I can count on one hand the number of wine importers whose entire catalogs of wine impress from top to bottom. Ole Imports, a Spanish wine importer, is one of them. Ole does an incredible job of finding producers throughout Spain who are creating elegant wines with depth while maintaining their sense of place. At all levels, beautiful fruit mingles with earth and freshness. Here are a couple of favorites:
2010 Bodegas Emeritas Dacu, $8-$10
100% Tempranillo. Winemaker Alberto Orte manages year after year to produce a beautifully vibrant wine with plenty of lush, mouthcoating fruit. The vineyards for this wine range in soil composition from clay to limestone and sand, allowing the wine to achieve depth of fruit as well as brightness and freshness along with a sense of dusty earth. 4 months in tank gives Dacu its lushness and dense red fruit and spice. 2 months in French oak adds coffee and toast. Quite a mouthful of wine at one heck of a price.
El Brozal Rioja 2008, $28
80% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano, 10% Garnacha. Rioja that follows the letter of the law can call itself Crianza or Riserva. This one cannot, but don’t think that in any way jeopardizes its quality. This unique single vineyard site is composed of powdery red sand on the surface with a limestone subsoil and big rocks somewhere in between. Each layer gives something to the wine, creating an elegant, full bodied Rioja that remains light on its feet and has wonderful aging potential. That being said, open a bottle today and follow the wine over the course of a couple of hours as it moves from floral and elegant to a richer, denser and more powerful wine without losing its freshness and vibrancy. Only 700 6-packs produced.