Variety: 100% Tempranillo
Region: Rioja, Spain
Cost: $17 (SRP)
Winemaker’s Notes: Produced from 100% Tempranillo, this native varietal is fermented and aged in oak for at least 12 months with an additional six months resting in bottle prior to release. El Coto Crianza is exceptionally balanced with layers of fresh raspberry, cherry, spice and toasted oak, building to a silky finish. Perfectly complements a variety of meats and cheeses. Enjoy chilled.
My Review: Man did this one take me a while to get to. Not because I didn’t want to talk about it. Not because I didn’t enjoy it when I was sipping on it early a month before being able to sit down and actually take the time to write.
No, the downside to having a late November birthday (which is when I opened this wine) is that it means you’re fully into the holiday season and trying to find an hour to collect your thoughts and share them on an often self-serving blog can be tricky at best and foolish to say the least.
And yet, here I am.
But enough lamenting the race to the end of the year. Let’s talk about the 2019 El Coto Crianza.
In the glass the wine blended between a dark garnet and ruby red colour. On the nose I got aromas of cherry, raspberry, and spice; all perfect things for the time of year when I actually got to enjoy the wine.
As noted above, I opened the wine for my birthday to pair with steaks. The wine was incredibly smooth, with the cherry and spice notes carrying through from the nose to the palate and perfectly balancing the simple salt, pepper, and garlic seasoning I’d put on the steak (my wife made a peppercorn sauce to go with it, and that worked with these notes, too).
I really liked this wine. It was easy sipping and had just the right amount of nuance and complexity to give it character, without feeling like I needed an advanced degree to understand it. It was great with the steak we had that night, but I think any roasted meats or earthy flavors would be a good pairing to take advantage of the bright cherry and dark spice notes.
Not a bad one to open for a birthday, or any of the other 364 days of the year.
Disclosure: I received this wine as a free sample for review.