Even though Summer’s coming to a close, there’s plenty of time left to fire up the grill. We’re reviewed two Spanish reds this week to try and find a good accompaniments to an end-of-summer feast “a la parrilla”. The first is a Red Crianza from El Coto in the Rioja region of Spain followed by a red table wine from Protocolo.
El Coto’s Crianza Rioja is a 2006 wine made from 100% Tempranillo grapes. Rioja is a small area in northern Spain and the wines produced there are governed by the Denominacion de Origen (DOM) system, which regulates production techniques. For example, a Crianza wine from Rioja must be at least 2 years old and aged for half that time in oak. Other designations from the region include Reserva and Gran Reserva, each with its own distinct aging standards. El Coto’s red is 13% ABV with a pleasant fruity aroma and smooth vanilla finish imparted by the American oak. It has a medium body, well-balanced acidity and a dark crimson color. This is a good, if not especially memorable, Spanish red for $10-12 per bottle. Great at room temperature with chicken or slightly chilled alongside shrimp or octopus hot off the grill.
The Protocolo is a 2007 red wine from the Castilla region of Spain from 100% Tempranillo. It has a ruby red color, 13.5% ABV and an astringent aroma. The flavor lacks depth and has a very acidic twang with almost no aftertaste. If you like the bright citrus notes of a young Chianti, you’ll appreciate this wine. As for me, it wasn’t complex or mellow enough to get a good read on the quality of grapes used in production especially from $7 – 9 per bottle. I’d have to say I’m not a fan of this one and would recommend the Rioja instead, especially if you’re looking for a wine to complement grilled meats.Reporting from the front porch swing,