Category Archives: Tempranillo

El Toro magnificio

2005 Sabor Real Viñas Centenarias Tempranillo, Toro, Spain LCBO# 122325

If you have been following my wine reviews on Adam’s Wine of the Week, then you won’t be caught off guard when I say…this Spanish vino is hands down the best wine for your buck out there! Over the past year I have come across a ton of fantastic Spanish wines all under $25 a bottle. This week’s Wine of the Week is no exception. The 2005 Sabor Real Viñas Centenarias is another example of how Spain has learned to take a modern approach to its wine making traditions.

Hailing from the up and coming Toro region, this wine is made from 100% Tempranillo and has wonderful flavours of black cherries, blackberries, and spice with a hint of pepper. It also has very silky tannins that, combined with its complex fruitiness, make this a very big wine. As a side note, the 2005 Sabor Real Viñas Centenarias, as the name implies, comes from vines that are over 100 years of age. I would recommend pairing the 2005 Sabor Real Viñas Centenarias with grilled rack of lamb or a grilled veal chop. As for cheese, I would recommend trying it with Swiss or Gouda.

It amazes me that this wine is only $19.95. I encourage you to seek out this wine and buy it. You will thank me for it…but that’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think.

One more thing. For those of you following me on Twitter, over the next few weeks I will be introducing you to the best LCBO Product Consultants that Toronto has to offer. If you’re not following me yet, you can find me at

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Posted by on July 18, 2009 in Red Wine, Spain, Tempranillo


Gary Vaynerchuk knows his wine…and apparently so do I

2006 Esporão Reserve Red, Alentejo, Portugal $24.95 LCBO #606590

For those of you who don’t know who Gary Vaynerchuk is, this is a wine guy you need to know about. Gary and his Wine Library TV online video blog have been one of the most powerful forces in the wine world for the past couple of years. He is a 32-year-old whirlwind that is tearing down wine’s snobby traditions. In fact, his enthusiasm and “wine for the people” mentality is a big reason I started this group. So, it was like getting the biggest ego boost when GaryVee gave his two thumbs up on a wine that I fell in love with this week.

The 2006 Esporão Reserve Red is a fantastic red from Portugal’s southern Alentejo region. This blend of Aragonês (a.k.a. Tempranillo), Cabernet Sauvignon and the local Trincadeira grape has well integrated flavours of cherries, plums, leather, cedar, and spice. I suggest you marry this wine with a good steak. I had it with a New York strip that was so good I almost wept with joy. (Kind of like when Homer Simpson ate his pet lobster Pinchy…those tears of joy.) As for cheese, I would recommend trying it with a sheep’s milk cheese.

The good news about the 2006 Esporão is that it is a Vintages Essential, which means it’s widely available at the LCBO. At $24.95, it’s still a good value, considering many wines far more expensive don’t come close to being as good… but that’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think.

Also, you can check out Gary Vaynerchuk and Wine Library at

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Posted by on May 25, 2009 in Portugal, Red Wine, Tempranillo


Value Alert!!!!

2007 La Vendimia, Rioja, Spain $15.95 LCBO #674564

It’s always exciting when you find a wine that exemplifies the essence of the elusive price-quality ratio. That holy grail where the price of the wine is rock bottom while the quality of the wine is sky high. The 2007 La Vendimia is one of these wines.

Made from a blend of Garnacha (a.k.a. Grenache) and Tempranillo, both of which are classic Spanish grapes. This easy drinking red has flavours cherries, strawberries, and spice. It would go great with light dishes like baked chicken breast. As for cheese, I would recommend trying it with a good sheep’s milk cheese.

At $15.95, this wine is an amazing value. I recommend picking up a whole bunch of this wine. You won’t be sorry…but that’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think.

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Posted by on March 9, 2009 in Grenache, Red Wine, Spain, Tempranillo


Madame….is the Marqués at home?

2000 Marqués de Riscal Reserva, Rioja, Spain $24.70 LCBO #032656

Sometimes it’s nice to revisit the place where it all began. As you drink different types of wines, there is real comfort in coming back to a wine that reminds you of your youth.

For me, it is this wine. Specifically, it’s the memory of pilfering a few bottles from my old man’s stash in the garage. (I guess I can admit that now. I am pretty sure the statute of limitations has expired on my crime.) Back in the day when I was still pushing corks into the bottle (smart enough to steal the bottle…not smart enough to steal a cork screw) I remember the Marqués de Riscal to be a wonderfully warm and easy drinking wine. The 2000 version still brings that feeling rushing back to me. It has pronounced flavours of red berries, plum, cedar, and a hint of chocolate. This wine would pair very well with roast beef, lamb chops, or even a vegetarian lasagna. As for cheese, I would recommend that you try it with a Swiss cheese or a Gouda.

On top of being a walk down memory lane for me, the 2000 Marqués de Riscal Reserva is a very good value at $24.70. I would definitely suggest that you try a bottle soon…but that’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think.

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Posted by on December 29, 2008 in Red Wine, Spain, Tempranillo


Two red heads from España

2004 Muga Reserva, Rioja, Spain $23.95 LCBO #947309

2001 Conde de Valdemar Reserva, Rioja, Spain $22.95 LCBO #177345

This week I tried two red wines from Spain’s Rioja region that were so good I couldn’t figure out which one to feature as this week’s “Wine of the Week”. So in celebration of the final (and thankfully sunny) long weekend of the summer, here are my picks.

The 2004 Muga Reserva is a very expressive red wine. Made from the Tempranillo [temp-rah-NEE-yo] grape, this wine has strong flavours of cedar and black cherries with soft tannins that hold the wine together. At $23.95, this wine is a powerhouse for the price. I would strongly recommend that you get a few bottles of this wine and pair it with chicken and grilled vegetables.

The 2001 Conde de Valdemar Reserva is also made from the Tempranillo grape, but has been aged longer in barrel. This additional aging gives this wine a much different profile that the Muga. The Conde de Valdemar is much more balanced between its flavours of black cherry and cigar box and the spiciness found on the finish (see if you can taste the difference). At $22.95, this wine is a great find and a definite recommend…but that’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think.

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Posted by on September 1, 2008 in Red Wine, Spain, Tempranillo


Adam says…Olé Rioja

2002 Bodegas Montecillo, Reserva, Rioja, Spain $19.00 LCBO #621003

So we are switching back to the Old World this week with a Spanish red from the Rioja region. This is a really smooth wine with a good balance between the red berry and oaky flavours. This is more of a dinner wine that will go really well with homemade hamburgers and lamb chops.

At $19.00, I wouldn’t say run to the LCBO for this wine, but perhaps an ass shaking speed-walk would be more in order…but that’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think.

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Posted by on April 21, 2008 in Red Wine, Spain, Tempranillo

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