There was an old television show in black and white called Candid Camera and I purloined the title from their song. Periodically I am surprised when I get gifts, I give out gifts, especially in the Christmas season, without a thought of reciprocity. I know that some people expect quid pro quo, but not at this time of the year. I give gifts, and the odd thing is, that I over the years, I have never returned a gift, my philosophy is that if someone went to the effort, I will enjoy the item.
The first bottle that I will discuss is one of my all-time favorite wines that I was introduced to, back when I was a high school student; and I have recommended it to people ever since. I am talking about the legendary Herederos del Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva 2012, probably the one Rioja that I have had more of, than any other wine from Spain and it was even accessible back in the early ages when I first discovered wine. This wine was founded in 1858 by a Spanish diplomat that had lived in Bordeaux and he brought back some concepts that were probably a bit heretical in the day. The wine became so popular that the wire mesh was the way to insure the quality of the wine, and in fact part of the label was glued to the mesh, now the mesh is just a quaint tradition that is maintained, and I might add that this winery has a fantastic library of their wines going back to the very early days and the wines are still reported as glorious when opened. The Marques de Riscal is the majority shareholder and winemaker of the company to this day. This wine is a blend of Tempranillo, Graciano and Mazuelo. The wine is aged for twelve months in barrels and then is aged an additional three years in the bottle, before it is released, because it is a Reserva.
The second wine from Italy and it is from a famed wine region, and it is Vietti Castiglione Barolo DOCG 2013. The estate has been producing wines under the Vietti label since 1919 in the Piedmont region and were one of the first to ship to America, and also one of the first to implement single vineyard wines. This particular wine is pure Nebbiolo and is from four of their vineyards with vines from seven to forty years of age. All of the vineyards are aged separately and go from twenty-four to thirty months in oak, before they are blended together. I would venture to guess that this wine needs at least five years to mellow out, if not longer, and then the right meal. I guess a couple of future articles are necessary.