Monday, October 08, 2007

Tasty Tempranillo

This week it seems only right to focus a bit on Iberian wines, with WBW #38 coming up on Wednesday featuring Portuguese table wines. Today, however, I'm going to review an excellent tempranillo that I tasted recently. It came from Bodegas Arzuaga, a winery in Valladolid that also has its own hotel in case you are interested in wine travel. A vacation in Valladolid sounds pretty good to me right now, I must say.

The 2003 Bodegas Arzuaga Ribera Del Duero Crianza may be the best tempranillo I've ever had. ($12.99/375ml, Chronicle Wine Cellar; available from other merchants for between $15 and $27 depending on bottle size) I looked through my notes, and haven't found one that seems to beat the high praise I had for this bottle of inky, plum-colored wine. The rich plum colors beautifully foreshadowed the deeply plummy aromas and flavors that followed. But there was a lot more than just plumminess. In the aromas, I detected scents of grilled meat and pepper, too. And in the flavors I tasted not only plum but blueberry, spice, and pepper with a caramelized brown sugar note as you headed towards the finish line. There was a lot going on in this wine, yet it was still very drinkable and went well with food, specifically an orzo salad that riffed on the theme of paella with lots of peppers, chorizo, and other yummy ingredients. (note: the leftovers made a pretty spectacular lunch the next day).

While this wine was a bit more than most tempranillo I buy and drink, it was also a lot more complex, so I still consider this to be a very good QPR choice if you see it in the wine store. I'd definitely buy again. And speaking of buying wine, if you haven't done so already head out tomorrow and buy a bottle of Portuguese table wine--not port!--and join our hosts Ryan and Gabriella of Catavino on Wednesday for WBW #38.

6 comments:

Sonadora said...

I haven't had any luck. I've been to three shops now and found nothing but port and vinho verde. I haven't got many places left to try, and I dread making a trip all the way to World Market only to find they don't have anything either.....

Ryan said...

Two Notes, ONE: SOnadora, pick up the VV if you have to, great stuff, and you might not get the "bonus points" but you will get a great wine!

Also Arzuaga's Hotel, is a Hotel, they claim five stars. The only problem is it's literally feet from the only highway that runs through the valley. A bit loud and one of the less "tranquil" areas...Oh well, nice wine!

Jill said...

Sonadora, are you near Fine Wine in McLean, VA? They say they have the Esporao Reserva White for $15...good winery (but I haven't had that wine).

Another place in Blacksburg, VA says they have the 03 Esporao Touriga Nacional..."Vintage Cellar"...

Macarthur Beverages in DC has the Esporao Reserva Red. This is all according to Wine-Searcher.

I have no idea if these places are near you or not. And these are not wines I've had...but they are not VV or Douro wines.

Sonadora said...

Thanks Jill, closest to Fine Wine out of those..Blackburg's a bit of a hike!

I found one this afternoon over at UnWined in Alexandria, tough challenge Ryan!!

Dr. Debs said...

Sonadora, glad you find some wine. And Ryan: they don't show the road in the pictures. Imagine that! :)

Richard A. said...

I passed by their winery while I was in Valladolid. In Ribera del Duero, we visitd Abadia Retuerta and Ismael Arroyo. It was great though to pass by all the other wineries I know, including Vega Sicilia.