Categorized | Reviews, Spanish Wines

Two stellar Tempranillo’s from Spain

By Duane Pemberton

I freely admit to it – Spain holds a special place on my palate because, for the past number of years, it has been releasing world-class quality wines at prices that most folks can afford. Its wines are typically very food friendly, have good acids and still provide a great layer of complexity.

One of its more famous producers is Osborne, a winery that has been around since 1772. It features a variety of different brands, in this case, Montecillo – a label it uses for some of its wines of the Rioja region.

2007 Bodegas Montecillo Rioja Crianza – W.E.P. Rating: 150%

Technical Data:

  • Varietal composition: 100% Tempranillo
  • Area of production: Rioja Alta
  • Production per Hectare: 5,500 Kgs/Ha.
  • Alcohol: 13.5%
  • Price: $12

Nose: Peppered beef jerky, charred asparagus, black pepper, cherry cola, smoked salmon, white pepper, casis, allspice and rhubarb.

Taste: This wine – to me – combines a stellar blend of fruit, tannin and acidity. In fact, I can’t remember ever having a better red wine at its price point. The flavors of beef jerky, grilled asparagus, cherries, tobacco and cocoa are amazing. This is a very complex-flavored wine that is now my go-to wine – for the price – with pizzas, meatballs, beef tacos and spiced-lamb. The finish lasts for hours with the acids bringing a very refreshing cleansing sensation to the palate but still let the fruit linger.

2003 Reserva Montecillo Rijoa Tempranillo – W.E.P. Rating: 150%

Technical Data:

  • Varietal composition: 100% Tempranillo
  • Area of production: Rioja Alta
  • Production per Hectare: 4,500 Kgs/Ha.
  • Alcohol: 13.5%
  • Cases Imported: 20,000
  • Price: $18

Nose: Blackberry pie, squid ink, black cherries, black plums, peppercorns, tobacco, dark cocoa, star anise and tar.

Taste: A stellar job of blending acids, tannins and fruit going on in this glass. It has a very “old-world” style in its food-friendliness yet retails such pure dark fruits that have been pepperfied that it taunts you to keep going back for more. This is hands-down the most enjoyable tempranillo I’ve had under $20 and very well could be my favorite red ever for under that price point as well. This is a wine that is showing extremely well right now after 7 years in the bottle – I’d snag some asap if you can find it.