Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Campo Viejo Gran Reserva 1997 (PB)

This wine from the Rioja region of Spain is ruby on the pour with deep dark fruit in the bouquet with tones of ripe plums, a little licorice and smoke. It has a port-like nose–sweet and pruny.

In the mouth it is very tart (sour) on opening with uptight tannins that I suspect will ease up with some air.

After decanting, that sharp, puckering acidity on opening has toned down and the tightly wound tannins have really relaxed. (Another stellar example of the necessity of breathing many (most?) red wines. The bouquet is big with very ripe fruit, woody and full of smoke.

With two full hours of air time with decanting the balance of this wine comes to the fore and proves to be a nicely balanced, well made Rioja. It is a good wine which we paired with grilled veal chops with a balsamic sauce and porcini/cheese tortellini as a side. A Capri salad (sliced tomatoes stacked with sliced black olives and mozzarella then grilled under a broiler with a fresh basil garnish) was served prior to the primi of this Italian fare. The wine was $18. It was a good Rioja at the price and another nice example of old world flare. Raise a glass and say “Cheese!”

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