First stop was Seville where I had an absolutely wonderful time. There was the Real Alcazar which was originally built by Moorish rulers but later became the palace of Spanish royalty, including King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. Yes, that Ferdinand and Isabella. And there was the amazing Seville Cathedral which houses the final resting place of … Christopher Columbus, of course. There is so much history and culture here, it’s difficult to take it all in. And then there is all the Spanish wine. Wow! The first night in Seville, I celebrated my arrival with a Rioja.
Notes: The nose on this Crianza was really great – scents of blueberry, blackberry, and pine. It was medium-bodied with light tannins and 13% alcohol. Flavors for me included dark berries, pepper and tobacco. I liked it, especially the bouquet. Not a pairing for a serious steak, but good with a lighter meal.
What an interesting label this wine has. It’s a picture of a bunch of rocks. That’s all – just rocks. Are they not-so-subtly telling us something about the “tierra” or terroir in the area? Could be. This red wine hails from the area known as Castilla – La Mancha and is categorized in the “Vino de la Tierra” classification which is just below Denominación de Origen or DO and above plain old table wine.
The vineyard’s name, also interesting to me, is another name for Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom OR a form of the Spanish verb pallar. Pallar means to extract or glean. Which is the basis for the vineyard name? Heck if I know! Maybe both inasmuch as a person with wisdom is able to extract or glean pertinent information from raw data and make it useful. Yes, I know I’m a bit of a word geek. Can’t help myself: I love language. Of course, I also love wine which is the purpose of this blog. So I’ll get on with it.
Winemaker: Pallas by Finca Las Cruces
Appellation: Vino de la Tierra de Castilla, Spain
Price: $8.99 at Whole Foods
Notes: The color was very dark garnet with tinges of purple. It had an earthy bouquet with scents of pine, blackberry and quinine. Medium-bodied, this Tempranillo had good acidity and medium tannins. At 14% alcohol it was what I consider dry. On the palate, the flavors I tasted were woodiness aplenty, blackberry, some pepper and quinine. I thought it had a fairly bitter affect overall, so I would recommend pairing this wine with a meat dish rather than serving it at a cocktail party.