LCBO Sale Wine of the Week: May 19

Campo Viejo Rioja Reserva (Rioja, Spain)

Sale $15.95, Regular $17.95
Discount (until May. 22): $2.00
LCBO # 137810 | 750 mL bottle

Tastes like: Blackberries, plum, vanilla and spice. Straight up and delicious.
Pairs with: Beef tacos and stew, osso bucco, fat burger, mushrooms.
Good for: Celebrating the monarchy, of course (over an open pit). Happy May 2-4!
Alcohol: 13.5%
Drink: Now.

Why we're drinking this
Sincerely, the best deals in big delicious red wines come from Spain’s region of Rioja, up in the north. Tempranillo is the grape, and it’s pretty much the perfect grape. (There is a bit of Graciano and Mazuelo as well.) Tempranillo has the delicacy, acidity and poise of Pinot Noir, the rich fruit of Merlot, and nerve and structure of Cabernet Sauvignon (ok, a nod to the Graciano here too). Yet it is none of these — it is its own lovely beast. It marries superbly with oak. It’s food friendly, with gracious acidity, but has the stuffing to be a nice sipper. For May 24 weekend, stock up, get grilling, and fire up the works.

Tasting note
Fruity and spicy nose of blackberry, plum, pepper and vanilla (from the oak toast). A medium-weight wine that is still refreshing, even subtle, despite its richness. At six years old, it’s still got some serious verve. Really nice balance, ripe fruit, crisp acidity and a long finish. It has texture, a velvety touch, and finishes with just enough bitterness to sum things up succinctly. A really good wine at any price, and great value at $15.95.

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