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Tempranillo

Tempranillo is another variety native to Spain. Very versatile, Tempranillo grape produces medium to full-bodied red wines which are characterized by lower acidity and full fruit flavor. The thicker skin of Tempranillo grapes often produces slightly more tannic wines, which have typical flavours of plum, cherry, and strawberry with a hint of spice and tobacco, often with elements of berries, fruit, herbs, vanilla, earth and leather. Older examples will show vanilla and coffee nuances. Tempranillo wine will go perfectly well with Spanish style dishes: tapas, olives, jamon, Chorizo sausage, etc. Grilled or roast lamb, sheep milk cheeses, vegetable casseroles would be complemented by a glass of one of the Tempranillo wines.

La Rioja Alta 2011 Gran Reserva 904 750ml

$130.34

I usually prefer the 904 to the 890, but there will be no Gran Reserva 890 until the 2010 vintage (from the last vintage I tasted, 2005). So, the only one of the extended-aging Haro-style reds I tasted this time was the 2011 Gran Reserva 904, which had a...

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Abel Mendoza 2017 Rioja Jarrarte 750ml

$45.13

The regular 2017 Jarrarte—produced with Tempranillo and matured in used oak barrels for 12 months—should not be confused with the younger and unoaked Maceración Carbónica. 2017 was super challenging and early, and the wine shows...

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Bardos 2018 Ribera del Duero Reserva 750ml

$39.91

Colour: Black cherry colour with deep violet edge. Nose: Aroma is complex and attractive, it reminds of black fruits, chocolate and fine French oak wood. Palate: Fleshy and powerful, with strong personality that comes from Tinta del...

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Abel Mendoza 2017 Rioja Seleccion Personal 750ml

$73.82

The 2017 Selección Personal is the selection of the best plot of Tempranillo that year, but in the last few years it tends to be from a 50-year-old vineyard called Marrarte-El Bardallo in the village of Labastida, with clay and limestone soils...

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Burgo Viejo 2012 Crianza Rioja 750ml

$23.39

Vivid ruby. Deeply pitched scents of candied dark berries, cherry-vanilla and woodsmoke, with a suave floral note building in the glass. Supple, sweet and expansive, offering broad blackberry and violet pastille flavors and a late touch of coconut...

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La Rioja Alta 2014 Vina Arana Gran Reserva 750ml

$86.86

Limpid ruby-red. Oak-spiced cherry, black raspberry, candied rose, spicecake and coconut aromas show very good definition and pick up tobacco and licorice notes as the wine opens up. Smooth and appealingly sweet, offering sappy cherry cola, fruitcake,...

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Miguel Merino 2015 Reserva 750ml

$60.78

Juicy, rich, deep, expressive, showing elegant American oak hints and a suave tannic architecture. Benchmark reserva, which could be taken as a gran reserva. Old-style Rioja, with a touch of extra fruit, and class. Score: 92 points -- Decanter,...

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Riojanas 2018 Rioja Vina Albina Crianza 750ml

$34.69

A smoky red, with flavors of dark cherry and currant mixed with loamy earth, tea and forest floor, all bound by balsamic acidity. A hint of tobacco leaf lingers on the sinewy finish. Drink now through 2026. -- GS, Wine Spectator, 2021

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La Rioja Alta 2016 Reserva Vina Alberdi 750ml

$47.74

The classic Haro-styled red 2015 Viña Alberdi, sold abroad with the mention of Reserva and in Spain as Crianza, is a good introduction to the house style: balsamic reds with abundant notes of sweet spices and cigar ash, developed aromas of forest...

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Artuke 2020 Finca de los Locos 750ml

$50.34

The 2020 Finca de Los Locos mentions Paraje Peñascalera, the place in Baños de Ebro, where they have a terrace that was planted in 1981 at 120 meters above the river with sandy and gravel soils with a high content of limestone that is...

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Bodegas Lopez de Heredia 2013 Vina Cubillo 750ml

$46.87

2013 was a very tough vintage when they had to discard up to 100,000 kilograms of grapes and production of most of the wines was lower; it's also the year when their father died, and they were very encouraged to make very good wines. The 2013 Viña...

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Telmo Rodriguez 2016 Gago Toro 750ml

$46.00

The 2016 Gago from Toro was surprisingly elegant. It matures in foudres that were bought in the year 2000 and by now are well seasoned and neutral and seem to respect the wine and do not lend aromas or flavors to it, so the wine comes through as very...

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Contino 2017 Rioja Reserva 750ml

$60.78

Aromas of chocolate, smoked meat and berries. Really perfumed and subtle. The palate is full-bodied with ripe, creamy tannins that show tension and poise. Mellow and fine. So silky and brilliant. Complex. Polished. Drink now or hold. Score: 95...

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Monte Cascas 2019 Beira Colheita Red 750ml

$29.47

A blend of Aragonez and the local Rufete, this is a spicy, structured wine. Black currant and plenty of acidity from the cool mountain vineyards give an attractively balanced wine that will be ready from late 2020. Organic. Suitable for vegans. Score:...

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