Spanish Ayes!

By Kori ~ January 10th, 2008.

One of my goals for 2008 is to learn more about Spanish wines. Most of you are probably familiar with the easy drinking, widely available, great value Las Rocas de San Alejandro Garnacha (Grenache) which retails for $7-10 in most areas. As you go up the quality ladder in Spain, you probably think of Tempranillos from the Rioja region. However, in recent years, the Ribera del Duero region, also known for Tempranillo, has really come to the forefront.

20080110_spanishayes.jpgLast night we had a blind tasting of two Ribera del Duero wines with dinner. We tasted the 2004 Tinto Pesquera – Crianza and the 2004 Condado de Haza – Crianza. Both wines matched up well with our Swiss steak over pasta and salad. We found them both quite enjoyable but 3 out of 4 of us preferred the Tinto Pesquera.

2004 Tinto Pesquera – Crianza: This wine is very dense and exhibits a dull, inky purple color with aromas of chocolate, leather, and earth. It is very dry, especially without food. With subtle fruit, bold tannins, good acidity, and a long finish, it improves with food after it has been in the glass a while. Seems to be a wine that will really open up in a few years and should age well.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Pete’s Wine Shop – Eastside (Seattle area), $26.99; Hi-Time Cellars (LA area), $26.99; Sherry Lehmann (NYC area), $29.95

2004 Condado de Haza – Crianza: This wine is also dense and has an inky purple hue that is a bit brighter than the Pesquera. With a nose of chocolate-covered cherries, it shows lots of cherry and plum flavors up front. It is well balanced and with food became quite jammy. Ready to drink now but should last quite a while.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 3 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Pete’s Wine Shop – Eastside (Seattle area), $18.44; Ancona’s Wine (Connecticut), $24.99

Filed under: Red Wine, Spanish Wine, Tempranillo, Wines Over $25, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25

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