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Hey, Protocolo! Daddy’s Home!

February 7, 2012

Codice Tempranillo

Dominio de Egurin, Vin de Tierra Castilla, Spain. 2009.


Protocolo’s Older Brother!

Style: Tempranillo is Spain’s great Noble grape. The backbone of Rioja (one of two D.O.C. regions in Spain), Tempranillo tends to make softer, medium-to-light bodied wines that nonetheless showcase a vibrant dark fruit character. Spice and oak can vary greatly from producer to producer.

Description: Codice is excellent for its pricepoint and intended style. While it remains strongly representative of a true table-style Tempranillo, it shows its age well. A lightly inky color gives way to a medium body, balanced and with a certain heft that its younger brother lacks. Wild cherries dominate the palate, while the soft tannins leave just a touch of a brown sugar note on the finish. Look deep enough, and one might find a little bit of basil hidden within the noticeable oak structure.

Notes:  Any wine such as this, necessarily must be placed within its own context. As to its relation to Protocolo, it is, perhaps “Not as spicy, a bit bigger, and more properly balanced.” As a wine with dinner, it demands slightly heavier fare than its easy-going counterpart, but still makes for an enjoyable glass all on its own. We do warn that if you are a “Light-bodied Tempranillo Only” type of palate, this wine may be a tad bit too big and dense for your liking. However, this particular vintage is nearing the end of its run, so we encourage you to try it while you can. We hope to have Protocolo itself back in stock soon, but until then, we recommend that you try a bottle of Codice, if you’re open to exploration and to a wine that is quite different – and yet reminiscent – of its magazine-cover-model younger brother.

– Jarrod, with commentary by Will and Meggan, Adega Wine Cellars (Reviewed 2/7/12),

$15.99, retail and dine-in!

Millennium is here!

February 4, 2012

Some beer only gets better with age…

Dominion Brewing’s 2012 Millennium Ale has arrived! We have limited quantities available in 6 packs.

Style: Barleywine. BeerAdvocate says this is a British Barleywine, but this year’s offering is American through and through. Barleywines are beer, don’t be mislead. The term “barley wine” comes from the beer’s propensity to be brewed at wine-like alcohol levels. The style originated in England, where it is a well-rounded, full bodied beer; in America, the same style tends to showcase a slightly hoppier backbone. It is one of the few beer styles that truly lend themselves to aging.

Description: This beer pours an absolutely stunning amber, with a sticky head that takes a while to dissipate. The nose gives away the generous hopping, and almost smells slick – both of these are confirmed on the palatte. The 2012 offering shows a remarkably strong hop backbone, compared to its earlier incarnations, and the hops are meant to age. There is still plenty of honey, especially on the lasting finish, however, to balance out the hop oils. This is a full beer, viscous and slick, that nevertheless fills the palate with a rounded mouthfeel; moderate carbonation is present, but takes a back seat to flavor and structure by the finish.

Notes:  Barleywines are not for the faint of heart, and this beer is no exception. Its 10% ABV is almost too cleverly masked by its intriguing profile, so no matter how tempting, moderation is advised! Millennium will certainly benefit from aging, but for those unafraid of a little hoppiness, it is ready to drink now. Dominion brews their barleywine with honey, which is apparent, and yet well blended, so that it makes for an interesting take on the style. This is brewed and released once a year, so if you’re still reading this far, you probably should just go ahead and grab it before it’s gone!

– Jarrod, Adega Wine Cellars (Reviewed 2/1/12, based on bottle serving)

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