I’ve never been one for Spanish wines and really wasn’t paying attention to the origin when I slid this Campo Viejo Tempranillo Rioja Reserva 2007 into my basket one evening. I’m always looking for something to try and why not? There are so many wines, good and bad to try. No reason to keep buying the ‘old stand-by’ every time. I know, usually your old stand-by is a wine less than $8. Come on, live a little people.
There was a 2010 and the Reserva 2007 sitting on the shelf side by side. Of course I’m always going to go for the oldest vintage.
The next evening I talked a friend of mine into coming over for an Italian dinner I was preparing here at the house. I know you are wondering what I was preparing, so I’ll indulge your hungry appetite. I prepared a nice pasta dish consisting of bowtie pasta with a spicy marinara with mouth watering ingredients. I sliced and grilled up some pork/venison lean sausage, then bathed them in my marinara along with basil pesto, fresh oregano, garlic, basil, fresh-cut jalapeno’s, Intensity Academy’s Hot Cubed Hot Sauce (Habanero) for that extra kick and a splash of the Tempranillo.
I actually chilled the wine, only because it’s been 105+ degrees here and wanted to chill it then bring it back down to about 67 degrees on the counter.
The ruby-red color with a hint of a garnet red on the edge. Rioja Tempranillo aromas are full and with a very nice brightness. Inhaling deep, I pick up the wood mixed with a little pepper. The balance of fruit in this wine leaves me in awe. From the black plums, cherries to the blackberries. A very well thought out combination, done right.
Shall I say ‘smooth’? Seriously, smooth is an understatement. Not only does this Rioja give you a long and everlasting finish but it’s so elegant. You can feel it.
This Rioja Tempranillo is aged in barrels for 18 months and again in bottles for another 18 months.
Reasonably priced in the $15 range. It compliments any Italian dish, steaks on the grille, even a nice lamb chop. It’s always nice to impress with a well orchestrated prepared meal. So the next time you prepare dinner, don’t forget to Campo Viejo Rioja. She’ll love it. …and I’m sure you have an extra $7 in your pocket.
Blend: 85% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano, 5% Mazuelo
Tempranillo is the backbone of wines made in the well-known Spanish regions Rioja and Ribera del Duero. On the scale of light to heavy, Tempranillo leans on the light side. It tends to be higher in acid and lower in alcohol – common for Old World wines, and perfect for matching to food.
As a flavor profile, red fruits like strawberries and cherries can predominate – but with a rustic edge. Many wine made from Tempranillo will spend a few years in barrel and bottle before reaching the consumer. Spanish wine laws are very specific about aging wine and oak is a big part of that. Many Tempranillo-based wines see a few years of oak – add that to a few years in the bottle.
A high-quality red-wine grape grown in the RIOJA and NAVARRA regions of Spain. Graciano wines are capable of rich color, a lovely fragrant BOUQUET, a hint of spice in the flavor, and long AGING. The high ACIDITY of the Graciano grape makes it a good candidate for blending with low-acid varieties like TEMPRANILLO.
Mazuelo is most often used in Spain as a blending grape.