2010 Bodegas Valdemar "Inspiracion" Rioja (Previously $18)
Fresh and focused, this sleek, lively red shows black cherry, wild berry, licorice, mineral and toast flavors that glideover the palate, supported by well-integrated tannins and bright acidity. A graceful, modern style. Drink now through 2018.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The Inspiracion line of wines is more modern, showing the fruit aromas more. It starts with the 2010 Inspiracion Valdemar Seleccion, which is a blend of 90% Tempranillo and 10% Graciano. It has a fruit-driven nose, with blackberries, black cherries and cassis in the foreground with very faint spice notes from the oak aging. The palate reveals a medium-bodied wine which is clean, modern, with fresh fruit flavors and a licorice note in the aftertaste. Drink 2014-2018. (LG)
Produced from a blend of Tempranillo and 10% Graciano grapes, this is a lovely, fruit forward, yet seriously structured wine - great for early enjoyment now but capable of improving in the midterm. Terrific initial attack on the palate, with bright mixed berry and dark cherry fruit flavors, gives way to fine tannins and a persistent finish. Full of brightly lush fruit, sleek, and stylish, this was a surprise hit from the usually more traditional Conde de Valdemar. I was really impressed by not only the sheer drinkability of this modern Rioja, but also its structure. The black cherry and bright, mixed berry fruit is not overly ripe, given the wine’s acid structure and polished, supple, tannins. I’d attribute the overall freshness and balanced style to the 10% portion of Graciano, a grape which, when well sited and cared for, really adds so much to a Rioja . Definitely an overachiever for under $20, this Inspiración quite frankly puts many other modern Riojas which cost 2-3 times more to shame (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish wine buyer).