Despite the size of the country and the government running the liqour monopole, we have a large selection og good wine sold in this country. I am constantly tasting really good wines either found in the Á.T.V.R. or given to me to judge and taste by smaller importers before they apply to sell in the liqour stores.
Two of these exceptional wines I have decided to write about at the same time. Simply because I couldn´t decide between them! Even though they are both Spanish wines they are quite different. Yes, both are mostly tempranillo and come from Rioja, but they are produced distinctly and in their own styles.
We shall start with the Capitán Fanegas La Unión 2019, which comes from a small area in Rioja. The wine is a blend of 85% Tempranillo and 15% Graciano. It´s still a young wine and needs a little airing out before drinking, but when it opens up there is a strong aroma of black cherries, redcurrants and oak overtones. The palate is medium weight, full of black cherries with wild mushrooms, vanilla, syrup and toast coming through. The balance of the tannins and fruit are very good and the wine will develop nicely over the next four years. The best thing of blending a little Graciano with Tempranillo is it makes the wine a little heavier in the palate and lets the aftertaste stay longer. I can see this wine with a leg of lamb or any lamb dish for that matter. The price is reasonable at 5.990 kr.
Next is the Marques D Arviza Selecion Especial 2016, which is more of a traditional Rioja wine. This is a wine from the second oldest winery in Rioja, and truth be told I am suprised it hasn´t been sold in the country before, considering how Icelandics love their Rioja wines! This is a 100% Tempranillo that has been kept in french oak which gives the wine silkier taste than many rioja´s (most rioja wines are kept in american oak, which can give a coarser taste). The aroma is open and nice with redcurrants and a slight coffee smell. The taste is once again, smooth with lots of redcurrants, coffee and roasted nuts. Though the tannins are there, they are not overpowering, the aftertaste is long and ends in a slight alcohol feeling. The price is good at 5.990 kr. and the wine will be great with grilled meat this summer.