A night of Riojas and more

We had another get together for the neighborhood wine club this past Friday. This time our hosts were Johan and Leen. As is customary with our wine club, the host determines the varietal of wine we’ll be drinking and also the food theme for the evening. Everyone then supplies 1-2 bottles of wine and a dish. They selected Rioja’s and Tapas.

While I have had some Rioja’s, I really haven’t had them since I started getting serious about wine. That’s the great thing about the wine club – it forces you to try different wines and appreciate the differences between them. We all look forward to these evenings which have now been going on for about 6 or 7 months.

My general feeling after Friday night is that I need to drink more Rioja’s and add them to my wine collection which is now around 150 bottles (mainly cabs and syrah’s). We tried a number of Reserva’s and Crianza’s, with the reservas being better than the crianza’s as they should be. I had never really appreciated how wonderfully complex and tasty rioja’s can be.

On to the specific wines:

1. Palacio Quemado, Reserva 2001 – soft, smooth, strong flavor and nose and rated as good. One of the best of the night.

2. Herederos Del Marques De Riscal Reserva, 2003 – we ended with all 4 couples buying this wine. This has never happened before. We decided to drink 2 and swap out the other 2. This wine had a strong nose, not as smooth as the first wine, bolder taste, a little smokiness. Was considered the favorite of the night by a few people.

3. Marques De Vargas, Reserva, 2003 – Strong bouquet, unbelievable legs, rated as good too.

4. Ursa Maior, Crianza, 2004 – a little sour, rated just ok.

5. Marques De Caceres, Crianza, 2004 – light body, not really memorable, just ok, not bad for casual drink.

6. Primavera, Bairrada, 2003 – not a rioja (we swapped it out for #2). Rated stiinky, the worst wine of the night.

7. D’arenberg McLaren Vale d’arry’s original, Shiraz Grenache, 2004 – this is an Australian winery that produces great wines which range in price from $15 to $100. This particualr wine was good, even folks who didn’t like shiraz’s liked this one.

8. Terra Barossa, Shiraz, 2006 – An ok wine, the D’arenberg was much better.

Once again we had a great eveining with friends, good wine and food. I really like this neighborhood – what more could you want?

One Response to “A night of Riojas and more”

  1. Ah, what a lovely night it was again! The stars were out (although recognising the constellations became harder as the bottles past the test…) and the crickets did their job. You allmost felt in Spain!

    Being European we love to be outside and allways wonder why our US neighbours spend so much time inside their houses? Nothing better than a night on the patio, a good book and a nice bottle. But it has to be said, with this bunch of guys, these nights become magic and immediately you long for the next one. Viva Rioja!

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