Friday, September 20, 2019

The Love Affair Continues…

November 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Main Blog

In 2010 I had the pleasure of writing an article called My Recent Love Affair, which explored my blossoming infatuation with Spanish wines. Well that small crush continues to grow and once again I find myself cradling a glass of Spanish wine and musing about how I love thee – let me count the ways.  I am actually writing this ode to two different wines which both flirted with me…and who am I to choose only one?

The first wine is Ludovicus D.O. Terra Alta 2010 Celler Piol (40% Garnacha, 20% Syrah, 15% Cariea, 15% Tempranillo and 10% Merlot). Terra Alta is a mountainous region in the western part of the Tarragona province that has been producing wine since ancient times. Due to the area’s isolation, only in recent years have those wines begun to reach a broader audience.

The Ludovicus found its way down the mountains and across the ocean so we could meet, and I must say I enjoyed our first date. The first impression was fresh and full of dark fruit. The wine glided over my palate and then surprised me with anise and the tart taste of the skin of berries. The tannins were present and masculine, but also supple and fleshy. The wine’s lingering kiss left notes of chervil, clove, and nutmeg. I would describe chervil as earthy but also bright and reminiscent of black licorice. I happened to be enjoying some dark chocolate at the same time, which really softened the wine and created hints of coffee and vanilla. Ay de mi! Am I easily wooed, or do Spanish wines just have this effect on me?

In answer to that question, we have the second suitor of the evening: Barco de Piedra Ribera del Duero 2009 Tempranillo. Just as I was savoring the final moments of my time with Ludovicus, the beautiful violet hue of the Barco de Piedra caught my eye, and I couldn’t help myself. I moved a little closer and leaned into the edge of the glass and right away sweet floral notes tickled my nose and whispered of smoked paprika and spicy red fruit. I didn’t even pretend to be shy. I breathed in deep and took a sip, tasting all that the nose had promised. Then each subsequent mouth-full offered a new surprise. The earthiness was just right and each time we danced, the 100% Tempranillo kept softening and coming together like a good sauce.

Appropriately enough I paired this wine with spicy sausage and peppers in a homemade marinara…wow! The pairing brought the fruit forward, highlighted the vanilla and punctuated the lush finish. I truly enjoyed this wine and look forward to not only a second date, but perhaps a lasting relationship. Yes, I know I sound caught-up in the rush of new love, and with two wines making me swoon in one evening, I sound down right mischievous. Well, cheers to that! Better yet, in the spirit of my continuing love affair…Salud!

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