This wine certainly lived up to my expectations for a nice Rioja, as I've come to really appreciate Spanish wines over the last year or so. The wine had a rich ruby color in the glass and the nose was a nice combination of black licorice, plum, leather and a hint of floral notes, perhaps a bit of lavender. The taste had a nice shock of ripe plum combined with tart cherry at the outset which transitioned nicely to some earthy notes of dusty limestone midpalate. The tannins were very pronounced creating a very long, exceptionally dry finish that makes this wine ideal for spicy dishes or hearty grilled meats, like a Wal-Mart steak!
Overall I thought this was a very nice Rioja that is drinking very well right now, so I'd rate it a solid 8.5 particularly since it was a terrific value at just $12.99 from Wines Till Sold Out! Back to the steak, surprisingly the Wal-Mart steak wasn't bad, it was not very thick, a little under an inch, but I still had no problem grilling it to a nice rare, cool red center. I seasoned it just as I would my normal Angus ribeye and it was tender and quite flavorful, with good marbling. So overall a successful experiment, though the everyday price of $9 a pound is a bit more than I can usually buy my Angus steaks when on sale, so I think Tom, my butcher can rest a little easier. I had the wine and steak with a nice baked potato and some freshly steamed sugar snap peas I picked up at the farmers market last weekend. Overall a very nice dinner!