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Bodegas Mauro, Vendimia Seleccionada, 2000

I have been a fan of the Mauro wines since my dad casually handed me a bottle several years ago, remarking that I may like this. Well, he was right. Every other year since I had one of those Spanish beauties, and the most recent one we enjoyed at a Wine Rambler meeting in Munich.

Our regular readers may have noticed that Julian is more likely than me to go for the more substantial red wines, but the beautiful and deep Tempranillos from Mauro are just too pleasing to ignore.

Bodegas Mauro is a well respected winery, even though it is relatively young. Founded in the late 1970s it is located in Tudela de Duero, a town in the Duero valley. Mariano Garcia, who since has become something like a legend among winemakers, initially set it up as a side project, until years later he left his employer Vega Sicilia to focus on his own projects. At the time Mauro was already well established. It sits just outside the Ribera del Duero D.O. (Denominacion de Origen; Designation of Origin), one of the quality wine regions within Castile and León.

Part of the Bodegas Mauro philosophy is the use of indigenous yeasts as well as that of French and American oak barrels. The wines are usually only released to market after a few years of maturing in the cellars - our 2000 Vendimia Seleccionada was bottled in January 2004 and I bought it a few years after that.

The colour is a deep cherry red, very pretty. The nose is a complex mix of herbs, pinewood, furniture polish and old cigar box with beautiful fruit aromas of plum, blackberries and cherry, plus a light sweet touch of alcohol marinated fruit.

The VS tastes and feels as substantial as you would expect from the bouquet. It has deep, concentrated fruit aromas, noticeable yet pleasant tannins and a refreshing menthol herbal touch in the finish. It is well balanced with medium acidity and drier than the nose made us expect it, making for a wine that is just perfect to drink and still quite compact. The only criticism we had was that over time it became almost too accommodating (the German "gefällig" is much better here).

An excellent wine, but it also comes at a price: 62 Euro is by far the most expensive bottle of wine we have ever reviewed.

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