Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Camp Viejo Rioja Tempranillo (2013) Wine Review

Campo Viejo (Spanish for “old field”) is also the name of the winery that brings us this week’s Wine Wednesday feature, the 2013 Campo Viejo Rioja Tempranillo. Rioja is a wine region in Spain where the primary varietal is a black skinned red wine grape known as Tempranillo. It is believed that Tempranillo is native to Spain.

Though the varietal is often blended with other varietals, single varietal Tempranillo wines are becoming increasingly popular and this wine is 100% Tempranillo. There are three main sub regions of Rioja - Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Baja.  The three sub regions vary due to altitude, climate and soil and the grapes from each sub region vary as well. As is quite common with Rioja, winemaker Elena Adell blended Tempranillo grapes from all three sub regions capturing her favorite characteristics from each.

In the glass, the wine had a deep dark cherry color. On the nose, dark fruit, vanilla and a hint of black licorice. On the palate - well balanced dark fruit specifically cassis and subtle smoke.

This is a great go-to weeknight wine. It’s consistent, affordable, an easy drinker and pairs well with a wide variety of food. We had it one night with grilled lamb chops and the next night with pizza.  Try also with my Bistro Burgers. To print or save the recipe pairing suggestions, click the links below.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Savor Collective Sauvignon Blanc (2015) Wine Review

To most of you it will be quite obvious as to why I had to try this week’s Wine Wednesday feature, the 2015 Savor Collective Sauvignon Blanc. The name alone was enough to find its way into my cart, but being a Sauvignon Blanc; especially a New Zealand (Malborough) Sauvignon Blanc has me wondering why I took just one bottle. I love NZ Sauvignon Blancs and some French ones as well. I’ve said it in the past, “Why does anyone else bother with the varietal.” I keep trying others thinking eventually someone will change my mind, but so far, I stand by that quote.

I always like to research the wines I review to learn as much as I can about them. This week, I was sad to find so very little about this wine.  Even the web address on the label was inactive.

This leads me to another topic that’s been on my mind. I know my friends in Tennessee are now excited that wine will be available in grocery stores. Since moving to Arizona where you can by wine at the grocery store, gas station, drugstore, you name it, I have a new perspective on this.  

As an appreciator of wine, I would gladly forego the convenience.  Here is what I see as a result.  There is a limited selection – everyone stocks the same wines from the large labels at competitive prices.  Then there are the big box wine stores. The selection may be a little better, but it still feels the same. Isles full of very drinkable wine, but no gems to discover.  It all feels like Walmart, the same merchandise everywhere with no one with any passion for the product waiting on you. The big box stores also seem to have winemakers that sell to or make wine for only them.  I suspect this may be the case with my feature this week.  I bought it at Total Wine, a big box store with a good selection at rock bottom prices. 

This wine however, to me drinks like a gem. It’s frustrating that it may be difficult to find anywhere else. However, if you are a fan of NZ Sauvignon Blanc, I suggest you try.  On the nose I found that grapefruit scent so signature to NZ Sauvignon Blancs but in addition, honey and nectarine. The mouthfeel was slightly rounder than the usual with just a touch more body, along with a slight salinity and minerality. It had that crisp clean finish I’ve come to expect that in this case, fit the name. It was long and lingering, causing one to pause and SAVOR the Flavors!

Try with Grilled Swordfish with Lime Crema or Prosciutto Pasta Roulade. Click the links below to print or save the recipes.