According to the label, this wine is made from 100% Tinto del País, which is another name for Tempranillo. According to the label, this vintage was aged for 4 months in new American oak; their website says six months. Either way, it’s not oaky at all, with just a hit of the wood’s contributions.
The nose shows red fruit, distinct alcohol, currants, slight cigar-box, some white pepper, a touch of licorice, and some spiciness. Left sitting, the alcohol dissipates but the other notes remain.
The initial taste is smoky cherries, dark plums, some tannins – soft but noticeable. A bit of pepper, slightly vegetal , with a little chocolate and licorice. The finish is medium. The tannins initially produce a sense of dryness, but the wine sweetens and softens a bit, they lies there and gradually fades away.
I wouldn’t say this is a terribly complex wine, but it’s tasty and nice. I received this as a gift, but a search of the web shows a retail of under $40.00; certainly keeping a few bottles around.
I tried this wine with several cheeses. The first was a delicious triple crème, Cathedrale de Meaux. This is an industrial brie-type cheese made in the artisanal fashion. The mold is mixed into the milk, instead of being sprayed on at the end. The nose of the cheese is buttery, soft, with a hint of the pasture. On the tongue, pure bliss! Buttery, with a slight sour note that makes it pleasant. Hints of pasture, straw, and rich cream. It is addicting. This cheese is widely available at grocers with decent cheese counters. Try it.
With the wine, the flavor of the cheese was much subdued; the tannins in the wine cut the fattiness of the cheese. The cheese became a back-note to the wine, which became more fruity – the red fruits came out quite a bit. The finish changed completely; no tannins, but a pleasant buttered-fruit combo that was pretty nice.
The next cheese was the Beaufort, a delicious French cheese that I’ve written about in my blog. This is a great pairing. Initially the wine takes on a spicy taste, but then elevates the beefy character of the cheese. Again, the fat content of the cheese tones down the tannins in the wine, making a great combination. As it lies in the mouth, the tannins are very, very soft, and the taste evolves into something reminiscent of a rich beef stew. Yum. I’ve found Beaufort locally from time to time, but it does not hold a bougie to the real French version!
The last cheese is Manchester Consider Bardwell, a delicious goat cheese from Vermont. This is a washed-rind cheese with a really funky looking rind that’s actually quite tasty. The aroma is slightly funky, with a hint of barnyard, hay, nuts and butter. The flavor reminds me of chewing contentedly on a piece of straw; it’s a little spicy, vegetal, with a strong sense of nuts and grain. With the wine, it’s neutral. Neither is elevated, neither is hurt. The wine almost disappears, the cheese takes on a very, very slightly more intense flavor. Verdict – I’d serve these at a party, but nothing to write home about. A friend brought this back from Murray’s Cheese in NY – you can order it online at their website.
Finally, the winery’s website has a lot of other possible food matches you can check for yourself.