Sunday, October 24, 2010

2005 Petalos Bierzo

Yesterday we wanted and needed something hearty to drink with some stuffed pork chops. I opted for a  2005 Descendientes de José Palacios Bierzo Pétalos, a wine I had not tried before.  The wine is made from the Mencia grape and these wines aren't seen too often in the local market.

The chops were two inches thick and were stuffed with a pureed mixture of dried figs which had been re-hydrated in some of the wine, a couple of anchovy fillets, almonds, rosemary, garlic, pepper flakes and olive oil. They were grilled for several minute on each side then allowed to finish cooking over indirect heat. 

The wine was intensely dark purple, almost black in the glass.  The aroma in the glass was dark red fruits and blueberries and a heavy dose of earth.  At first sip the wine was super tannic, fully extracted and walking a fine line between being both sweet and bitter.  We let it breathe for and hour and half while the food was prepared. 

When dinner was ready the wine had settled down somewhat, though it was still very much a new world type of wine.  The fruit was still strong and the blueberries were still showing their stuff.  Those drying tannins were still heavy and the wine still had that razors edge between sweetness and bitterness.  The finish was quite lengthy and tannic at the end.

The food, especially the stuffing in the pork chops, cooled some of the tannin and some of the sweetness in the wine.  It was a very good match with the food.  Altogether the jury is still out on this wine for me.  I would love to try a Bierzo that is not quite so extracted, but I would drink this one again.   $20 and 14% alcohol.

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