The first of the reds here is the 2008 Viña Cubillo Tinto Crianza from a cooler vintage that produced some austere and serious wines--a year with higher acidity and lively fruit. It feels effervescent and it makes you salivate. This is usually a blend of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, 5% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo from 50-year-old vines that ferments in ancient oak vats, and ages in barrel for three years. This cuvée has increased its quality tremendously since the 1990s. These cooler years provide citric freshness, and a very fine texture and vibrant acidity. This is so easy to drink that it can be dangerous.This was the Rioja clarete fino--the everyday red. It's both elegant and powerful. Very good value, too. (LG)
A juicy red with plum, balsamic and spice character. Medium body, soft tannins and fresh finish.
(aged for three years in American oak barrels) Brilliant ruby-red. Aromas of fresh red berries, cherry pit and pungent herbs, joined in the glass by subtle vanilla and herb nuances. Juicy and focused on the palate, offering lively red currant and bitter cherry flavors that flesh out on the back half. In an energetic style, showing very good finishing energy and smooth tannins framing lingering red fruit. (JR)
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2011 Can Mayol Loxarel "Reserva Familiar" Brut Nature Classic Penedes (Previously $20)