2008 Luna Negra LaMancha Reserva Tempranillo, Spain $5.99

Silverdale, WA    13% alc.    (Purchased on 5/14/14)

As I noted yesterday in What’s New, reader OregonLady did not care for this wine, but PW liked it as a “nice red for summer”.  I found no actual flaws in the wine, but one bottle was plenty for me.  Just not my preferred style.

IMG_1501Clear medium garnet.  Nose is earthy with a mix of red and black fruit; blackberry, raspberry, blueberry, red plum and perhaps a light touch of coffee and tar; restrained oak.  Back label says it spent 24 months in French oak, which to me was hardly evident except perhaps for some astringency.  Must have been neutral or very old oak barrels.  Flavors of more berries, black and red plum, very light oak and slightly bitter black coffee.  Tasted when first poured, I didn’t think I’d like it…all sharp acidity, restrained fruit and scratchy tannins.  After about 20 minutes, it begins to open, soften and all the components start to integrate.  While it’s a reasonably tasty red, it’s somewhat short in depth and finish, a little thin and I’d say at it’s peak (or just beyond).  Old world (low in fruit, slightly higher in acidity) for fans of that style.

I know, I know…I’m about three years into writing for this blog and I’m just now bringing this up.  But if you weren’t aware of it, if you want to see my full bottle photos up close so you can possibly better read the label…just click on the bottle image and it should make the label more readable.

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27 thoughts on “2008 Luna Negra LaMancha Reserva Tempranillo, Spain $5.99

  1. permiesworld

    It’s so weird. We just finished our original case of this (before the wine sale) so I picked up a couple of bottles since it’s still on the shelf. The label is slightly different than our first case and wow, the wine is measurably different. On case one, there was spice and balance. On this one, it’s almost chemical…we’ve opened two bottles with the same results. Just awful. So ours are going back. Given that we’ve already been through about 15 bottles of this over the last several months, I’m pretty confident of what it should taste like. So there is definitely bottle variation. Sad. I loved this.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine

      Thanks for the update. I considered getting another bottle or two of this myself during the sale, but did not. How was the label different?

      Reply
      1. permiesworld

        It’s odd…it’s not readily evident unless you have them side by side. We noticed it when we bought the new ones. The old bottles (from our first case, back when you and I liked it) are slightly faded in comparison, all of them were like that. The embossing was less pronounced, the black is less shiny. The new bottles are crisper and the gold is brighter. The dates appear to be the same on the back of the ones I have (I no longer have bottles of the original…) You could check the dates: It’s L-11-14-13-LNRVA on the new ones (don’t know if it’s different on the old ones). The ANH number on the back is different on all 3 bottles I have here so I’m guessing we can’t track first round from that. Printing-wise it’s the same but it just looks “fresher and more properly done” on these new bottles. Again, it’s hard to describe. I never thought to take a photo. I just used the difference to know which were the ones we’d had for a while and which ones were the new ones. Went through the old ones first…sadly.

        Reply
        1. permiesworld

          and BW, it’s entirely possible it’s just bad handling of this particular case or this particular lot. Yours might be just fine. You know how it is sometimes…something gets left in the sun too long or in a hot warehouse and it’s completely undrinkable.

          Reply
  2. permiesworld

    I saw this still at Salem, just last week. Quite a lot. We had it again tonight and it’s still drinking so nicely. I wish I had space, I’d buy more…may even yet, if I can figure out where to put it. lol We’ve gone through a case (minus 1) of this one.

    Reply
  3. Jim Vandegriff

    My wife and I had this wine this evening with a recipe from Ottolenghi’s “Jerusalem” cookbook of stuffed artichokes with peas, and this wine was a winner with that meal. I found good cherry flavors with a hint of menthol, good acidity, a medium body, and an overall very pleasant experience. Cherry flavors got darker after an hour, but I did not detect much in the way of tannin. I don’t believe this is at the end of its life at all, but it is drinking beautifully now. Ah the old lament “wish I had bought more.”

    Reply
    1. lim13 Post author

      C’mon up north, Jim…we’ve got lots on the shelves! Still showing at Silverdale, Bremerton and over north of Seattle in the Kenmore store last weekend.

      Reply
  4. BargainWhine

    With my first bottle of this wine, I noted that it still seemed to be developing after being open for four hours. So… that seemed to call for some more research. Yesterday, I opened another bottle and put half in a 375ml bottle and stoppered it with very little air. The other half stayed in the 750ml bottle with the original cork shoved back in the top. Tonight, I opened both. The half in the re-corked original bottle was delicious, especially with a bit more air. The fruit was more forward, although still restrained and elegant, showing darker fruit along with the red. Delicious! The wine in the stoppered half bottle was also more forward, but not to the same extent. The half in the full bottle became delicate and liquidy by the end of it, but the half in the stoppered half bottle was still lighter flavored (fruit not so dark), with more dusty tannin and spice. They were both good, but, if I have another bottle, I will put it in a covered decanter for a day before I drink it, as Lim13 suggested. It’s hard for me to believe that a wine which improves after this kind of treatment is at the end of its life.

    Reply
    1. PW

      Wow. We still have several bottles of this. I have a winebreather carafe. I’m going to try it in that. We’ve had three bottles so far and I never would have guessed it would hold or develop to that degree.

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine

        Hi PW. Usually, if I want to decant something a day ahead, I pour it in a decanter and cover the top with a couple layers of plastic wrap. Maybe you have a better method, but if you do something like that, I’m very curious to hear about what you think of the results.

        Reply
        1. PW

          The reason I mentioned the winebreather is because it comes with it’s own lid. My other decanter doesn’t have one. But yes I will let you know. If nothing else, it will be an inexpensive experiment.

          Reply
        2. PW

          One question. When I normally decant a day ahead, I put it in the decanter for two hours and then back in the bottle with the vacu-vin for the other 22. Just enough to get the air going. Did you mean leave it in the decanter for the whole 24?

          Reply
          1. BargainWhine

            Hi PW. Yes, that’s what I meant: put it in a decanter, cover it, leave it there for roughly a day before you want to drink it. For all I know, though, your process may give similar results.

            Reply
            1. PW

              We finally did this. Oddly enough it lasted for 3 days. Day two was nice. I still like day one better (spicier…little more alcohol heat I think) but by day three, we dumped it. It tasted like flat soda. lol I don’t personally like it beyond the “half bottle sealed with a vacuvin” for day two.

            2. BargainWhine

              Hi PW. Thanks for trying and reporting back. From what it was like on the second day, I can see how it would be bad by day 3. So… it seems you like it best on the first day, which is good because it’s less trouble, but it’s still okay for you on day 2.

    2. lim13 Post author

      Me? I suggested putting it in a covered decanter for a day before drinking it? That doesn’t sound like me. I know I said “that the inch or two of wine I still had in the bottle (a day later)showed a little more fruit and slightly less astringency…in general, more tasty after a day and LOTS of air.” The fact that I had a little left the next day was purely by accident. I know a number of our readers and you, BW enjoy investigating how wines change with air and decanting over a period of days. But I’m hardcore “drink ’em up”; aeration for 1-4 days and decanting has never been and never will be my style.

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine

        Really? To me, your description of how that last bit was better the next day definitely suggested that a day’s decanting would be the thing to do. 🙂

        Reply
        1. lim13 Post author

          I guess it was the specifics of putting it in a covered decanter for a day before drinking it that threw me. I can’t see me ever doing that with most wines…but I suppose anything’s possible. Actually, I will be decanting a group of 25-30 year old reds from my cellar that I’ll be opening for a group of friends on June 21st…but only to get them off the sediment that I know will be in each bottle. And of course I’ll stand them upright in the cellar for a week prior.

          Reply
      2. jwc

        My take on many Italian reds, is to give them plenty of air. The flavors really open after 3-4 hrs. Many of the big Tuscan blends are just starting to hit there stride, after a couple of hours in a decanter. So if one is patient enough, it’s well worth the wait. On the other hand, popping a Walla Walla cab sav, merlot, or syrah is usually delicious right out of the bottle, and will improve with air too, but IMO not as dramatic an improvement as the big Italian bruisers given some time/air.

        Reply
  5. lim13 Post author

    (Ed. Note: The following comment comes from Delmartian1):

    “We tried the Luna Negra last night matched with BBQ rib eyes and a lite ceasar salad. It was quite pleasant.”

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine

      I would have guessed that this wine would be a little light for grilled meat, but I’m glad it worked for you (DM1).

      Reply
  6. PW

    I agree with the “this wine is at it’s peak or beyond”. However, I do still like it and agree with Bargainwhine that it takes a while to develop. We’ve found it to be quite nice with several meals.

    It’s not one of those OMG wines but for the QPC, we liked it better than any of their other current tempranillo offerings.

    Reply
    1. lim13 Post author

      You said the magic words, PW…”I do still like it…” and that’s really all that matters in the end. I’ll also say that the inch or two of wine I still had in the bottle today showed a little more fruit and slightly less astringency…in general, more tasty after a day and LOTS of air.

      Reply
  7. lim13 Post author

    Thanks, BW. You and PW can have my share. And sorry about the thrice reviewed thing. I have a tough time remembering and/or finding reviews that are done under other tabs of our blog.

    Reply

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