2010 Finca El Encinal Crianza Ribera del Duero
Wine & Spirits
Pay no attention to the toasted oak scents that introduce this wine, because they soon leave the scene. Fix your attention instead to the generosity of its fruit, voluptuous and smooth. This is richly layered in flavors (some closer to meat than fruit), with a density that traps and wraps in a lovely way. All in all, a complex wine and an astonishing value. Finca El Encinal is a project from the traditional bodega Franco Espaņolas de la Rioja.
Owned by the historic, traditionally minded Bodegas Franco Espaņolas in Rioja, Finca El Encinal is a similarly traditionally oriented Ribera del Duero. The winery's Tempranillo grapes (locally known here as tinto fino) grow in heavily calcareous clay in an extremely continental climate, producing wines of intense power and fragrance that can stand up to some oak ageing, in this case 15 months in American barrels as per Spain's historic preference for this type of oak. Dark fruited, spicy, nuanced and definitely capable of improving in bottle for at least another 7-8 years, this is a wonderful value in a Tempranillo based wine. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish wine buyer)