There was a time when I drank plenty of Spanish wine - in fact, the first red really to leave an impression on me was Celler Can Blau. Months back, I believe I covered a bunch of my favorite Spanish wines. I still enjoy Albarino and occasionally, I still reach for a Jumilla or Priorat, but I haven’t had a Rioja or Ribera del Duero that’s inspired me lately - until a few nights ago, when I had the 2008 Finca San Martin Rioja Crianza.
I hadn’t seen that bottle before but a few weeks ago came home with it from Lake Side Emotions Wine Boutique near home. Usually, the Spanish wines I’ve had are very high in alcohol, but this one was a welcome relief at only 13.5%. The wine is pure Tempranillo, and has a fairly dark color with a red rim with characteristics of bright fruit and smooth spices, some warm characteristics, wood, and a roasted meat note, with a very smooth texture and a long finish. I think this wine would be very food friendly and would pair up nicely with meats and cheeses, or it would sip well on its own, which is how I enjoyed it.
I think it’s time I hunt down some more Spanish wines - Rioja, Jumilla, Priorat, Ribera del Duero, and others. I used to enjoy them very much but began to shy away on account of the high alcohol levels and just stuck with a few favorites, but this Rioja was a pleasure and I’m ready for more.