2009 Condado de Oriza Tempranillo

Ribera Del Duero is one of those regions of Spain that is positively exploding with value for money reds.  Almost exclusively growing Tempranillo, these wines have a tendency toward cherry, and being able to age fairly well.   Similar to Rioja, these wines are often complex and intense.  Some of the younger wines can tend fruity, so how will 2009 Condado de Oriza Tempranillo do post uncorking?  

Sight:  A deeper red, with ruby edges.  Doesn’t qualify for inky status, but it’s darker than one might expect for a Tempranillo

Smell:  Black olives, fresh baked bread, cherries, mild notes of strawberry and pomegranate,  with a crazed waiter load of black pepper.

Sip:  It starts of smooth as silk, and gradually builds a pleasant edge of acid and tannin, inviting food, but also wrapping around the tongue like a nice little flavor glove.  There are tons of spices, like nutmeg, clove, and cardomum.   The oakiness runs in the background adding a slight smoke, char, and toast.  It’s got a lot of fruit to match, running strong black cherry, raspberry, and pomegranate routes on the other strong flavors.  A huge terroir burst runs through the experience, adding something unique that can only be summed up as what it might feel like to live in Ribera. [A.B.V. 13%]

Savor:  Yes, it’s tannic, pulling in cherry and plum skin, with lots of damp earth, minor mushrooms, and strong charred wood.  It lingers for a long while, evoking memories of smores slightly overdone, where the caramelly nature of the sugar lingers, but the smokey charred exterior fights for dominance.

2009 Condado de Oriza Tempranillo is the kind of wine that slaps you around a couple of times and reminds you that in the other $10 range, there are some truly interesting and charismatic wines.  The depth of the flavors in this wine are far deep than one might expect for a 2 year old wine.  Tempranillo doesn’t always have this strong a character, but the Ribera Del Duero region delivers again.  For an old world flavor bomb, give it a shot.

Verdict: A pomegranate cherry smore.
Ribera Del Duero, Spain (DO)
Price:  $9.99