Ambra Barco Reale di Carmignano 2009
A fresh, fruity and youthful blend of Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Cabernet and Merlot vinified 80% in concrete tanks and 20% for 6-8 months in tonneaux.
Sangiovese - 75% Cabernet sauvignon - 10% Canaiolo - 10% colorino & merlot - 5%
Deep red. Lovely red fruit aromas show above average depth and complexity for this category of wine, with pretty floral and vanilla nuances adding appeal. The ripe and very pure flavors of redcurrant, red cherry and cranberry are utterly captivating, with lively acidity and polished tannins giving the wine shape and structure. Finishes with lingering violet and marzipan note. This is like putting your nose into a bowl of mixed ripe red fruits; I really found it hard to put the glass down. This may be the best young Barco Reale (the younger, lighter-styled wine of the Carmignano category) that I have ever tasted.
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Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins, modest alcohol, and crisp acidity...
Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins, modest alcohol, and refreshing acidity, Tempranillo is the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions. It is important throughout Spain as well as in Portugal, where it is known as Tinta Roriz and is an important component of Port wines and the table wines of the Douro region that Port calls home. California, Washington, and Oregon have all had moderate success with Tempranillo, producing a riper, more fruit-forward style of wine.
In the Glass
Tempranillo is often aged in new oak for the integration of spicy, woodsy, and herbal flavors, often with hints of vanilla, coconut, and dill. The grape itself produces medium-weight reds with bright red and black fruit aromas and hints of spice, leather, and tobacco, with no shortage of flavor.
Tempranillo’s modest, fine-grained tannins and bright acidity make it extremely food friendly, pairing with a wide variety of Spanish-inspired dishes—especially grilled lamb chops, a rich chorizo and bean stew, or paella.
The Spanish take their oak aging requirements very seriously, especially in Rioja. There, a system is in place to indicate on the label how much time the wine has spent in both barrel and bottle before release, which is helpful to the consumer trying to determine the style of an unfamiliar wine. Rioja can range from Joven (fresh, fruity, and unoaked) to Gran Reserva (complex and oxidized from extended barrel aging), with Crianza and Reserva in between.