We stay with Southern Europe this week with the La Montesa Spanish Rioja red wine.
There are things that a red wine needs to avoid in order to come out with the flavors and intensity that makes it quintessential: excess rain, excess cold. On the other hand vines and grapes need some amount of water, a clean air, nice and balanced sunny days, and seasons. Spain is one of the countries on our beautiful planet that can provide this environment. Its people, its food, the culture, all align to make for a great environment for red wines. La Montesa is a good bottle from the Rioja region. It is the second bottle we are buying after enjoying the first and this is our review.
2013 La Montesa Spanish Rioja red wine review
The bottle presents nicely with white labels and artful decoration representing grapes and leaves. Its look is classic with nothing standing out aesthetically from an exterior view. The labels provide specifications and details:
- It is a Crianza Rioja, which means it aged for two years including one in an oak barrel.
- It carries the denominacion de origen calificada, label of quality.
- The wine is unfiltered. We didn’t find any visible particle in the bottle. Unfiltered means only the very small particles, removed in other wines, are still present. Generally this is a good thing for food products: olive oil, fruit juices, all keep nutrients, flavors and in the case of fruits, fiber, compared to their filtered counterparts.
- 14.5% alcohol percentage.
In terms of flavor La Montesa Spanish Rioja red wine is smooth. One could compare it to a Cabernet Sauvignon without the usual “bite” and overpowering taste of the latter. Generally decanting red wine makes it smoother to drink. In our tasting we poured two glasses, one directly and one through an aerator and Layla found the decanted glass slightly more acidic than the non-decanted glass. Flavors include berries: blackberries, loganberry. It is slightly bitter, perhaps as a result of being unfiltered, but the bitterness does not prevent from enjoying the overall flavor. Overall we like the bottle, although we prefer an even smoother Rioja, Viña Real from Cerro de la Mesa – Laguardia.
Food pairing for La Montesa wine
- Meats – specifically would be great with a nice lamb dish
- Cheese – This Rioja wine pairs well with strong flavored cheeses