I really wanted to like this wine. It was a recommendation from the expensive wine shop in Locust Valley. But, from the moment JPH presented it, there was a sense of doubt looming. The bottle was off putting; both S. and I tried to clean it. In a marketing gimmick, Mosen Cleto, the Spanish producer coats the bottles with glue & sand then calls it "Well Cellared" (we just thought it was dirty). Gimmicking the bottle harkens back to Chianti in bulbous wicker from my childhood. Good for ambiance (burning rainbow candles in...) but for drinking? Shudder.
When it was uncorked, the cork smelled really fruity. It does smell great - dark Cherry with a subtle hint of vanilla and leather. It was a beautiful swirl in the glass, with just the slightest pink tinge in the edge. The first sip was so full of unsweetened stewed fruit flavor that I thought I had been punched in the mouth by an Australian Shiraz. Really, I was wondering how it would taste with clotted cream, a fresh biscuit and some sugar... if it were thicker, I'd spread it for breakfast.
It is full of flavor with a long finish. 75% Garnacha and 25% Tempranillo, the undertones of leather and smoke give the wine a heaviness, and as an `06 Crianza, I wonder if we were a couple of years too late. Produced by the Spanish giant Bodegas Aragonesas, I wonder if we should try a younger bottle. But at $17.99, it simply isn't worth the experiment.
S. made Brisket and Mashed potatoes, good hearty food to go with a hearty wine, but I think that this wine might just be too hearty for me.