NOSE: cigar wrapper up front, with a brooding black cherry Twizzler note laying underneath; smells “big” and, generally, dark-fruited.
BODY: medium-full bodied; dark violet color of great depth; cork stained dark purple.
TASTE: tannic; cigar wrapper; oaky; medium-low to medium acidity; ripe, big, but not ridiculous-big; somewhat tertiary — some pleasant wood-aged tawniness to it; a bit of heat (labelled at 14% alc.); paired very well with steak and caramelized onions; drink now and over the next handful of years — I highly doubt 10+ additional years is a good idea. Gut impression score: 90.
Wrote (writes?) a column about food and wine for a Madrid paper. Wrote a book on Wines of Rioja and northwest Spain. Favors more traditional producers over modern. He has posted occasionally here and on Disorder.
I went through a decent number of those from the early 2000s and enjoyed them, but it’s been a long time now.
Wasn’t it a project of some wine writer or critic?
Victor de la Serna
But go on, who was he or what did he do outside of that project?
Victor is a founder, former deputy editor, and still a wine writer for El Mundo, a major Spanish newspaper. He was also an active participant on Robin Garr’s Wine Lover’s Discussion Group and co-author of a book with and a friend and I think something of a mentor to Luis Gutiérrez, who is the Spanish and South American reviewer for the Wine Advocate.
Victor used to be active in this forum. He’s a journalist with an extensive body of work, though he is passionate about basketball, food, and wine. He’s won many awards for his gastronomic literature. He’s pretty active on twitter, and still tastes for El Mundo Vino. He co-authored The Finest Wines of Rioja and Northwest Spain with Luis Gutierrez and Jesus Barraquin of Equipo Navazos.
Finca Sandoval recently changed ownership, though Victor will remain on board for a while. The new owners are looking for wines that are fresh, light, and with less oak influence. They’ve got Javi Revert on board who will be taking over the winemaking.