By David Donalson
Photo by Robert Bostick
fruit, earth and spice to please the palate.
Eating a big, Texas ribeye and not wanting to pay $60+ for that Napa cab? Try a Spanish tempranillo from Ribera del Duero like Tinto Pesquera from Alejandro Fernandez ($33). Tinto Pesquera carries aromas of scorched earth, mint, and leather with some notes of black cherry and blueberries in the background. The palate does not disappoint, showing more fruit but still balanced by mineral notes and leather. I have seen more than one Bordeaux fan taste this wine, give me a funny look only to continue drinking and get another bottle on their next visit.
Finally, I am in the process of searching for great Texas wine and one of the best I have discovered was here in Dallas behind the Hotel Anatole. Inwood Estates will only release its Cornelious in superb years and 2007 was one of those years. 100% tempranillo and grown in the panhandle of Texas, the Cornelius showed a deep garnet core with a developing bouquet of cocoa powder and black cherry with hints of leather, chewing tobacco and spice. When tasting this gorgeous wine, there were some tannins but they quickly dissipated, leaving flavors of dark cherry, cardamom, leather and a crushed stone minerality, finishing with a note of dark chocolate and spice. With a $40 price tag, this wine came with some lofty expectations but those who do drink this will truly understand that there can be some good wine coming from Texas.
Although the average costs of my examples run about $30, this is the higher end of tempranillo in most markets. A typical, high quality example of this varietal can easily be found under $25. Marques de Riscal reserva($19.99), Emilio Moro Resalso 2008 ($16.99) and Muga Reserva ($23.99) are just a couple of examples of high quality tempranillo.
Prices are quoted from Farpointe Cellar (Southlake), Central Market (various locations) and Goody Goody (various locations)