It is always a great time when I am at my local wine shop, The Fine Wine Source in Livonia, Michigan. I was attending a special wine tasting that was set up for an Instagram blogger that I had originally sent to the store, because she had some special requests in wine and I thought this would be the best place for her to go.
Bodegas Campo Viejo Rioja Reserva 2016 is from a major Spanish wine producer based in Rioja. Their first vintage was 1959. Campo Viejo sources their fruit from all three sub-regions of Rioja and of course their principal varietal is Tempranillo, though they also make other wines in an assortment of styles. In 2009, the Rioja governing board allowed new acreage to be planted with white varieties uncommon to the region. This project is being extended to some other wineries owned by Viejo’s parent company, Domecq Bodegas, which is owned by Pernod Ricard. This wine is a blend of Tempranillo with Graciano and Mazuelo. Since it is a Reserva, it has been aged for four years. The wine offered notes of black fruit along with vanilla, clove and pepper. On the palate, the ripe fruit was accompanied with tinges of spices and tobacco, the tannins were elegant and soft; and the wine finished with a nice medium count. It is a good thing that I bought some of this wine for my Bride to try, as somehow, I neglected to take a photograph of the wine, but I was very impressed, and I still maintain a long-time love affair with Rioja.
We had a bottle of Bodegas Alto Moncayo Garnacha 2019. Bodegas Alto Moncayo was founded in 2015 in Campo de Borja DO in the Aragon region of Northern Spain; and Campo de Borja DO was granted in 1980. While it was recognized fairly recently the area was recognized for wines back in the times of the Roman Empire. The winery is a partnership of the Andalucía winemaker Jorge Ordenez, the Australian winemaker Chris Ringland and Bodegas Borsao one of the largest and most influential producers in Campo de Borja. This is a big Grenache (Garnacha) wine that shows off the forty- to seventy-year-old vines and Grenache is the flagship of the winery and it is the King of grapes for this region of Spain. This wine was aged for twenty months in new barrels and it is a heady 16 proof. I think that I was the most smitten by this wine, but then I have found over the years that not everyone is a fan of Grenache, which is bit harder to appreciate compared to a Cabernet or a Merlot. The wine was offering both a nose and taste of dark fruit with a tinge of Chocolate and a great medium to long finish of terroir.