Monday, November 25, 2013

Creta Roble Ribera del Duero 2009

A lunch at a favorite restaurant for the wife and I prompted me to order a Tempranillo wine.  Spanish grapes have long been at the top of my list, but I usually order wines from near the area where I live.  In Southern California, I love finding a good Santa Barbara County wine in restaurants.

A hunch told me to break ranks and try the Creta Roble 2009 from Spain's Ribera del Duero region.  It's 100% Tempranillo, sourced from a 40-year-old vineyard, tank fermented and aged in used French oak for four to five months.  The by-the-glass price was around $10, while I have seen it in wine stores locally for $13.  At this price, it's an astounding value.

Medium dark, the wine's color is intense enough to color the glass.  A nose of blackberry, cigar box, sage and nutmeg is completely enticing.  On the palate, similar big notes prevail.  A spicy melange of black fruit and savory, meaty notes are set off by big tannins and great acidity.

I paired this wine with a tomato sauce pasta dish, which was fine, but after a sip I wished I had gone with something a bit more substantial.  Something tells me I'll love this spicy, fragrant wine over the holidays, particularly with Thanksgiving dinner.

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