We’re huge fans of Sierra Cantabria and their family of wineries which are situated in the northern part of La Rioja, in the shadow of the eponymous mountain range. There’s a real sense of power and calm in these imposing mountains that keeps the region safe from the wild weather of the Atlantic Ocean to the west. It’s the classic combination of bright days and cool night that ripen the grapes, in this case tempranillo, to perfection.
This wine is an earlier release for a Rioja, without the extended barrel age and associated classification, and all the better for it. Vibrant fruit is supported but not in any way overridden by six months in American and French Oak (three years old, at its oldest). This provides balanced tannin, toasty notes and great structure to go with juicy plum, tobacco leaf and blackcurrant. They reckon it’s ‘potent and elegant’, and we couldn’t agree more. So gear up for when you need some extra potent elegance in your life. And who doesn’t?
It’s cool, we get it, you want to know absolutely everything about this wine. Well here you go, go nuts.
- Alcohol by Vol.
- Bottle Vol
- Blend Info
- 100% Tempranillo
- Serving Temp.
From the producer
Intense ruby red. Aroma of red fruits (strawberry) in good intensity in conjunction with spice, vanilla and oak notes. On the palate it is fresh, soft, balanced, with the fruit well integrated with the notes of oak, vanilla and light toast.
Proprietary vineyards located in San Vicente de la Sonsierra and Laguardia.
Traditional elaboration, 100% de-stemmed. 6 months in tank. 6 months in American and French oak Bordelaise barrels (age of the barrels: maximum 3 wines per barrel).
Jack doesn't live here - Tempranillo does. It makes Jack its bitch. Tempranillo may be relatively new on the scene in Australia, but it's as widespread in Spain as Shiraz is in Australia. Rioja have strict regulations on wines classified by the region, and require the wine to be certain lengths of time in barrel and then in bottle, and allows the producer to classify based on these restrictions as: Joven (none to limited oak contact), Crianza (intermediate oak and bottle age) and Reserva (extended oak/bottle aging). The time spent in oak is generally judged based on fruit intensity, but the one thing you will find is that quality is pretty impressive across the board, from crunchy young Joven to luscious Crianza to blockbuster Reserva. Welcome to the vinous heartland of Spain. It smells and tastes amazing.
The rules are there ain’t no rules, but here are some foods we think will work pretty well with this wine...
- 12 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 600g lamb leg steaks
- 1 lemon, rind finely grated, juiced
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 700g orange sweet potato, peeled, cut into 1cm-thick slices
- 70g rocket leaves, trimmed
- lemon wedges, to serve
- Remove leaves from rosemary sprigs, reserving 2 tablespoons leaves. Soak rosemary skewers in cold water for 30 minutes. Drain. Chop reserved leaves.
- Cut lamb into 2cm cubes. Thread onto rosemary skewers. Place in a ceramic dish. Whisk rind, honey, garlic, reserved rosemary, 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon lemon juice in a jug. Pour over kebabs. Turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Place sweet potato onto a microwave-safe plate. Cover. Microwave on HIGH (100%) for 6 to 8 minutes. Drain. Drizzle with remaining oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Preheat barbecue plate on high heat. Reduce to medium. Lightly grease. Cook sweet potato for 2 minutes each side. Transfer to a plate. Cover with foil. Add kebabs to barbecue and cook for 2 minutes each side for medium.
- Place sweet potato onto serving plates. Top with lamb kebabs and serve with rocket and lemon wedges.
The wines we remember are about the moments. The people, the places. That’s life. Here are some ideas...