Saturday, February 19, 2011

Finca El Tesso Tempranillo, 2008

Finca El Tesso wines, from Bodega Martinez Paiva, comes form a relatively unknown region of western Spain. The Ribera del Guadiana D.O. is in the Extremadura region of Spain and is characterized by a mild climate with Atlantic influence. This area is known for producing Black Iberian pigs used in producing some of Spain’s best hams. This wine is imported by Small Vineyards, of Seattle, and represents their philosophy of finding special wines that showcase the regional character of Italy and Spain. This Tempranillo is a very interesting wine and we had fun drinking this wine over a two day period this week. What made this wine exciting was the evolution of flavors that occurred as the wine was decanted and exposed to air. Many wines will change in their aromas and flavors as they are exposed to air. It is generally acknowledged that these changes reveal the full potential of the wine and allow for smoothness, balance and depth to fully appear. The Finca El Tesso Tempranillo has a deep purple/ruby color and is nearly opaque. I can not describe this wine without “time-lines” to highlight how the tastes and aromas changed immensely after some short-term decanting. Initially there is an interesting nose of black berries, lead pencil and the unexpected, fresh apples and pears. In the mouth the surprise continues with a medium bodied wine showing fresh black cherry, plum, graphite, some burnt rubber and the still present, apples and pears. Wow, we were not expecting Autumn fruits. There are a medium amount of tannins and subtle acidity that contribute to the interesting profile. As the evening progressed, the decanted wine went through a very noticeable metamorphosis of flavor, aroma and overall character that left us amazed of the transformation. The aromas of apples and pears disappeared and were replaced by prune, fig and tar. The flavors of apples and pears also left and were replaced by stewed prunes, licorice, chocolate nibs and burnt cedar. Even the “mouth-feel” changed, becoming more full bodied, tannic and dense. This was an “amusement park” of a wine that gives you two distinct choices; drink it quickly (fresh and quirky) or let it open-up (elegant and powerful)… your choice! The decanted version of this wine pairs well with a wood-grilled NY Steak. I purchased this Tempranillo at Wine World Warehouse, in Seattle, for about $11.