Tasting Note                         

90+   2006 Pétalos  Bierzo (Descendientes de J. Palacios)   2/21/09 ($20)

14% alc
Color: Deep black cherry. (3.0) Bouquet: Very Pinot Noir-like with rich Dr. Pepper (spicy cola) and black cherry fruit. Hints of black truffle and smoke. Elegant. (3.0) Body: Middleweight with excellent fruit, very good acidity and a little tannin. Could be bigger and more structured, but very well balanced. (3.0) Flavor: Parallels bouquet, but a little more restrained. (3.0) Finish: Parallels bouquet with some tang and fruit lingering. Subtle, but persistent. (3.0)
Overall: With its delicious spicy black cherry cola fruit and subtle character, it is reminiscent of an elegant $30-$40 New Zealand Pinot Noir from Central Otago, but this may have even more character. I've only tasted a few Mencia-based Spanish wines and this is the first one that has impressed me. I was wondering what all the hype was about. Now I know. This could easily be mistaken for a fine, elegant Pinot Noir from a variety of places, even Burgundy. Delicious now, but could improve with a few years of bottle age. Great value!!!