugar. You know, again, I'm getting fruit, but I'm not getting like sweetness on my teeth. Which means that it likely has been fermented to the point that there's no residual sugar or show it's like less than three grams the leader. It's not a lot and, but there are those, you know, fruit flavors. But the first thing after sweetness I like to taste for and a red wine is tannin, because the more you sip of wine, it becomes more tannic in your mouth. So if I set this wine and I'm tasting for acidity, and I'm tasting for instance, a DM tasting four flavors, I bought like six sip, there's that food in my mouth. And it's gonna feel I might be like, Wow, this is so tannic, when in reality, maybe it's only like a medium tannin. So, to taste for tannin, you're always like feeling for that like, you know, grittiness and your gums that drying out sensation. You know, imagine eating a grape and the way that it like, wicks all the moisture out of your mouth. That's, that's tannin, right? So take a sip. And then just think about like how dried my gums feel. So to me like, This definitely has some grip. It's not some like you know, Italian wines or something Bordeaux tannins are so grippy that it feels like your mouth like has literally no moisture in it. I have tannin in my mouth and have that drying out sensation. But it's not like a tannin bomb. I'm not a little sensitive to tannins. Everyone can be sensitive or certain you know, to certain things or other some people are really looking for acidity. Some people are sensitive to acidity. Same with tannins. I tend to be someone who doesn't like it overly tannic wine. But to me this I can tell there's tannins, but it's not like off putting to me so I find it, i'd call it medium medium.

Eric Turner 1:22:14
Yeah, yeah, that's a tannin for me is like my my wife is very into that big Bordeaux like tannin and bomb. And to me, I was thinking, I think I'd never known that and like, but it makes a lot of sense that like, the more you drink, like the sort of more the tannin like accumulates, I guess, because like, I've always felt that I can't drink those up. I can drink a lot of those wines because my mouth and palate is blown out. I just feel like, you know, like, somebody took a high grade sandpaper to the top of my roof of my mouth and like it's gone. Um, but I Yeah, I agree with you in that like, Tannen. Um, you know, like, I think meat like I might have said medium but I think medium like I not easy, whatever. I don't need to have it on. I'm not trying to like debate.

But it could just

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:23:02
medium, medium plus. Oh, a scale, right?

Eric Turner 1:23:08
Yeah. Yeah, it's good. it to me. It's not. It's not blowing your palate out. It's there, but it's not like it's not overwhelming. It's not like, you know, waiting in there.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:23:23
And the other thing to mention about tannins is it's not just the amount of tannin because some you know, tannin comes from the grape skin stems all that certain grape varieties have thicker skin, so they're going to get more tannin. So something like a sangiovese a chianti like a, you know, Cabernet, those just have the really thick skin and they're going to get a lot of tannin and Pinot Noir is really you know, Grenada, which will drink in a second, they just have their skins, they just don't give as much tannin, but then it has to do with the winemaking and all sorts of other things can influence the final, you know, level of tannin not so it's not just amount Tannin but it's also the rightness of the tenant. So like left bank Bordeaux wines. Um, it can be a little cooler there and so they you know, Cabernet has so much tan and it gives but it's not always super ripe. And so it's like super grippy. This to me feels like there is a good level but it's right tannin it. It's like a little bit more velvety in my mouth than like grippy

Eric Turner 1:24:18
velvet is a really good word for it. I really like that word because it is not it's not like grippy and sandpapery. But it's there. Um, and I think the other thing maybe you'd like to ask and I'm, I'm sort of gonna say this night, I'm there with like, 60% confidence, but because this wine has aged a little bit some of those tannins, like they're not going to be as harsh or like I think the word we're using as grippy like, right so like, because it is a 2015 if we were to drink this in 2016 which we wouldn't have been allowed to do anyway 17 whatever 17 when we're allowed to drink it, it might have been a little more harsh, right it would may not have been as like I think subdued. You'd might be a good word like they're there, but they're not. Um, yeah. So yeah, so I think the age of it, I think, is maybe another call out that I should have or, you know, you could use to kind of pick up on like, tannin level. Not to say that, you know, everything made tonight because it's x years old, it should have X percent less tannin. But

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:25:23
yeah, they like or become better integrated, like as the age settle out. So, so that's definitely like a good observation. And then it has to do with like the balance of acidity, and body. So like to me when I drink this wine, it's not an acid balm. But there is some freshness there. There is some acidity to it. Again, I always like when I would study for my test the way I would remember Tempranillo was just like medium, medium, medium, medium, medium. It's pretty medium body medium, Tannin acidity. And I think this one is living up to that. Like, it's not like there is acidity, it's not jammy it's not low, but it's not like punching me in the face with acidity. It's, it's medium. It's right in the middle.

Eric Turner 1:26:09
Yeah, that actually surprised me when I took a sip of it. Like, I just wasn't expecting like a medium. And I think it's why like, I'm glad that we waited to talk about acidity, because if you would have asked like, Okay, how was the acid? I would have been like, it's High. I'm just because like, I didn't, you know, it's like, I wasn't expecting it. Like, if you're not expecting any snow, do you wake up and there's half an inch of snow, that's a lot of snow. You know, except like, I wasn't expecting any acidity there. So I think it's, uh, I'm glad that you call that out. Just like, I don't know what it is about, like red wines. Like, I don't get hit with the acidity as often like I do. Maybe I just again, just drink too much white. But like, I was a little surprised by the acidity. But I do think you're right, I don't think it's overwhelming. It's not. It's like if I leaned forward, I'm not going to, like start drooling on my, on my notebook here. But um, you know, he had to give it a little extra swallow to like to get rid of it. It's like a, it's like a it's like a Walmart brand Sour Patch Kid and not like a full. It's not like the last Sour Patch Kid in the bag. It's covered in sugar. It's not that quick, not quite that far, somewhere between maybe just a regular Sour Patch Kid.

It's not that bad.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:27:19
And hide behind tannin and body and flavor, honestly. So it could be kind of forgotten about and you have to think about it. Like you have to sit and intentionally think about like, what is the acidity? What? What is that refreshing characteristic I'm getting or not getting? How much am I drooling? Because it's a white wine. That's the pinnacle of a white wine is acidity, there's so much going on in these red wines, especially one like that this has an age, you have to really think in terms of like, what the level is. And then same with in terms of body, I think it's pretty medium. It's you know why I love these kind of wines is because it's, again, I would sit on my couch and drink this by myself. Or I think it'd be great with you know, certain certain dishes. But it's it's just easy drinking from like a structural perspective. It has great flavors, which we'll get into, but it's not something that is polarizing one way or another.

Eric Turner 1:28:16
Yeah, I think that like, you know, we're talking about we're digress or we're we're moving a little bit but I what, when you said that one of the things I was thinking it's like, there's like that classic, like big heavy, like, I think that you could eat big heavy red meat with this. And it wouldn't be a problem because it is like, medium enough. I don't know that I would eat something as light as like fish with it. But like, I do think that like you could get away with like pork chop or chicken or like something that's like maybe traditionally, you know, like, a lesser thing, but like, just because it's medium, I think I think that's like kind of the beauty of a lot of medium wine. Medium, whether it's medium body or medium. Like whether we're kind of check medium, medium medium, is they have a lot of versatility. I think like I get in you're saying you could drink it sitting on the couch. Like I totally could see that. I think I could drink this, you know, sitting around. I mean, there's a lot of versatility to this.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:29:12
Yeah. And I think you could even pair this with a steak like it has enough tannin and and flavor and structure that like I think you could pair it with some sort of red meat dish as well because you know, it does have enough structure to kind of match that in a dish.

Eric Turner 1:29:30
Yeah, absolutely.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:29:32
And then like in terms of the flavors I'm getting, versus the nose. I'm definitely getting those same like preserved fruits like a little bit of like a dried strawberry.

Eric Turner 1:29:43
Yeah, yeah. And this in the strawberry realm. I actually kind of it makes me think of if you've ever bet that bought a bag of like dried dehydrated strawberries and like second you open it you're like yeah, like that was that was the thing that came into my mind. And I was like this is definitely has some like dried strawberry to it.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:30:05
And then it has a flavor from the oak again, they're I think they're well integrated. That's the thing about this wine, some rioja, you're going to get are going to be so strongly that vanilla that nutmeg, that cinnamon flavor, sometimes again, dill, you'll get a lot because of that American oak, but these, I taste them. Like I can drink this wine and recognize that this wine has oak on it because it does have like a toastiness to it like a little bit of like, spice, maybe a toffee, but it's like very sneakily integrated in like a like a strawberry pie that you baked and like put a little scent like a teaspoon of cinnamon, like into the pie. But like it's, it's a strawberry pie. But like maybe there's a little cinnamon in it. Like it's very integrated into the

Eric Turner 1:30:48
fruit. Sounds delicious, by the way.

But yeah, I think I think it's Yeah, I catch it. I can get sneak at it. I definitely didn't get it on the nose. I think I could kind of pick out the vanilla. To me, it's like a little bit of vanilla. And it almost, you know, like it, I think it I think it's sneaky because like, it goes, it integrates really well with that dried strawberry. And I just like to your point, it's like, This wine is like very, very well, like brought together. Like it meshes very well. There's nothing I think you were saying there's some Tempranillo that are just like kind of like, almost like a big scatterplot of like oak strawberry and like Yeah, kind of all over the map. Not that they're all over the place. I think this is like a very tight knit like yeah, wine like every Yeah, well. Yeah, absolutely. Um

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:31:41
another thing with this wine that I think makes is a indicator of high quality quality is that I have a pretty long finish we didn't talk about finished with a white wine. And it's like you take a step and like four or 5 6 7 like seconds later it's still in your mouth like it's still on like I still kind of taste those flavors in my mouth. Yeah, um, so it's not something that you drink and it feels like a trap door like goes you know, down in your palate, those flavors linger and that is again an indicator of like a well made high quality wine.

Eric Turner 1:32:12
Yeah. Yeah, it definitely does. I always forget that I need to like write it and like add it to my I don't know my steps because I always kind of forget them consider that but it does it goes for it goes for a considerable amount of time. This is good. I really liked this because I think that I shied away from Tempranillo for a little while. Maybe just because I didn't get it or like Didn't you know didn't have the right thing? didn't know what to look for. Um, maybe we'll round this out with kind of the same question like we kind of talked about what we might eat but like you know who might you take this to? Or? I don't know like in general when when do you want to when do you kind of Is there ever a time when you when you're like hey like I'm in this kind of mood and I really want so I really want to Tempranillo. Tempranillo

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:33:11
this is like the fall time wine for me like I would during the winter and summer and spring too but like this is like a very fall feeling wine where I'm going over to someone's house for like a dinner party or something like that. And I bring this as a wine that you know maybe I don't know their plans if they want to have a you know, I don't even know what they're cooking. But I'm wanna bring the wine that like we want to have as a wine with dinner it could go with probably most courses if we want to have with us before dinner drink it'll be delicious. Or if we're sitting around after dinner, we want to have a glass of delicious wine this would be great. But this feels like something to me that are like taking to a dinner party like again I would drink this on my couch but this is like I love this one. I think it's a it's a nice wine. And I think that's something that you want to share and maybe Crisp outside and like walk outside on the desk and it's like a little chilly but like this is a nice warming wine and some of those like baking spice flavors that you get go well with a lot of like fall dishes like a pork tenderloin or sweet potato or something like that. Did you

Eric Turner 1:34:15
You said you're from Tennessee so I feel like you will picture this and I say it This to me feels like a Saturday a fall Saturday in an SEC football game. And you're just you walk up with you know, like this would be a great tailgate like fall tailgate. Yeah. Because like I am the person that like I got a whole bunch of shit a couple weeks months ago now for like I brought one we've all been camping and I was like I'm bringing out beers you're bringing out like non i'm bringing wine But yeah, I think all is like a great a great call out I think that I can totally see this as a fall wine and like whenever I think of fall I think of like somebody over a barbecue at a tailgate and like some of these mom is inevitably made like a bunch of like Usually pecan pie? Um, you know, like, yes, like a good, that's a good. I think that's I think, you know, like fall. This has fall written all over it, I think you're, you're spot on there. All right.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:35:14
Also, this will be a great grateful wine as we move into September.

Eric Turner 1:35:18
Perfect. Hey, what's up everybody, as we move into the last line here, I just want to take a second to ask you to do me a favor. And if you liked the podcast, go to wherever you get your podcasts from. And leave us a review, leave us review and a rating and help us out we'd really appreciate it. So let's get back to the wine because of cuz that's way more fun than this.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:35:41
All right, so we're going to move out of Rioja, we've been in there for our red and our white and we're going to go south, not too far south, we're not going to, you know, the south of Spain or the Spanish coast, we're going to go to outside of Madrid, which is if you think about Spain, it's in the dead center of the country. So this is kind of a new and up and coming wine region on Vinos de Madrid. And it's about 45 miles west of Madrid. And just to give you some context, rioja became like an official appellation, or like official wine region in Spain, in like 1925 Vinos de Madrid did not become an official wine region in Spain until 1990. So it's a lot more. But it is like an exciting place where a lot of interesting and cool wines are being made with a little bit more modern twist on Spanish wine where they

Eric Turner 1:36:35
were they making wine there previously, and just never like an officially an appellation, or,

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:36:42
ah, so typically how it works is it'll be an area where, you know, there, they've been making wine, you know, for a really long time. And especially in the old world to get named, like an official appelation have to have all these different tasting panels and you have to meet the recquirement, you know, certification then x, y and z. So, you know, by the time you apply for to get it, it can take a lot of time. So, I'm not sure of the history of this region specifically, but I do know that they, you know, have been making wine here for a long time and they're making wine, a lot of grapes that you know, are, you know, kind of key grapes in Spain, and then some of the more kind of traditionally locally grown grapes as well. So this wine that we're drinking camino de nava, herreros is 100% garnacha. So that's the other primary red grape in Spain. That's a international variety. So you hear of grenache that kind of found its home in southern Rhone in France. That's another kind of key grape in Spain. it needs how whether to fully mature or fully, you know, ripen, which, you know, Spain and both the southern Rhone have, they're both kind of dry, arid climates. So it does very well in this area. There are some mountains there so it gets some cooling, you know, conditions for the for the grapes to grow. So they don't again become too jammy. They do have some good acidity. But we're not here is known for having a lot of finesse, being elegant, having some minerality from some sleep in kind of granite soils here. Because otherwise, Grenache is very fruity, very like fruit forward, and here, it finds a nice balance. And it's a little bit lighter body than some of the Grenache that you'll find in the southern Rhone and other parts of Spain.

Eric Turner 1:38:36
It can at least I can at least appreciate how they named this region Vinos in Madrid. I'm su translates the wines of Madrid are very straightforward. Very good, I think grenache is one of it's one of those like Frindge grapes that I would say it's like tier two and popularity, but I just don't know a ton about it. So I'm super excited to, to kind of try and like taste. You know, to taste this. And I don't you get a much better job pronouncing this than I did. Nava Nava, herreros. I'm sure there's supposed to be like a guru in there like a trill. Er, I can't I can't roll my r's at all. I can barely speak English let alone Spanish. So, um, yeah, that's cool. That's interesting. I think the, you know, like how the heat and humidity and everything that goes into it just kind of defines us why and how this is. You're saying that this is Grenache or Garnacha, it's gonna be a little bit different because of the minerality of the region and kind of, of where where it grows. Right. So if you have this, from the Rhone Valley may have, like a Spanish version is going to be a little bit different. It's kind of cool.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:39:55
Yeah, and Grenache is typically or Garnacha is often in blend, so with rare to find not rare to find, but it's more rare to find a single varietal Grenache, it's like in the Rhone, it's like if you hear like Chateauneuf du pape, or cote du rhone, those are like 13 plus grape blends, like they're all kind of blends together. And then in Spain, it's often with Tempranillo. And so it's a, it's interesting to find a producer that's been able to or region at least that's been able to make it on its own in a you know, very tasty way. So, you know, with Garnacha, versus Tempranillo, this is a more extreme grape in terms of its structure. So typically, and we'll see but holds up with this wine table, you're garnacha becomes very ripe. So that means it's going to be very full body. And it is, again, like I mentioned, pretty fruit forward more in the red fruit realm again, kind of like to Tempranillo more strawberry, cherry plum. And it typically is a little bit lower acid, and lower tannin. So we'll see again, how it holds up. But it is a great that that for those reasons. That's why it's often in blend so it can add fruit and body. But it typically needs something to give it a little bit more tannin or a little bit more, you know, complexity of flavor. So this will be an interesting experiment to see, you know what this one is Like.

Eric Turner 1:41:23
That's, I'm all for experiments. I think that's it. That is usually how you grenache and I think that that's like a good thing to know is that you see it in a blend what the expectation is, it's like why it's there and like what it's providing, which you said was like kind of dislike fruity like that. Like right did I think I did I guess that? Yeah, so like it. Yeah. So like, if you know, if you're in the wine shop and you're reading a label, and it's 10% Grenache versus 30%, grenache and I don't even know I'm just totally making those numbers up. But maybe you could expect a little more fruit in there that that are nauseous, bringing the fruit to the party so to speak. And, and if it has that higher percentage of grenache, then you might expect a little bit more fruit and a little bit more body to the wine then say you know something that's equal, you know, like did that just has 10% grenache or 5%?

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:42:18
Yeah, it's like if again, going on to Spain and talk about the rhone. If you talk about northern rhone those points are typically 100% Syrah, and then in in southern Rhone, it's typically syrah with Grenache and mourvedre. And so some other grapes, so 100% syrah versus syrah with grenache mixed in raw is less fruity, a little bit more peppery, a little bit more tannic, really dark. And so that is what you would expect with a northern rhone wine but when you add some grenache, it's going to be soften its fruity. It's a little bit full body, it's a little rounder, it kind of cuts down on the more stringent parts of you know the grape so that's definitely a good point. Um, you know with with the comparing the percentages that

you don't might might have it sweet.

Eric Turner 1:43:04
Every now and then I'm good for like one or two good points like one or two per episode. I feel like I can really bring to the party. I don't bring the fruit to the party like the Grenache I'll just bring like one or two good points. I'm an idiot so let's move into like looking at this.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:43:19
Look at it. We already looked at this line we got to that we got to kind of headstart but to recap, this is a pretty clear wine. We're not just not a heavily tannic wine the skins are thin, they were light colored. This is a very, very clear Ruby like it is there's not a lot of color in this wine.

Eric Turner 1:43:41
Yeah, it's it's a Ruby. I always forget like the official coloring but yeah, Ruby is

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:43:47
every program is different. I always think of like purple is super young. Like a Malbec often can be purple, purple Ruby, kind of like a Tawny, um, Amber Brown, you know,

Eric Turner 1:44:02
I'm a guy so there's red, and then there's red, brown pink, there's no you know, anyways, yeah, Ruby is a great color it is it you know, like mine is still. Like we talked about like that sort of like opacity opacity, opacity whatever how see through it is, um, you know, it is, you know, you can see the stem, I can see the stem basically right through it. So, like, pretty clear, not not crystal clear, like the like the white Rioja that we had, but in terms of a red, I think fairly light.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:44:42
Definitely. And this wine just, you know, catch everyone up as a younger wine. So it's only a 2018 and it was aged in some neutral oak for a few months, but not for any extended extended period of time. And it wasn't new oak so I don't expect to get any of those like vanilla or spicy Notes toasty notes. It was more of just like a holding vessel allow a little bit of oxidation, but not much more than that. So when you smell it, this one smells a lot different than the red Rioja,

Eric Turner 1:45:12
way different. It's

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:45:13
called medium minus intensity like, or like, like it's it's not hitting me in the face. It's like

Eric Turner 1:45:22
Yeah, you got to hunt for it a little bit.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:45:25
Yeah, like I get some red fruit but like, that's it. Like there's it's not very aromatically intense, right?

Eric Turner 1:45:31

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:45:33
And what I do smell like I said, it's like, some red fruit. Like, I can't even ascertain really specific ones because it's so it's so weak almost in its in its aromatic. Yeah.

Eric Turner 1:45:46
Now is that and sorry that the weak aromatics is just a result of the grape right the type of the Grenache grape is just not a super aromatic

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:45:56

The grape itself and how they make the wine, you know, if they had aged it for, you know, five years and new American oak, it would smell differently. They blended it with something with smell different. If they had done, you know, numerous different things during the winemaking process, you know, depending on the type of yeast they use, and if they stir the leaves in all these different things, it could you know, impact the style, the final aromatic but yeah, this one naturally, Grenache does not like a very strongly aromatic grape anyway. Um, and then, you know, on the palate, it's definitely dry. Um, I'm not getting any sweetness. And you know, tannin wise, we're gonna taste for that. I'm not getting a lot like,

Eric Turner 1:46:41

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:46:42
pretty low. Vurdi was definitely stronger, tannin wise, like, Yeah, this one. I feel that it's a red line. Like if I close my eyes and drink this, there's a little bit of tannin. But again, grenache are gonna garnacha is a very lightly tannic grade. And it was just agged neutral for a little bit of time. So there's not a lot of tannin going on.

Eric Turner 1:47:03
Yeah, I feel like if if the Tempranillo Tempranillo was medium, medium medium, like so far to me, this one has been light, light light. Which is, which is good. It's like, um, I don't know, I don't know that we often throw the word refreshing around for like a white or I'm sorry for red wine. But like, to me, this has a little bit of like, refreshing. Yeah,

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:47:25
I think throw this in the fridge for 30 minutes for you want to drink it. And it'll be great. Interesting, because it's also like body like this is not this is very light wine even. Garnacha is, like I said, a fuller body. But however the winemaker has produced this, it's like maybe medium minus, that has a little bit of body but not a lot. Like it's a very light wine. Yeah, and it has acidity again, that you wouldn't expect. So this is kind of like this weird and the reason I've had this wine before, different vintage, but I like it because it kind of goes against everything you think garnacha is, which is interesting thing because, you know, not everything is textbook. So yeah, garnacha is typically this myth, but this one totally throws it out the window and it says I'm not going to be full body, I'm going to be higher acid and I'm going to be you know, a little bit lighter on you know, whatever. So it's a very nice summer red. I think because reason refreshing it has that acidity but it's not super full. I don't need to eat this food. Like I'm good with this at a barbecue sipping it this is a good tailgate wine, you know, barely in terms of follows flavors. But this is a great tailgate wine in the sense of like it's just easy and refreshing to drink

Eric Turner 1:48:38
it almost see it seems to me like it's a wine that you could drink all day. Um, and like that you know, like that's a good quality to have. Without You know, like I said like blowing out your palate on some of the reds. I think that Yeah, the acidity does kind of bite a little bit in that you don't you don't really expect it I didn't really expect it again. I I had no like, like expectation from Grenache, which is kind of interesting, but um yeah, I think this is just like, it's just like an easy drinking wine. I think in terms of like flavors, I think that that similar to like the aroma a lot of the flavors are like very under like understated like they're very subtle. Um, you know, you do you kind of get just like little bits here and there. That red fruit. I didn't particularly pick up any like oak or vanilla like that like kind of vanilla or no, yeah, but I take

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:49:41
it a little bit of like, herbal like, like a white pepper is often associated with garnacha, so it's not like a black pepper like Syrah. But there's like a little bit of like a little bit of some, something like that. Like maybe a little bit of a like a Thyme are like a fresh herb that's very muted, like it's not hitting the face. But there is a little bit of like a green note to it, maybe it's like a little bit of like a, even if it's like an underripe cherry like a green or like a green strawberry, there's something that's a little bit balancing it that's in the green category.

Eric Turner 1:50:21
It's interesting, you said white pepper because like I think of my first sip, I was like, kind of good tasting pepper in there. And then the second step, I was like, No, there's no pepper and like, I kind of talk myself out of it and like and then maybe talk myself back into it, and then like out of it, and then like back into it again. So I took a lot of sips. Um, but that's interesting as like a white pepper I've never like kind of, I've never, I've never like kind of like, like worked identify that is

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:50:50
more like latitudinal if you can think about that in your palate versus like, I like I love black pepper a lot. I put a lot of it, but it's very much more like direct and your mouth was white pepper is a little bit more like subtle, and it's a little bit more kind of in the background. But it definitely gives you that little bit of spice, but I definitely think this has a little bit of and again, we're not sure whether it's from Spain or garnacha from I'm sorry grenache from France or garnacha from Spain are typically associated with a little pepper. So I think this is like I said a great wine for bringing drinking have a summer. Drink it with like a light. Like a poultry dish. Or if you know you want to have like a more heavily, like a more heavy vegetarian dish even like in the fall

Eric Turner 1:51:39
like interesting.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:51:41
butternut squash grab 10 or I don't know, sweet potatoes, something like that. I think this could go well with that. But I think this is like the body of like a Pinot Noir almost. But without that earthiness, it's just like, like fresh, fruity. Great for summer.

Eric Turner 1:51:58
Yeah, it does. It does have a lot of I was gonna say when you're looking at color, it's like almost like Pinot Noir. II, but it does have a lot of like, bought like, Pinot Noir characteristics, but it is, has this like refreshing characteristic that I think is really great. Um,

anything we missed on this guy?

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:52:18
No, I just think it's an interesting comparison, like the two key primary. Right? Totally. You know, the rioja is, not a heavy wine, but when you drink, but it's a heavyish wine. When you drink compared to this. It's like, wow, that was like, Oh, that's a lot compared to this. So now I think this is a great representation of like, what you can find in a Spaniah garnacha?

Eric Turner 1:52:41
Yeah, this is good. I'm gonna, I'm usually what happens with these is, like, when I find a grade that I haven't had before, like something like kind of new that I end up like, buying a bunch of it and trying all kinds of different, you know, like producers and, and, like, kind of, I'll probably stick to the, you know, Spain or not Guernica. Um, but it's interesting, because then I always kind of like, dive down the rabbit hole. And I think that like this is this is just really good. I mean, I think like, if you're, you know, comparing all three of these, I think is cool, because it's very eye opening for you. I don't know, if I've ever had a Spanish a white Rioja. Which is, was like phenomenal. And I think like, I have a feeling that I'm going to be like fighting my wife to have for this bottle. She's probably going to enjoy it. Who is you know, the woman who two months ago didn't like white wine at all. But the Tempranillo I think is the biggest surprise for me, because I think it was the only one that I had some expectation and it really just kind of like shattered that expectation. But this is a cool, this is a great I mean, I know it's like we're talking about three wines trying to represent the entire, the largest as much as we as we've learned at the top of the episode that the largest acreage, wine growing country in the world, but you know, we're gonna have to probably uncork a few, a few other bottles to really get into it, but these, these are good.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:54:12
Yeah, and the last one for nosh. garnacha was I think it's on the shelf. For me, it was I mean, I live in New York City. So everything's gonna be more expensive, but it was $16. So great value for you know, especially some of these wine regions that are maybe a little more up and coming like Vinos de Madrid, you're going to get more bang for your buck because they just don't quite get the name recognition. And that's, you know, a lot of what I like to look for is these regions that are really similar to other regions might not have the name, but produce the same set of wines that you can get for you know, definitely a good bargain.

Eric Turner 1:54:45
Yeah, I think I got all three of these for under 50 bucks. Which is great because we used to keep the average around 50. So like perfect in terms of like, you know, if you're on a budget it's a great way to kind of explore Spain might get out to Spain. Um, awesome. Well,

I don't have anything else. Do you have anything else?

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:55:11
No, just that I really want to go to Spain and I've never been and ready to go.

Eric Turner 1:55:15
I'm ready. Hopefully soon.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:55:17
Yeah, as soon as as soon as I let me I'm trying to go so and there's Yeah, I know you had an albarino from rias baixas, which I absolutely love. There's some great Rose's from Spain and cava from Spain. So there's so many delicious varieties of wine in Spain that are fun to explore. So drink these wines explore Spain and yeah, follow me on Instagram. Yeah.

Eric Turner 1:55:41
Remind me remind me of the handle.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:55:44
Yeah, it's at vin_decanted vindicated but vi n, underscore D NCA NTV.

Eric Turner 1:55:51
I am, I always appreciate a great pond and I saw tha handle. That's a good, that's a good handle. Yeah,

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:56:01
my friend came up with that.

Eric Turner 1:56:04
It's good. And then I also want to call it because like, you did this the other day, and I kind of touched on on the top, I thought it was really cool. But to check out your Instagram handle, because one of the things you're doing is these like food and wine, like tasting events that I thought were pretty cool. I know, you just did one on France. Um, if you don't mind, can you can you talk about it just a little bit, because I want to, I just want to hear more about it.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:56:27
Yeah, I love to cook I've always have, I am now really interested in kind of teaching people about different regions through wine and through food. So I will do tasting events, you know, and my really tiny apartment in New York. So that's typically been, you know, in COVID days, you know, related to we're, you know, friends who have been able to come over small groups, but, you know, globally I'll look at going into other people's homes and apartments and doing that for them, as people come more comfortable. And outside of that, you know, I love creating menus. So if you're like, Oh my gosh, I would love to do a, you know, a dinner or just of wine pairing, or just a wine tasting. I love to come up with different, you know, menus for you know, event for yourself that you're, you know, you show me where you're going to buy the wine, and I'll come up with, you know, hey, these are three great wines to compare and write up notes for you. So you kind of can understand and, you know, leave it for your own group of friends. So any type of wine pairing or wine tasting event menu that you're looking for, you know, I'd be happy to help you.

Eric Turner 1:57:33
That's awesome. um awesome. And the easiest way for people to get ahold of you is probably the same way I did just Instagram. Um, and thank you so much for agreeing to come on Madison Varunok, I got okay. Ah, yeah, check it out. Thank you so much, everybody. Hope you enjoyed Spanish or Spanish selection today. I know I did.

I'm going to head outside because it's nice here in Chicago for once.

Madison Varunok @vin_decanted 1:58:00
My nice summer ocean,


Eric Turner 1:58:06
you have to watch it. You have to tune into the YouTube to see what just happened. But we're all good. Everybody's good. Alright, guys. Thank you very much. Talk to you soon.

Transcribed by