Monday, July 12, 2010

Old Friend, New Vintage, World Cup

A couple of years ago the "house red" was the 2003 Vina Alarba  old vines grenache from the Calatayud region of Spain.  It was relatively inexpensive and it was delicious.  Over the course of a year we drank quite a bit of it.  Both the 2005 and 2006 vintages were major disappointments as the alcohol levels soared, along with the over ripe fruit and extraction in the wines. 

Sunday the 2007 vintage found its way from the shelf to my cart at the market.  This evening the cork (plastic) insisted on being released from the bottle.  That turned out to be a good idea and a great way to toast Spain's World Cup win.

My old friend seems to have returned.  The alcohol levels have dropped from 14.5% to 14% and the over ripe flavors have disappeared.  Bright purple in the glass it smelled of sour cherries and strawberries.  It was tart and lit up the mouth with acid and sharp flavors of berries.  There is much less extraction in the 2007 vintage and that made for a more than acceptable dinner wine.  The finish was very cherry oriented and tart.

There was a small, pan seared beef steak, a salad and some crusty roles for dinner.  And there was a really good $10 wine to wash it down.   Good stuff from start to finish.  And since we were toasting Spain we finished the meal with a glass of Pedro Romero Oloroso Sherry.

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