Old vine, good wine
Spanish Week wouldn’t be complete without recommending more than one Tempranillo based red wine. And although most people automatically think of the Rioja region for their Tempranillo fix, the nearby region of Ribera del Duero produces some stiffly competitive ones. You can’t go wrong with the classic selection of Tinto Pesquera, but for Spanish week I wanted to introduce one that I was previously unfamiliar with, Finca La Mata.
Imported through the Grapes of Spain, Finca La Mata is 100% Tinta del Pais.
Wuh? …..I thought you just said it was a Tempranillo based wine?
And herein lies the tricky part if you don’t have your smart phone with you at the wine shop. Let’s just say that the Spanish do things…. a little differently.
I’ve discovered this week, for instance, that they cook backwards. You’ll know what I mean if you tackle any of the main dishes I feature this week. And as I was familiar with going in, they use lots of local names for various grapes varieties. So, simple old Tempranillo is called Tinta del Pais in Ribera del Duero and confusingly enough it’s called Tinta Fina in several other regions. Simpatico.
So what about the Finca La Mata?
Located directly north of Madrid (in the wine region of Ribera del Duero) Finca la Mata is made from 100% Tinta del Pais (Tempranillo) and comes across as a less-fruity, meatier version of what I usually taste in like-priced Riojas. Aromas of bacon fat and flavors of prunes and dried black fruits persist from start to finish. All this wine really needs is some chorizo and peppers, tagging along for an upbeat lunch date.