Today's selection is the third of four from Bodega y Viñedo Fuentecén. All four are from the Ribera del Duero region. The 2004 Llanum is a limited production. Less than 550 cases of this wine were produced and it was sourced completely from 80 year old vines. Hemar 2004 Llanum was aged for 15 months in a combination of French and American oak barrels. This wine is very tight out of the bottle. I'd recommend ninety minutes to two hours decanting time. Once it opens up though, it really sings. The huge nose reveals mulled spice, candied berries and a hint of toasty oak. The mid-palate features loads of dark plum and berry fruit along with cassis notes, a hint of espresso bean and an undercurrent of bacon fat that hits the back of the throat and sticks there. Llanum is incredibly rich, self-indulgent and mouth-filling. The finish which is above average and impressively long has some dark chocolate notes, more spice and continued big and dark fruit. Along with the rich jammy berry fruit Llanum has excellent acidity that creates a very well balanced wine. The fact that Llanum is sourced exclusively from 80 year old vines shows itself in the concentration and richness of this wine.
Hemar 2004 Llanum is a perfect match for hearty fare. I found it to go very well with a Sausage and Lentil stew from Umbria. As impressive as this wine is now I expect it to age and improve. Laying it down for two to three years should bring out even more complexity. I'd expect it to drink well for at least five to eight years after that. The retail on this wine is between $60 and $65. It's well worth that. This is not a Tuesday night with pizza wine, but it's a perfect special occasion bottle. Sock a couple away now and you'll be pretty happy when you pop them open for Christmas 2010.
No two ways about it, Hemar 2004 Llanum is a tremendous and impressive bottle of wine. The year is young but I've had the chance to taste several hundred wines already, some of them priced well more than twice as much as Llanum. This is easily the best one I've had so far in 2008.
Imported by The Ravensvale Group.
Next up in Spanish Wine Week is a selection from Rioja.
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