domingo, 16 de junio de 2013

CellarTracker - Urbina Rioja Wine - Tasting Notes



CELLARTRACKER

- CellarTracker: is a website that stores information about wines and wine collections. Created in 2003 by Eric LeVine, a former Microsoft program manager, CellarTracker has grown to be one of the world's most comprehensive wine databases. CellarTracker is free to use and relies heavily on its users for data input, constantly increasing the number of tracked bottles as well as user tasting notes.

CellarTracker also has a donation option which gives access to a series of services through CellarTracker's cooperation with other online resources, such as Stephen Tanzer, Wine Market Journal and Jancis Robinson.

- History: CellarTracker was created in 2003 after creator Eric LeVine, then a programmer at Microsoft, had made the program for himself, tracking his wine. Some friends suggested he launch the concept online which he did in 2004. The CellarTracker concept proved popular and over the years it out-paced other similar resources, such as Cork'd, while increasing cooperating with other wine-related services. An early contributor was US wine critic Stephen Tanzer who offered his scores to donating members of CellarTracker. Other collaborations followed, the most notable being with Jancis Robinson.

In early 2010, Eric LeVine launched a sister site for CellarTracker, called GrapeStories. GrapeStories rely on the same database as CellarTracker, but is intended to be a more user-friendly approach to tracking wine, sharing wine experiences as well as providing a better interface. LeVine was dissatisfied by the static interface in CellarTracker, and aimed at creating a more dynamic and engaging interface with GrapeStories. In December 2010 however, he announced his decision to abandon the GrapesStories rename, and keep the Cellartracker name on the new site. As of January 2011, the new CellarTracker is still in a beta state.

As of July 2010, CellarTracker has more than 110,000 user entries for 19 million individual bottles, and nearly 1.5 million wine reviews from users.

- Concept: CellarTracker works by keeping track or "tracking" the users wine. The user is supposed to search for the wines in his cellar on CellarTracker's database and then enter amount of bottles and price (optional). If the wine doesn't already exist in the database, the user can create it himself, thus adding to the completeness of the CellarTracker database. When drinking a wine, the user marks the bottle as drunk and enters a tasting note (optional). The idea is that by having a large number of users generate tasting notes for other users to read, this helps guide the user in choosing the right wine to drink, buy etc. Thus, CellarTracker relies heavily on the users' input and willingness to add to the database.

CELLARTRACKER - URBINA RIOJA WINE - TASTING NOTES

Bodegas Benito Urbina is situated in the town of Cuzcurrita de Rio Tiron in Rioja Alta. There are 75 hectares in total - 65 of Tempranillo and 10 of Graziano, Mazuelo and Viura - and the estate has been in the family hands for 4 generations. In 1975 the family decided to age and bottle their own wines and to this end major investment in the cellar and vineyards has taken place alongside a more organic approach to its viticulture.

1994 URBINA RIOJA GRAN RESERVA

- pale, brick red, browning, lots of tobacco, leather and vanilla t. VA, some strawberry fruit though v. tertiary layers of leather, chestnut. Long good though perhaps a little dilute getting on a bit? It really filled out by the evening. Was positively voluptuos with fruit. - 5/26/2013

- I continue to be impressed by this wine. Give it an hour or two open, and it is rich and powerful but well balanced. - 5/13/2013

- Cooked red fruits, touch on the stewed side, dates, prunes, chocolate, damson jam notes all showing. Very complex, nutty note to finish. Great length, touch of tannin typical of the vintage, good acidity and a pleasing vanilla finish, with hints of sweet spice and classic Rioja traits. Excellent complexity, very well-made and showing very nicely, still robust. - 89 Points -  3/6/2013

- Fully mature Rioja, developed secondary flavours of tea, earth, but with hints of strawberry and a warm finish. Very good value. - 92 Points - 12/24/2012

- A well developed near orangey rim, middle red colour with little intensity. Slight veg nose with sweetness too. Remarkable soft approach of sweet fruit and hint of vanilla and tannins, an elegant acidity balance very apparent. The acidity is just right so this wine can be drunk on its own or with medium strength food. The mid palate is almost chewy and the fade is not particularly long but surprisingly the wine does not develop away from its initial expression, is this a hint of a lack of complexity? I don't think it matters though. This is a classic Rioja style reminiscent of a 904 with a slight gamey style and with an arms length link to a dry Oloroso. I have a half case left but I'm worried about my storage skills - it's at the height of its window so I think I'll call it a day and drink them with 18 months to two years. I'm very fortunate to have found it. - 92 Points - 12/17/2012

- Delightful. Opened, but not decanted, for two hours. Brown and virtually see through in the glass. Fantastic nose of really bright red fruits and smooth flavours that last. - 90 Points - 11/24/2012

- Really enjoying this. Started a bit flat, but increased in power with some time open. A bit of fruit left, but mostly blood, steel, integrated oak. Great wine. - 91 Points - 11/11/2012

- Wow. Smooth. Tasty. Nice. - 93 Points - 11/6/2012

- Bricking, and light, flowery nose, lots of sediment. Very good. - 88 Points - 10/6/2012

- Russk Vibrant Rioja at the Hotel Intercontinental. - 91 Points - 5/4/2012

- Bricking heavily to the edges, this wine is certainly showing some age through its colour. A tone of polish on the nose with a slightly distant fruit and a lick of mint and oak. Very plum fruit on the palate with a gentle caramelised sweetness underscoring, tannins fully integrated and a very reasonable damson finish that has a a good edge of acidity to it. A very enjoyable wine. - 91 Points - 8/7/2010

- nice - 91 Points - 11/2/2007

- Light, orange-brown color. Pleasant distinctive nose of kraut and home-made pickles (but without the vinegar). This will probably sound disgusting, but it was an interesting, unique and pleasurable wine to drink. The palate was more of the vegetal flavors, with a silky smooth texture. The tannins have definitely completely integrated. There was some faint dark fruit on the lengthy finish. - 89 Points - 11/2/2007

1997 URBINA RIOJA RESERVA

- Inviting nose of flowers, leafiness and soft red fruits. Medium bodied on the palate, loads of structure and complexity, showing ceps, truffles, beautifully composed red fruits and a fair bit of tobacco. Drinking beautifully at this stage although I wouldn't leave it much longer. - 91 Points - 10/24/2011

- Wow, what a beauty. A warm brown overall colour, smoky and raisins on the nose. Soft fruits with caramels surrounding it, just over the peak but still very enjoyable indeed. Mid palate almost smoky and very gentle - tannins all gone but still fruit led - a surprising acidity on the length. We re stoppered the bottle between helpings because it was obvious it would fade too fast. We ate salmon fillets with a sauce made from oil, creamed horseradish and old sherry - the wine was a perfect balance with the fish. - 93 Points - 5/11/2010

- A blend of 95% Tempranillo & 5% Mazeulo & Graciano - harvested by hand from 50+ year old vines on 10th October 1997, aged in new French oak for 12 months, with a further 6 months spent in oak approx 7 years old. Almost brown in colour with a brick edge. On the nose it's a very intense wine (I can smell it almost a foot away) with typical notes of spice, vanilla, red cherries, though there's also a lovely amount of dried figs, some mocha/chocolateness there and a slightly herbaceous note to it. Very sweet in character, the oak has integrated nicely - a wonderful perfume. On the palate you're first fit with a lovely savoury level of spice, then the fruit of sweet cherries and strawberries comes to the fore, there's the figs coupled with well balanced acidity and fine-grained tannins. The oak has settled very well into this, it's not too over-powering or dominating. There's a lovely amount of grip from the tannins and the finish of sweet cherries and vanilla lingers on well - a long delicious finish. My overall impression of this is that it's a very well balanced wine that's probably at it's peak. The dried figs give a seductive element to an otherwise wonderfully perfumed nose, with a long finish from a very mature balanced palate. My only criticism of this wine would be that the fruit is slightly fading and the oak is just taking over a tad, though this does not discredit an otherwise altogether delicious finish. Very good/At peak, drink soon/Buy again - Yes. Approx £18. - 8/2/2009

1999 URBINA RIOJA SELECCIÓN

- n -tobacco, very ripe fruit, very long, superb, tried at wine show hence brief note. 5/17/2013

- I had low expectations when opening this wine, expecting the usual oak and vanilla cliché, but this really is a very good wine that is ageing very well. Very much a Rioja, but with more charm than the more modern styles. A mix of sweet, aromatic fruit and austere elements work well together to provide excellent balance of acidity, tannins and maturing fruit. A touch of farmyard, some earthy aromas then almost crisp firm tannins to freshen up the finish. Very much a wine that compliments food very well rather than dominating it. Surprisingly good, verging on excellent. 4/17/2011

- Wow!! Aromas of raisins, vanilla and nutty coffee. You can tell when you smell it that this is going to be lovely and it really doesnt disappoint. Cherry, raspberry and dates cover your tongue with a thick layer of flavour that slowly fades leaving Christmas pudding and cream. Superb. - 92 Points 3/15/2011

1996 URBINA RIOJA GRAN RESERVA

- Opened and sampled without any airing at all. A soft warm pastel style red with a pronounced warm rim, no intensity of colour anywhere. An aged claret nose, sweet berries but delicate. A beautifully soft and raisin sweet approach, caramels apparent - tannins still holding it together and a delicate acidity underlies the mid palate. The length discloses a very slight sourness that is surprising but not unpleasant, the longer length brings out the softer tannins that linger longer (sorry about that phrase). The shop in Wadebridge, Cornwall has more at £18.99 but also the 1994 too but at £25. It's always gratifying to see what you can get for under £20, in this case France is trumped here for quality. - 92 Points - 7/30/2012

- fantastic mature Rioja at a great price, nose of black fruit and damp earth, initially quite tight, but after a 1h-2h decant - dark fruit, earth, mineral finish with some spice. Tannins have resolved to make this a smooth, light wine with good acidic balance. - 7/12/2012

- A beautifully mature GR, with great fragrance and a long finish. - 91 Points - 8/27/2009

2001 URBINA RIOJA RESERVA

- very pale, restrained nose - vanilla, spice, sweet fruit, good acidity, very long, good - 5/17/2013

- Russk Vibrant Rioja at the Hotel Intercontinental. - 90 Points - 5/4/2012

- A lot of bottle age - pale, almost orange. Decanted for about 2 hours. Initial nose on decanting dense black fruit but in the glass had opened to give leather and perhaps a hint of cedar. Although decanted for 2 hours, it's complexity unraveled in the glass. Initially mellow tannins with soft fruits with a medium long finish with acidic notes. But then the fruits unfolded into a lovely elegant Rioja with elegant tannins with a long balanced finish. Plenty of time left in bottle but I am not sure will last to 2022. - 88 Points - 2/18/2012

2004 URBINA ESPCIAL

- Decanted for about 45minutes, Friday night spaghetti. Some bottle age, dark dark fruits and cherries on the nose. Leathery tobacco and fruits on the palate with very distinct and firm tannins. Long finish. Still has ageing potential. -  85 Points - 6/15/2012

- Odd! Spicy farmyard nose. Powerful tannins and spicy fruit. Long. Needs another 2-3 years on bottle before trying again. 2/19/2012

2004 URBINA RIOJA CRIANZA

- A very strange animal. Opened the bottle and tried it straight away. Very slight rim, cabernet nose but a bit musky. Initially strong cherry like flavours that strengthened on the mid palate but suddenly the fruit fell away and left a gap that was filled by a sense of sourness but with a decent fade, good acidity throughout. I decided not to get anymore of this and that at over £11 it was really not worth it. Then after half an hour it became a completely different wine. Good balance of oak, fruit and gentle tannins - gorgeous plummy mid palate but no great complexity and gently long held together with the acidity. Never had a turnaround quite like this before. - 87 Points - 5/15/2010

- Tempranillo and a little Graziano used in this wine. Nice vibrant plum fruit and well balanced oak with just a lick of mint on the end. Enjoyable wine, would like to now try the Reserva. - 89 Points - 1/31/2009

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