Drinking Tonight: Tempranillo-Merlot

Just a light dinner of salad and cheese this evening, and I’ve popped open a recent Spanish acquisition. This is a ‘new-wave’ blend, as it combines Spain’s most noble grape, Tempranillo, with the international Merlot variety. The proportion are 70% Tempranillo and 30% Merlot, and it’s been aged in oak barrels for 12 months.

Abancay Crianza (2009) Cariñena, Spain – $9

Photo0269Color: purple verging on reddish-purple, and quite dense. About the darkest Tempranillo I’ve seen.

Aroma: intriguing – I think I get more of the Tempranillo fruit and dusty/oaky notes, but there are some hints of blueberry underneath from the Merlot.

Taste: considerably softer and easier-drinking than I was expecting – interesting! Predominate tastes are cherry, dried cherry, blueberry, and a moderate amount of oak towards the finish.

I like the blend, as the Merlot softens and rounds off the Tempranillo, which can be quite stiff and imposing. This is versatile, and I think it would make a great wine for tailgating or a holiday party. Recommended!



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