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Monday, November 28, 2011

2008 Finca San Martin Rioja Crianza

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.

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