2010 Darien Rioja Tempranillo

The 2010 Darien Rioja Tempranillo is available (not a TJ’s exclusive) at Trader Joe’s for $5.99. 100% Tempranillo and sourced from Darien’s estate vineyards in Rioja, Spain. This is a young wine, produced with just a little manipulation, the grapes are harvested in fall, crushed and then fermented in stainless steel tanks, left in the fermentation tanks to get a little aging over the winter and then bottled in the spring. This is the type of wine the people in Spain drink every day, at every meal, actually this is on the high end of everyday wine, there are other regions that produce less expensive wine. That is the difference between wine drinkers in Spain and America, in the US you might find a wine magazine that makes a big deal about putting an occasional ten buck wine on a Top 10 list or the wine snob that just can’t believe you would actually drink, much less enjoy an $8 bottle. In Spain, where wine always goes with the meal, the wine must be inexpensive (and at the same time enhance the meal) or they would go broke just providing the wine. Nobody turns up their nose at good cheap wine. The alcohol content is 13.35%.

The color is a slightly cloudy,almost opaque purple. The nose is plum with raisin and raspberry with a touch of chocolate. It tastes of blackberries, cinnamon breathe freshener spice, black Twizzlers and a late hit of fresh ripe cherry. The tannins are definitely there, you can sense them, but not taste them. The finish is surprisingly strong, though it does begin to fade quickly.

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The Darien Rioja Tempranillo is a very solid bottle of young Tempranillo. It is well made, has very bright flavors and a decent amount of structure, plus it costs less than six bucks. This is, very much the type of wine, that you can happily drink everyday. If you don’t drink wine with every meal, maybe its time to start.

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Don’t tell anyone, but there is absolutely no correlation between the cost of wine and the quality of wine.