Last night, Imbibe New York’s Wine Club drank Tempranillo–two from Ribera del Duero, two from Rioja, and one from La Mancha–poured and sipped at the home of Suzanne and Daniel on the Upper West Side. By total coincidence we had arranged a vintage flight: 2004-2007; and so decided to begin with the babe in the bottle, La Planta, Ribera del Duero, Cosecha, 2007 ($16), a fruity ruby colored wine with black cherry, oak, tobacco and spice. With medium acidity and tannins, it lacks complexity and has a slightly metallic finish. It was the only bottle left unturned at the end of the night.
The second Tempranillo, JC Vizcarra Ribera del Duero 2006 ($25)–was aged for 9 months in French and American oak. Purple ruby in color with deep intensity, the bouquet possesses black fruit, earth, oak, vegetal aromas, and spice. Higher in alcohol (14.5%), it’s still a medium bodied wine with greater complexity than the last.
La Mancha delivered Volver, 2005 ($16), voted “Best Buy from Spain for under $20” by Robert Parker, but we don’t care about that. In line with the others, this wine also possessed black cherry, earth, oak, and spice. After some time I detected herbal notes (parsley) and a bit of smoke. The fullest in body, it’s ruby and opaque. And there was nothing left at the end of the night.
Our last two wines were both from Rioja, one Crianza (which cannot be sold until its third year) and one Reserva (which in Spain must age for at least three years in cask and bottle, including a year in oak). The Rondan Crianza 2004 ($15) is musty on the nose, possessing little to no fruit. Earthy and spicy, it offers vegetal aromas, violet, and eucalyptus, and later cherry, once it opened up.
Daniel, who joined our tasting after work, pulled a bottle of Herederos del Marques de Riscal, Rioja Reserva 2004, from the Eurocave, because four bottles just wasn’t enough. Ruby and red fruit, this is a tempranillo with velvety intentions, silky tannins, leather, and oak. And much like a majority of the others, it was quite quaffable indeed.
Stay tuned for next month’s Wine Club–when we explore the great Carmenere of Chile.