Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dominio de Eguren Protocolo `08 $7.99 ***(*)

Today was our first day of snow.  I should have taken a picture from my bedroom window because it really was beautiful to wake up to, but the reality was it just made the driveway slippery and the roads crowded with slow moving traffic. First snow in theory is wonderful.  In practice though,  it is cold, wet and slippery. Especially on a day when you have to go to work and not just gaze through the window at the beautiful scenery.

Enough about snow...

I came home to the lovely waft of a brisket simmering in red wine with celery root, carrots & garlic, fresh bread and potatoes being mashed.  S. had taken a snow day and she cooked! JPH was eager to share his finds at Greenvale Grapes; he showed me two bottles and said "One was $7.99, and the other was $17.99 - you pick." Well, I grabbed the bottle that didn't have Reserva on the label and JPH said "$7.99". So that dear readers is how tonight's blog post was born.

I am partial to Tempranillo. When I poured the first glass and took a sip, I shuddered then ran upstairs to get my camera.  I was thinking that this was a blend, and I didn't think that I would like it.  I was WRONG.  This is a wine that needs to open up.  Five minutes in my glass, and it improved to the point that I now believe that it is 100% tempranillo, and it is a good tempranillo at that.  Not too nuanced, there aren't a lot of leathery or tobacco undertones, it is a good middle weight red table wine that has a dark currant fruitiness and just enough of a threat of oak, pepper and leather that you know that you are drinking something that has character. Wine should be interesting as well as flavorful, and it sure is a bonus that this is $7.99!

After the vinturi, there was a dramatic change.  Aeration changed some for the character into a smooth palatable wine that would be a bonus at any table that likes a dark current, spicy/peppery red wine. This isn't a beginner's wine.  I could imagine that people have bought it, had an unaerated mouthful and said "I hate red wine".  This is where time and taste need to develop a persons palate. I was ready to give up on my first swig, and I love tempranillo.  But I was impatient. I needed to wait and see what this wine developed into after opening the bottle.  Sometimes, you can wait and wait and a bad wine just gets worse.  But in a situation like tonight, a few minutes and a little aeration to polish the edges and we came up a really good everyday Tempranillo.

WARNING.  Drink this the first day you open the bottle.  It does NOT age well after opening. By day three, it was undrinkable, even after being vacuum sealed.

Because this wine responded so well to aeration, in January, we decided to use it Round One of the Aerator Death Match: Pitting the Vinturi, Soiree and Nuance aerators head to head.  (Spoiler: the Nuance won the first round)

This wine deserves me using it's full Spanish name:  Dominio de Eguren Vino de la Tierra de Castilla Protocolo 2008.  From the North East region of  Castile-La Mancha, Spain - the land of Don Quixote.  I'm not delusional (at least not in this case...) This wine is plonk, just like we know that Don Quixote rode full tilt at windmills on a skinny, worn out cart horse, his delusions still are a great story and this plonk is a really good table wine. I wouldn't knock it for being cheap and a little rough around the edges at first, it grows on you... just like Cervantes.

Since I'm not one for Christmas Cards, I'll let the puppy say it for me:

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