Saturday, June 25, 2011

With Peppery Notes...

I’m spending the weekend alone, as my boyfriend is in Kentucky for a wedding, and it’s becoming pathetically evident that left to my own devices, I am liable only to eat dinners of cold tomato salads and a red wine. So, mourning my inability to attend a nice Southern wedding and stuck with some bad reality TV instead, I opened a bottle of 2006 Bodegas LAN Rioja Crianza and poured a gorgeous, deep maroon glass of wine. I picked up the wine at Fred Meyer (it's easily accessible!) after seeing it on the Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2010 list. At number forty-four on the list with 90 points, this wine was, surprisingly, only $10.99. I was initially drawn to it because I haven’t seen an $11 wine on the list since the Barnard and Griffin Rosé appeared on the list last year (another excellent wine if you like Rosés). The LAN is yet another Spanish wine made from 100% tempranillo grapes but unlike the other two I previously tried, the LAN embodied the proclaimed “rustic” element of the tempranillo grape. The first smell, rather than evoking a fruitiness like the Tapena I sampled, was very peppery. Though it offered a hint of cherry at the beginning of the sip, the finish was full with spicy notes, the most noticeable of which was pepper. This wine left no sharp aftertaste in my mouth, finishing very smoothly. The rustic, spicy elements of this wine made it extremely delicious and though the Bodegas website suggests it best paired with “cold starters, pasta, poultry,” the spicy notes of the wine and the full finish would certainly work with more hearty and more heavily spiced meals. Due to its rather boring label and even more unremarkable name, LAN, this wine only serves as further testament that you shouldn’t pick wines based on labels. Of the tempranillo wines I’ve been trying lately, this LAN is certainly the most enjoyable.

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