If you’ve spent any time following wines at all, you quickly realize it is a very trendy world, where rumor can quickly grab hold in people’s minds (the French make the best and/or only drinkable wine in the world) and where something as relatively trite as a Hollywood movie can sell cases upon a cases of a particular varietal, as the movie “Sideways” did for the formerly much less publicized and formerly considerably less popular Pinot Noir.
Several countries have taken their turn as “the next big thing” and Spain had their moment in the sun before rising prices drove the seekers of bargains and hidden gems elsewhere (I believe the current locations for TNBT are somewhere in South America, either Chile or Argentina). While Spain was hot, it introduced the world to some of the wonderfully luscious and sweet offerings of that locale that was perhaps best known for a crazy practice of letting enraged male bovines run rampant through the streets, footloose, fancy free and horns wild.
One of those was the grape behind this wine, the lively Tempranillo, which yields a very fruity taste, highly reminiscent of berries, both blue and black. Rioja refers to the area from which this comes, probably the most famous wine region of that country, up in the northern part. This particular wine, which is a blend, but clearly utilizing Tempranillo as a backbone, is one that feels light in the mouth and tastes fruity out of the gate. The closer you drink it from opening the bottle, the greater the backbite, though it loses the majority of whatever minor harshness is there starting about 15 minutes after airing. The longer it airs, the greater complexity and fullness emerges, with the full effect coming right around the 60 minute mark. It’s a very adaptable and enjoyable wine and is a fantastic representative of both the wines from that country, as well as that particular grape and region.
For $13 or less a bottle, however, this is another that is mostly SPA Only as my tastes tend towards some of the others that come in on SPA that can be had for less. Still, if you’re interested in taking a wine tour of the world via package stores, as I did when compiling the list initially, this is a good starting point for Spain.