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2005 Ramon Bilbao "Black Label" Tempranillo Crianza Rioja, Spain

SKU #1042156

A "Best Buy" designation from Wine Enthusiast Magazine: "For a large-production Rioja, this sings the proper notes and shiould please almost anyone with a taste for Spanish red wines. It’s violet in color, indicating good ripeness. The nose is concentrated and likable, with solid berry and plum fruit to back it up. Round, pleasant and with a touch of oaky vanilla on the finish. Drink now." (8/1/2008) According to the Wine Spectator: "This plush, modern red frames black cherry jam flavors with tobacco and dark chocolate notes. Thick and juicy, with well-integrated tannins and a clean finish. Drink now through 2010." (06/08)

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Price: $11.99
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- A very important red grape varietal that's native to Northern Spain, grown across the north and central regions of the country. Low in acid and alcohol, with subtle strawberry, leather and tobacco notes, the grape responds well to oak aging and plays particularly well with others. Tempranillo is an important component, when combined with Garnacha, Mazuelo, Viura and Graciano, of Rioja, with the best examples coming for the cooler, higher-elevation regions like Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa. It is also grown in significant quantities in the Ribera del Duero where it is called Tinto Fino and Penèdes where it is called Ull de Llebre o Ojo de Llebre. Tempranillo hasn't gained a particularly strong foothold outside of Spain, achieving some success under the name Tinto Roriz in Portugal. There it is used as a component of Port and in the table wines of the Ribera del Duero and the Dão.


- With more land under vine than any other country in the world, Spain is the great sleeping wine giant. In recent years, a great deal of money and passion has been poured in the burgeoning Spanish wine industry, helping to improve quality among its vast array of wines from sparkling Cava to Sherry to Rioja Gran Reserva. The most important red-wine-producing regions are Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Navarra in the north and Priorat and Penedes in the northeast.