Notes From The Cellar

Purple And Greens From Rioja

Steve Paulo

2007 Altos R Tempranillo

The first time I reviewed Spanish Tempranillo it didn’t go so well, for me or the wine. However, it’s a review that Google loves, and every day someone who searches for some form of “Vinea Tempranillo” finds their way there. I figure, for the good of the grape, I’ve got to try another Tempranillo, and the sooner, the better.

This one worked out quite nicely.

The Altos R was a gift from my father. I believe it was from a wine club he’s a member of, and he thought I’d like it. He was right. The Vinea I tasted was from Cigales, and this one is from La Rioja. I think the location is making a huge, huge difference.

The 2007 Altos R is purple—purple—in the glass. Really purple. At the edges, it almost looks pastel, an incredibly pretty wine. On the nose are an interesting group of notes. There’s a greenery here, like a subtle herbaciousness that is very nice. Cedar, strawberry and something almost tropical (my tasting vocabulary is still growing, I couldn’t pin this down further) mingle together and it’s all very crisp, clean, and cool.

It’s a light-bodied, crisp wine, with soft (very soft) tannins. The notes on the palate are subtle and light, mostly of red fruit, but also a whisper of mint, a holdover from the greenery on the nose. It’s pretty great, but the subtlety almost works against it, because it leaves me wanting more.

But seriously, this is another great example of good-to-great wines from Spain being maybe the best values on the planet. $16? Yeah. Go buy it.

Verdict: B+

2007 Altos R Tempranillo

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