The Rioja Region in Northern Spain has historically been the country’s major red wine region. Three-quarters of Rioja’s wines are red. The primary grape variety in Rioja is Tempranillo, but the government does allow three other red varieties to be used in the production of Rioja reds, Garnacha, Graciano, and Mazuelo. Most Rioja reds are a blend of at least two or more of these varietals.
What I enjoy about drinking wines from the old world is that they are not as fruit-forward as are the new world wines, and I found that to be the case with the 2010 Capo Viejo Rioja. This is a medium-bodied red, with soft tannins, and a wonderful earthiness. On the nose were cherries, earth, tobacco, and wood. The flavors were of tart cherries, a hint of tobacco, and a wonderful earthiness that transcends one back to Spain. This is an easy to drink Tempranillo, and would pair well with grilled lamb chops.
Spain is the most widely planted wine producing country in the world, and they rank third in overall wine production. The 1970′s and 1980′s saw the modernization of wine making, and with it the quality of the wines produced in Spain has increased. The Rioja wine region is the most recognizable region in Spain, and Tempranillo is the king of grape varieties in this region.
The 2010 Cala Blanca Tempranillo is what I expect from this grape variety, with a nice ruby red color in the glass, smooth, soft tannins, and a medium-bodied wine. The aromas were of cherries, red berries, plums, and smoke. The flavors were of cherries, red plums, raspberries, smoked bacon, olives, and a slight earthiness. For a retail price of approximately $15, this was an easy drinking Tempranillo, and one that I would purchase again.
Spain is the most widely planted wine producing country in the world, and they rank third in overall wine production. The 1970′s and 1980′s saw the modernization of winemaking, and with it the quality of the wines produced in Spain has increased. The Rioja wine region is the most recognizable region in Spain, and Tempranillo is the king of grape varieties in this region.
In sampling the 2010 Darien Rioja the color in the glass was a beautiful garnet, with aromas of cherries, red plums, red berries, spice, and a hint of earthiness. The flavors associated with the 2010 Darien were of cherries, raspberries, red plums, cinnamon, earthiness, smoke, wood, and a slight hint of vanilla on the back of the palate. This wine was a clean and pleasant Rioja, with soft tannins, medium-bodied, and had a medium finish. For a wine that retails under $10, this is a good buy.
My wife picked up a bottle of Opera Prima 2009 Tempranillo, and my first reaction was that it was just another inexpensive, mass marketed wine (which it is), but after allowing it to open up a bit I soon began to enjoy it. This Tempranillo had a deep, dark ruby color to it, and the aromas were of berries, cherries, dried fruit, and leather. The flavor profile was of raspberries, dark cherries, prunes, a hint of mocha, tobacco, and finished with a touch of leather. This is a medium-bodied wine, with low acidity, and a medium finish. Give it some time to open up, and for the low price, it is not a bad wine at all.