Tuesday, July 9, 2013

2006 Bodegas Olarra Anares Rioja Reserva

Tonight I am trying something new for dinner, so why not also try a new wine with my meal?  For this evening I've chosen a bottle of 2006 Bodegas Olarra Anares Rioja Reserva, and it's not the first time I've enjoyed a bottle from this producer, back in May I enjoyed another bottle from 2005: Cerro Anon Rioja Reserva that I thought was very nice. As for my new dinner choice, I've been seeing incessant commercials for Wal-Mart's "Choice Premium Steaks" I decided to go out over the weekend and buy one, just to try it and see if it lives up to all the marketing hype.  More on that later.

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!

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