Wine: Ibericos Tempranillo

Wine: Ibericos Tempranillo

Grape: Tempranillo

Region: Rioja, Northern Spain

Vintage: 2011

Price: $8.99

Availability: Lee’s Discount Liquor

In the glass: Ibericos wine is a deeply colored inky-garnet-red with a dense blackish core going out into a medium tinged rim definition with medium-high viscosity.

On the nose: There are upfront pungent spicy crushed black and red plums, blackberry liqueur, pomegranate juice, sandalwood, exotic spices, herb references, cherry sorbet, vanilla bean pod and earth-driven minerals.

On the palate: There is concentrated and extracted freshly crushed cherries, currants, brambleberries, mulberry sauce, huckleberry coulis, then a hugely rounded midpalate with excellent tannin structure and a good long finish with hints of sweet pomegranate juice and spicy figs.

Odds and ends: This bottle of Ibericos wine takes its name after the Iberian Peninsula, which incorporates mainly Spain but also Portugal. The Romans named it, so it’s a nice homage to them; they first planted grapes for serious commercial viticulture there more than 2,000 years ago.

These Spanish overachievers continue to impress in tastings. Ibericos Tempranillo is no exception to the rule and has everything one would expect a great $20-plus bottle of wine to have, except it retails for less than $9.

This wine, made in a fairly traditional style with an eye for the American market no doubt, is made largely from tempranillo or tinto rojo grapes grown in that most famous of all Spanish wine regions, Rioja.

It was aged 12 months in American oak, and that is traditional for these wines, because it instills a flavor profile very complementary to the tempranillo grape juice, which can normally be a bit rustic otherwise.

This will be your go-to pizza wine in the months to come. It should drink well through 2018.

Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89106-0749, or email him at gil@winevegas.com

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