Anyone who spent time working for Roger would inevitably hear him wax poetic about his love for Spain- the country, it's people, and especially its remarkable wine. He would always tell you unequivocally that Spain was the best value for money wine region in the world, and after years of trying his Spanish wine recommendations, just about everyone at the store had to agree with him. In fact, there was no debate whatsoever that when it came time to find a new wine to share with readers, it had to be from Rog's beloved Spain, and with that in mind, we recently tasted one that we think is really something special.
The 2011 BODEGAS TRITON ENTRE SUELOS TEMPRANILLO is a seriously smoldering red with a robust musculature that perfectly embodies the rugged beauty of the land in which it comes from, Castilla y Leon in the northwest of Spain. Like so many others, the wine making tradition in Castilla y Leon can be traced back to the ever-thirsty Romans, who fell in love with Spain's vast and impressive terroir. According to our 8th grade level Spanish, 'Entre Suelos' means something akin to 'between the soil,' and the name speaks to the no nonsense quality of the wine. The grape varietal here is Tempranillo, which is truly Spain's darling, and which more often than not comprises the backbone of so many of Spain's greatest wines. On the nose the wine exhibits ethereal notes of Asian spices, black and blue fruit, and cacao dusted coffee beans, and it reveals an incredibly smooth medium-long finish that invites the next sip. The wine spent 6 months in French Oak barrels, which is just long enough to impart delicate hints of vanilla and coconut, and it gives the wine a wonderfully sophisticated sheen that one typically only gets with far more expensive wines. Not one dependent on Spain's historical devotion to long-aging, Entre Suelos Tempranillo shows remarkable maturity and finesse for a younger wine, and at just 3 years is without a doubt right in the sweet spot in its development and ready to drink now. We found the wine to be something really exciting, and we were happy to see that we weren't the only ones who were impressed by it- "Rich and muscular, with exotic roasted spice and blueberry confiture notes followed by racy graphite and espresso. The ripe finish of chocolate and spice is well-proportioned." Steve Tanzer's International Wine Cellar- 90 points. With the cold weather starting to descend on the Midwest, the smoke and spice nuances of this wine will go perfectly with all sorts of your favorite autumn and winter dishes, whether it's roasted meats, pasta, paella, a hearty stew, or aged Manchego. The price here is $13.99 a bottle, or $151 for the case, plus tax. This wine comes from the Juan Gil Family Estates, who for anyone who's been paying attention, is a producer that seems to hit it out of the park with every one of their offerings.
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