Viña Alberdi 2011 Rioja Reserva ($17.99)
From the classic producers La Rioja Alta, this 100 percent Tempranillo Rioja is medium-dark ruby, with a clear edge. Fresh and ripe cherries emerge from the glass, framed by earthy oak, a whiff of black coffee, and a mineral scent of red clay. Bright acidity bursts on the palate with cherries and red cherry-berry fruit, adding a soft buzz of tannins as red berries linger in a very long finish. The label claims 13.5 percent alcohol. U.S. importer: Vanguard Wines LLC, Columbus, Ohio. (April 11, 2019)
FOOD MATCH: The winery suggests pairing it with, among other things, lightly grilled meat and fish, the red-wine-and-fish combination apparently fostered by the crisp brown smoky charred edges. I’d nominate it with lamb for a stellar wine-and-red-meat match, or go with cheese-centric dishes, perhaps featuring Spain’s iconic Manchega.
WHEN TO DRINK: It’s certainly drinkable now, although its punchy acidity and tannins call for grilled meat or sharp cheeses alongside. It’s not an investment keeper, but five years or more in a good cellar certainly wouldn’t hurt it.
I was pleased to duck well under Wine-Searcher.com’s $21 average retail; still, it’s a good value in the $20 range.
Here’s a winery fact sheet on the 2013 vintage. From the “tasting notes” menu on the right-hand side of the page you can select 2011 and other vintages for more specific details.
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