There’s no such thing as a quite dinner without wines to think about with My Mentor and the Grey Ghost. Wines are served with passion and purpose. And you learn so much from them when served together in good company. So it was with SWMBO and The Greenies. One Rioja followed by another. Both stunning in quality, but at different ends of the expression scale. The comparison was thought-provoking.
First up was the 2006 Muga ‘Prado Enea’ Rioja Gran Reserva. Still very, very dark, and a wine that leapt out of the glass. Super sweet, ripe black fruits and clearly Tempranillo, along with masses of vanilla American oak. Rich, dense, lush and succulent, along with the prerequisite extraction and structure for balance. The tannins fine enough for sure. This was a statement wine. “Look at me!” it shouted. “I’m a classic old-fashioned Rioja in the best way, and I can stand tall in this modern world” it said. This was indeed a wow wine, with many years of life ahead of it.
Then something a lot more stylish. The 2005 Finca Allende ‘Pago del Calvario’ Rioja 2005. Absolutely modern , also Tempranillo based. But you might not think so. Far more classical lines and structure. Great depth, elegance, line and length. 16 months in new French oak, but perfectly integrated. Beautiful richness, sweetness and tannin structure in gorgeous balance. It could have been a claret, or modern red in a similar style of ‘new waveness’. Not necessarily a Rioja, but it was.