Region: Valle de Guadalupe
I visited Mexico on vacation for a couple weeks and purchased this at the airport on the way home. There wasn't that much available, but trapped in amongst the various Tequila's and other spirits were a couple of wines including the Casa Pedro Domecq Reserva Magna. I picked up two of these based purely on price, label and general gutfeel.
Casa Pedro Domecq, producer of this wine, was the first commercial winery established in the Valle de Guadalupe. It was a part of the Domecq group, started by Irishman Patrick Murphy in Spain, that has been taken over by Pernod Ricard in 2005. Domecq has been a driving force behind the modernization of the wine industry in Spain, and is doing likewise in Mexico. Domecq Mexico is based in the Valle de Guadalupe and is the Napa valley of Mexico. In fact the Valle lies just a couple of hours drive south of the Napa Valley and has the same capacity to produce high quality wines.
While Mexico is not a power in the wine world wine has been made here since 1590's when Spanish missionaries and settlers settled in the Valle de Parras. While it's history does not stretch back that far Valle de Guadalupe also has a relatively long and interesting history with wine production dating back before the 17th century. It was in 1834 that Dominican priests began growing grapes at the Northern Mission of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Mision de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe del Norte). This despite the ban placed on vine planting by the Spanish Crown which feared the competition from the new world wineries. The name was later shorted to Valle de Guadalupe.
Reserva Magna is a relatively new release by Pedro Domecq and is their attempt to produce a world class wine that at its best will match the best wines in the world. Since the wine is a recent release it probably has some time to go before it will ever rival the worlds best wines. The wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Merlot (20%) and Nebbiolo (20%). It has been aged for eighteen months in new French oak and bottled aged for a minimum of one year before release.
Here are my thoughts on it:
Beautiful deep red with purple hues. A powerful nose that really springs out of the glass with plenty of dark cassis fruit and hints of vanillan oak. On the palate there is plenty of juicy, sweet dark berry and cassis fruit; really silky and smooth. Evidence of french oak though it's not overpowering. Fine-grained tannins that do stand out a little now. Plenty of length on the finish. This is a lovely wine now and it will improve with some more cellaring time. Fantastic effort.