This is the first time I dared to buy a Spanish wine off the shelf, without knowing for sure what it is – I saw a very good discount at a wine store which usually does not sell Spanish wines, and made a quick search on the web, before deciding to go for it.
I was not disappointed on this buy, and even managed to get the approval of my wife which is usually hard to come by when it pertains to wines. So it is indeed a good red wine. This wine comes from the most famous wine region of Spain, which is Rioja in Northern Spain.
I am sure that Spain produces a variety of excellent wines from the Rioja region. But somehow, I don’t see these wines on store shelves in Singapore. I have seen Rioja wines in bars and hotels but not beyond……good things are difficult to get, I guess.
The red Rioja wine is a blend of several grape varieties – in this case, it is 70% Tempranillo, 25% Garnacha and 5% Garciano. This particular wine spent 14 months in American oak barrels and is therefore categorized as “Crianza” varietal. The whole subject of viticulture is complex and sometimes mind-boggling, given the huge varieties of grapes, and the conditions under which they are cultivated.
I was expecting the wine to be rather complex, but surprisingly found it easily drinkable with a lightness which made me relate this varietal to Shiraz. I may be wrong here, but I felt that this Crianza wine is destined for first time wine drinkers who wish to just enjoy the drink rather than get into the details of the look, nose, taste, etc., My wife and I enjoyed the wine very much, and this experience has given us the confidence that some more experimentation with Spanish wines may not be out of order. I did some research already (!), and we will soon get some very good ones. The only issue is the long and difficult names of all Spanish wines, unlike those of Australian, South African or American wines. But then again, good things are tough to get, right?
In the meanwhile, enjoy your drinks responsibly, and do not drink and drive. It is critical to leave the car back at home or office, if you are going to indulge in some good wines outside your home. Take care, and have a great weekend,
11th February 2017