The wine is light in the glass with great clarity, almost reminiscent of a pinot noir, but not quite. The nose is pure Rioja, with bright fruit notes blasting forth, cherry, plum and cassis overlaid with a but of tart apple. The taste is somewhat different than I was expecting, it was fruit forward, but bursting with tart cherry rather than jammy berries. The initial fruit transitions effortlessly to some herb notes and earthy notes of dusty limestone midpalate. The tannins are still quite pronounced lending structure to the long, smooth dry finish.
Overall I would rate this wine a solid 8, as you know my penchant for Spanish reds, plus I found this one in the bargain bin (literally a shopping cart at my local market full of discontinued wines!) for only $12! Tonight I am pairing this one with a classic summer cookout of grilled brats with sauteed onions and peppers on a pretzel roll along with some broccoli slaw and grilled corn on the cob. The fruit of the wine is such a great pairing with the spice of the brats, so yummy!