I wrote before that I was in Manhattan on Business. Well I am still here and will be spending Thanksgiving here as well (thankfully my family was able to fly out to spend it with me).
Last night I had the chance to eat at a nice little place called Artisanal located at
2 Park Avenue in Manhattan. While there the fetching Mrs. Billy, the generous Mr Boss-Mann and I enjoyed a wine and cheese flight (see the three wines I tasted immediately below this post) as well as a bottle of this 2003 Allende Rioja (from the Rioja region of Spain).
This is a Rioja made from 100% Tempranillo (the grape varietal, pronounced temp-rah-NEE-yo) which is one of my personal favorites.
Upon opening the 2003 Allende had the following characteristics
Nose: supple blackbery, leather and tobacco, cherry and vanilla creme.
Palate: tight and acidic. needs to unwind. balance will come with some air time
Finish: tight tight tight.
The 2003 Allende Tempranillo grapes are unusually high in acid (earlier harvest maybe?) which makes the wine seem so tight at first. However, the nose is classic Tempranillo - soft vanilla creme and supple dark berry with some leathery complexity- this is why I love the varietal so much.
After about a half hour of air time I take down this review in my notes:
Nose: mellows dramatically with time. Pronounced rasin and tobacco now. Muted dark fruit (plumb, currant). Not nearly as much cherry as before.
Palate: Much better balance with just a bit of air time. The tannins come out of hiding and bitterness receeds. Quite nice though not as full in the mouth as I would have liked.
Finish: Dried cherries (so THAT'S where the cherry moved to). Some fruity feel at the back of the tongue. Lingering. Not as round as other Tempranillos. Nice though.
This is definitely a wine I will like to try again.
So Hello and Happy Thanksgiving from the Big Apple. Don't forget to Raise a Glass on our behalf and give thanks to the Creator of the vine!