BB Review: Caliza – Gran Seleccion 2016

Alright alright alright. How are we all doing with those resolutions, huh? Here at Bottle Bitches HQ, we're doing pretty okay with ours. Caro's still pushing herself out of her New World box (and is slowly coming around to admitting that she loves wine from her homeland), Kate has yet to buy a bottle of wine from her local corner shop (the struggle is real) and Angela? Well, Angela's sharing her wines-o-lutions right here, right now. (Spoiler alert: she's already making headway on that book!) 🍷✍️📚

THE WINE

BOTTLE: Caliza – Gran Seleccion 2016 – La Mancha, Spain 

WHERE WE BOUGHT IT & PRICE: £5.99 from Lidl

ABV & TECH SPECS: 13.5% ABV 

BEHIND THE LABEL: La Mancha is a hot and arid part of the country and its name is derived from Manxa or 'parched earth', as it was known by the Moors. Despite its heat, the climate has the advantage of being uninhabitable for vineyard pests and vines can grow wild with minimal interference and pesticides. 

DINNER PARTY TRIVIA – La Mancha is also the largest vine-growing area in the world with an endless expanse of 300,000 hectares of vineyard!

WHY ANGELA BOUGHT THIS WINE: As a wine professional, I get to try a variety of wine styles and different regions around the world, but as a consumer there’s a few that never seem to be in my eye line when I’m choosing for personal consumption. Spain tends to be one of them. I have nothing against Spanish wine and indeed I’ve had the odd love affair with a bottle of Priorat over the years, but perhaps it’s because I rarely visit the source, or my cooking styles seem to favour other cuisines, but it’s probably my least-visited section in the wine aisle. So for this round, I'm kick-starting my resolution to try more from regions I don't visit as often  (and indeed to one of my lesser-visited wine haunts – Lidl!) and hopefully I’ll continue to visit aisles I haven't spent much time in recently and select bottles from places like California, Hungary and Australia too. 

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THE VERDICT 

CARO: This wine’s spicy and bonfire-like aromas smelt like love at first sight, charming me with deep purple & ruby hues. But what at first felt like the perfect match for me ended up in a bitter sensation of tannins, for this Romeo had the shallow personality of a juice made of unripe fruit. 

This said, after leaving it alone for a bit and playing hard to get, it did come back with a bit more complexity to him. Still, would I renew the experience? Mmmmmmprobably not.

ANGELA: This wine has a pretty warming ruby hue and it’s got a delicate cranberry and vanilla spice aroma. The palate is quite harsh to start and the tannins are quite astringent. Although the fruit flavours and body are, I fell it’s definitely one for ‘probably better with food’ camp.

KATE: Was this going to be the wine that finally got my ass into a Lidl? To start, it smelled delicious. A little like a Razzmatazz Jamba Juice (ie: lots of berry goodness) with a hint of vanilla. HOWEVER, smells can be deceiving and this wine hit the tongue with a bitterness that was not dissimilar to the horrible taste one gets when accidentally chewing the stem of a blueberry, which, as anyone who has snacked on hand-fulls of blueberries knows, can ruin an entire mouthful. I hate to say it, but it did not provide an enjoyable drinking experience. It's a big no bueno from me.

WOULD WE HAVE ANOTHER GLASS? The bad news? We didn't love this wine. The good news? You won't need to go into a Lidl!