VALDEPEÑAS ANCIANO TEMPRANILLO GRAN RESERVA (2001)—Aged, just like my mum

Today my mum said, “Stop mooning around liquor cabinet and make yourself useful.”

I have no idea what that means, my fellow inebriates, do you?

Just look at me: I’m a little 7” bear with a severe alcohol addiction. What possible use is my mother thinking of? I’m not meant to be useful; I am strictly decorative.

She tends to get self-righteous when she’s just put in a solid half-hour’s worth of honest work herself. Then it’s time to eat five chocolate bars, turn the heat up so she doesn’t have to move around, and otherwise reward herself for that massive effort.

Younger, fluffier times

Granted she’s a little stressed out. Today’s the big 43, and neither of us is as fluffy as we once were. Aging is tough, and especially tough when you don’t feel you’ve accomplished enough for your years.

The best thing I can really do for my aging mother is make a yummy wine recommendation: VALDEPEÑAS ANCIANO TEMPRANILLO GRAN RESERVA (2001), barrel-aged for 10 years.

There are plenty of young tempranillos out there, and they can certainly be consumed young, but a tempranillo with ten years’ oak aging under its belt is a spectacular find for $15.99. Whereas it’s difficult to find inexpensive wines of this vintage from most wine-producing countries, Spain is proving itself a trove, with tempranillo enjoying a renaissance among growers with the mettle to coach the finicky black grapes through the growing season.

The grapes are challenging to grow because they require a cool climate to achieve good acidity, but they need heat to reach optimal sugar levels. Like my mother, they are difficult to please, and inclement weather pisses them off. Thus they are used more often as blending grapes than as single varietals.

My parents are basically philistines about wine; that’s why they gravitate to plummy, jammy fruit explosions that satisfy their immature tastes. It’s the reason I’m steering their venerable tastebuds toward the VALDEPEÑAS ANCIANO TEMPRANILLO—they are old enough to handle a more demanding taste experience.

Swirled in the glass, this purply, brick-red Spanish wine gives off a spicy, leathery essence, with vanilla chiming in lightly. Decanting is not a must, but it enhances the wine’s ability to morph its high notes into more subtle, rounded flavors.

If you’re a shiraz or cab fan this tempranillo will surprise your palate, perhaps not positively at first—its opening notes are sharper, pointier—but if you let it linger on your tongue, velvety stone fruits, currants, white pepper and licorice will emerge. This wine is dense with complexity, and if you can manage it, you should drink it undistracted.

So turn off the porn, get out the decanter, and give it a good swirl. And as I told my mum, “You can get away with drinking it slowly—43 isn’t so old that you’ll die before the bottle’s finished.”

And that was when she told me to go and make myself useful.

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , ,

9 responses to “VALDEPEÑAS ANCIANO TEMPRANILLO GRAN RESERVA (2001)—Aged, just like my mum”

  1. fandbybean says :

    2001 is over-the-hill. Just bought it on special from Whole Foods, and yuch. May have been good once.

    • liquorstorebear says :

      Sorry to hear that. I drank it with two other people, and one didn’t care for it as much as the other, which makes me think it’s an acquired taste. It didn’t have that musty taste I associate with wines that have aged too long. In fact, I’d say you could cellar this one for five more years, but then again I’m just a bear. Thanks for reading 🙂

  2. Rachael Black says :

    Great post Bear. will check out the local stores for the wine -when payday swings around.
    As always a good review tinged with fun humor.
    ~Signed
    50 in Reno (oy my lumbago!)

  3. DEXTER says :

    Dude always a great read lol

  4. Ray says :

    2001 was a great vintage for Tempranillos. Just purchased 3 bottles of this one and hope it lives up to the expectations. Thanks for your insight.

What's your poison? Drop me a line.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: