Monday, September 13, 2010

Ribera del duero Convento San Farancisco Crianza `00 (not TJ's) $34.99 ****

I now live in a world of Sunday Night Dinner.  And with a large dinner table comes a large meal and a large delicious wine. This bottle was a fitting addition to our delicious meal. Since this bottle didn't come from my rack, I had a steep learning curve after dinner was done.

This is an older bottle of Tempranillo (90%) and Merlot (10%). From the Ribera del Duero region in Spain. Made by the Bodega Convento San Francisco.  And I also found out that Crianza is a word for aging/maturation (umm, I thought crianza was a type of wine I had never heard about... did I mention that I have a lot to learn?)  Now, enough of me figuring out how to read a wine label... back to the wine:

First sip:  Intense dried fruit taste - dark cherry or dried unsweetened cranberry?  Not tart, but intense.  Mild leather, no finish.  Complex. I liked it.

After vinturi:  Seemed old.  Flat, depth gone. Do NOT decant if you have an old bottle of this wine.  Let its intensity stay put, when you decant it, it is like you are diluting it.  You lose some of the punch that makes it a fun wine to drink.

I think that this wine may have just been a bit past it's peak, but still it was very good. There was some sediment, and I didn't realize that it predominantly Tempranillo (I love Tempranillo) I think that this is a prize fighter of a wine that was close to retirement age.  I do think that it would be a very safe purchase to lay in a couple of bottles from this producer though.

I liked this wine.  I also liked going into the cellar and finding a dusty bottle to bring up for an amazing meal of Roast Elk Tenderloin, Corn Pudding, Roasted potatoes, Sauteed Summer Squash and Zucchini  - but most of all, I liked being surrounded by a diverse group of people who really love each other, but also will debate, tussle, joke and harangue, then sit down for a great meal on a rainy Sunday evening - just because they have that family tradition. In my book, traditions are good and traditions that involve a bottle of wine... well, that is close to perfect.

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