Sunday, December 14, 2008

Tempranillo - A Pleasant Surprise

The long awaited visit of our nieces,Jackie and Kelly, along with my brother Mike and sister-in-law Jane took place yesterday. I took the opportunity to visit Villa Liquors to purchase a few good wines to celebrate and enjoy at dinner. As usual, Tony was great with recommendations and a 10% discount on my wine order. Things really worked out. In doing some research, I came across a Spanish wine, Tempranillo. I knew we were having fresh mozzarella, provolone and Sicilian olives for appetizers with roast beef for dinner with baked potatoes and string beans. I needed a substantial red for both parts of the dinner. The Tempranillo seemed to fit the bill. I picked up a Venta Mazzaron Tempranello 2004. I also purchased a Banfi Chianti Classico 2004 and a Domain de Vaufuget Vouvray 2007 for the white wine aficionados. You can read about the Tempranillo grape at: It will give you a good sense of this outstanding Spanish wine.

My brother, son Chris, Dave's finance Angela and I fully enjoyed the Tempranillo. Although usually a blend, the Mazzaron was 100% Tempranillo. It had a very full nose, surprisingly so. The bouquet spread through the room strikingly. The color was deep and impressive. Tasting was a real pleasure. It had very mild spiciness with a berry front (although Angela disagrees with this). I enjoyed the lowish acidity and fine finish. The texture was full and the wine was well balanced with enough complexity to make it interesting.

Give this wine a try. It's a great addition to anyone's collection. It went perfectly with the cheeses and olives and I'm sure it would be a great compliment to beef and poultry like goose, turkey and duck. My brother said after a few sips: "Spain is a great food and wine country!" I agree and plan to try Tempranillo with Christmas dinner.

For dinner, I opened the Banfi Chianti Classico 2004. It was perfect with the roast beef. The wine was a tad spicy, with cocoa overtones, with berries and medium body. The pairing was perfect. You just can't go wrong with this Italian classic. For the white wine lovers I had opened the Domain de Vaufuget Vouvray 2007. This was a surpising wine. It was not as sweet as some Vouvrays. My wife, Mary, mentioned she was taken aback by the up front fruit the wine displayed. It was crip and refreshing and was not over powered by the strong cheeses and olives. I found it delightful. A great choice.

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