Temps for Hire

Not really *comparing* these wines–or at least not judging them against each other, but had a couple temps to open and decided to do them together. Fairly confident it will be apples-oranges.

The Spaniard pours impenetrable bricking black-brown, musky and obviously very ripe in the nose. Old-worldy to an extent, but heady flush, concentrated maraschino and raisin elixir show this thing settling down into a syrupy groove at this juncture in its life. Dusty velvet with an almost appassimento-esque feel to the liveliness of the fruit–or rather: lack of it.

The Paso shows dark ruby-purple out to an abrupt rim–an expected contrast at basically half the age of the Rioja. Warm vegetal in the nose, slightly obscuring dark cherry of an almost Hawaiian Punch quality, mingling easily with gobs of cinnamon and allspice. No barnyard or cellar-floor notes: again, an expected *clean-ness* typical of New World wines.

The Rioja expresses considerable vegetal with plentiful air, a nuance following intake and influencing the entry. The fruit is a dry chalky affair, though well rounded out with sweet ripeness, feeling quite elegant and polished, no Riserva or Gran Riserva oaky influences noticeable. Ridiculously full and rich front-to-back with gorgeous tannins wrapping up the finish, it is quite a beautiful little bargain Rioja, but toasty almond and the increasing refrigerator-crisper-drawer funk combines with the roasted fruit to spell something a bit past prime.

The Californian just churns out more perfume and mud-tainted vanilla splendor with more air, and it, too influences the entry. The oak on this one is obvious, and works seamlessly alongside the brash fruit. Spicy and acidic, the fruit a concentrated blackberry with bitter briar invigorating the center, introducing a bit of peppery heat and framing the still-vibrant tannin. Feeling–and looking–like an absolute BABY, it also drinks beautifully, though it is a BIG wine, feeling alcoholic and easily living up to its *reserve* status. This wine has a decade to go, EASY.

2010 COTO REAL Rioja 14.0
2014 POMAR JUNCTION Tempranillo Reserve Paso Robles 13.9


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