Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tinto from Rioja DDOc

I had my cold a week earlier than B, so I’m back in the saddle. Tonight we are popping open a Tinto from Rioja.

Rioja was Spain’s First Rioja Denominación de Origen Calificada, a higher classification than D.O. Rioja is in Spain’s North East corner and approximately 1500 to 2000 feet above sea level. The average temperature during the growing season is 62F with approximately 18 inches of rain per years. The region has fine red clay soils.

Tonight, we tried a Tinto from this region with a simple pasta dish with olive oil, onions, artichoke hearts, tomato, toasted pine nuts, parmesan cheese and garlic bread.

Cortijo III
Rioja Denominación de Origen Calificada
Tempranillo 80%, Granacha 20%
Vintage: 2007
Alcohol: 13.5%
Price: $12.00

Color: Garnet
Intensity: Medium
Aromas: Cherry, herb, mushroom, chocolate
Flavors: Cherry, strawberry, cranberry, licorice, anise, allspice, chocolate
Body: medium
Acidity: Tart
Sweetness: Dry
Tannins: Soft
Finish: Moderately long

Summary: This has a nose that reminds me of the garrigue of Côtes du Rhône. The color of the wine is not unlike the King’s purple. It is not a big wine, but it does have bold berry and spice flavors. I don’t consider this to be a wine to be enjoyed without food. It’s too acid for that. However with the right food, it will serve as a decent table wine. This is primarily a Tempranillo. At 20% the Granacha is there, but is waiting in the wings like the under utilized understudy.

The wine is not overly complex, but is bold in its spiciness.

I'd say this wine would do well with Mediterranean food, lamb, baba ghanoush, or with Mexican, Greek or something with Portuguese Linguisa. Or, perhaps some nice spicy tapas like we had with our last Rioja.


Taster B said...

Not a bad table wine but, not the best we've had in this price range IMHO. emoti-grape:


Steve B said...

I suppose it is up to what you are looking for. There are some outstanding values from Argentina and Chile in this price range that would leave this wine in the dust. If you like Tempranillo, give it a try. Drink this young. Enjoy it in the moment. Explore it and see what you get.