Monday, April 4, 2011

Red Guelbenzu 2007, Ribera del Queiles

This Spanish wine is from the Ribera del Queiles appellation, which covers a stretch of 22 kilometers south of the Rio Ebro, between Navarra, Rioja and Aragon. It is named after the Queiles River, a tributary which rises in Mount Moncayo and flows into the river Ebro, in the area of Tudela.

The red wine is a blend of 45% Merlot, 30% Syrah, 18% Tempranillo, and 8% Graciano. You would think that this would be a smoothly drinking wine, but our first glass tasted tightly wound.

While we enjoyed our meal of grilled chicken, beet salad, and roasted potatoes with beet greens, the wine began to open up. The wine is a beautiful violet color and casts off an aroma of red fruit. The drinkability really rose as the wine opened, so I would suggest some decanting before you try.

The wine has more complexity than your typical Merlot with an unusual finish of earth and mint.
A nice price point is available for this wine at about $12. Not bad for a Robert Parker 90 point vino.

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