Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bodegas Montecillo Crianza 2003 Spain

From the Rioja region of Spain comes this red wine that received an 87 rating from Wine Spectator. Made from 100% Tempranillo grapes with more than 1 year in French oak barrels, and 1 year in bottle.

There is so much going on in the nose, like milk chocolate, grilled meats, leather, licorice, animal, and vegetal, but there's also a mild wafting of cat pee. This is the first time I've ever ran accross this aroma in a wine. I always thought it would be more common in a white wine.

The palate is awash with good ripe black cherries, dark fruits, tomato and a hint of oak. Having a lot going for it, and a complexity that's difficult to ignore, it's hard not to like this wine... and I want to like it, but I just can't get past the cat pee. I'll try it again tomorrow to see if anything changes.

This bottle retails for around $9.


Anonymous said...

Yo Dave! What up!

I read that cat pee in red wine could be a result of trapped sulfur compounds.

Maybe when you opened it and the oxygen began to aerate the wine and because it is a wine with some pretty good acidity as indicated by the vegetal and grilled meats it could be that with the acidity bursting through the body encouraging the alcohol to release those little pockets of sulfur are exposed.

And maybe as a result they are binding to the aroma compounds giving you the veg and the meat.

Just a thought. I love to try and figure this junk out.

Maybe someone will read this and pipe in.

Wine is so cool!


Dave Trieger said...


Hey yo! With this Crianza it was more like ammonia than sulphur, but the cork seemed ok... your theory sounds interesting... thanks for the info.


Dave Trieger said...

From a James Goode article written for Harpers in 2004

"In addition, Francis points to recent research carried out by Denis Dubourdieu and colleagues at the University of Bordeaux. ‘4-mercapto-4-methylpentan-2-one, 3-mercaptohexan-1-ol and 3-mercaptohexyl acetate are relatively newly identified compounds responsible for the tropical fruit/passion fruit aroma at particular concentrations, and cat’s urine aroma at higher levels,’ says Francis. ‘These compounds have been found in Sauvignon Blanc, but also in other white varieties and even in red wines, where they probably don’t provide a tropical fruit aroma, but may contribute to blackcurrant character. Work has been done to indicate that yeast strains will strongly influence the levels of these compounds during fermentation.’"