Campo Viejo Crianza 2006

Much to my surprise, I found myself accepting free samples of wine from a certain publicly traded French drinks behemoth. Why? Simple: I figured what the heck; if the wine sucked, I’d have fun complaining in a really boring, Adbusters-esque way about corporate wine blah blah blah. But if it was good… then what? In a world filled with small, struggling producers that produce original, interesting wines in this price range, do we really need one more review saying anything good about wines that are presumably produced in unspeakable quantities and then drunk in cruise ships and indifferent hotel restaurants the world over?The short answer is yes. Not everyone has the access to a wide range of indie wine shops that we have here in California; not everyone lives in a state that allows direct shipping. In many places in North America, you either get it from the liquor board shop or you don’t get it at all. And in places that really don’t drink “fine wine” (leaving aside the discussion of what exactly that is for now), then all you’re going to get is “industrial wine” – so why shouldn’t you be aware of the good stuff?First off: a disclaimer. Full Pour’s review policy is simple: you can send us free wine, but we don’t promise we’ll review it. And if we do review it, we don’t promise we’ll publish the review. And if we do publish our review, we don’t promise it’s going to be a good one.OK, that’s out of the way. How is this $9 wine courtesy of Behemoth French Industrial Producer?The nose offers up super friendly, inviting, warm red berry aromas. It smells better than any strawberry rhubarb pie I’ve ever baked, at any rate. There’s also a kind of woodsy perfume there as well, just a hint of something like candied oak. Not too bad.Sadly, however, once you get some of this in your mouth, it all falls apart. Dang it, I was hoping to like this wine so that I could say yes, sometimes the big guys get it right… just not this time. Everything here seems loose, unstructured, out of focus: it’s a bit flabby, perhaps even just a tiny bit sweet, with an unpleasant raw acidity sneaking in to bust up the party the second it wobbles to a start. The overall effect is frankly unpleasant: it tastes cheap, unfinished. The one good thing I will say, though, is that the tannic structure of the wine is just fine, keeping some kind of firm hold on the whole endeavor.So what to do with this wine? The tannins suggest it needs meat; the rest of it suggests it needs to be obscured by something else; I’m thinking heavy barbecue smoke would do the job just fine. If you’re somewhere where you can get funky, indie bottles of unknown French reds, then go for it. If, however, your choice is between this and [yellow tail], then I’d say go with the Campo Viejo – it’s in the same price range but has a little bit more interest. Otherwise, though, can you remember the last time you drank a Coors? No? Well, it might be time to start over again…Campo Viejo
Price: $9
Closure: Cork

3 thoughts on “Campo Viejo Crianza 2006

  1. I tried this wine tonight and was not quite as harsh on it. Agree on aromas and comments about tannins. The acids were there for me as well on the finish. If anything it was a thin wine trying to be a big wine which is not in the nature of the tempranillo grape.

    • I agree with your sense that the wine was going against its nature, and I accept that I was being harsh; tasting this in close proximity to its slightly more expensive sibling really showed up its faults, at least in my opinion. I’d be happy to drink the Reserva, but not this one. 🙂

  2. I drink this wine routinely (not necessarily the 2006 vintage though). It’s difficult to expect more than this from a $9 wine. I see lots of wine selling for $9 and even $15 that isn’t as good as this Crianza. I don’t think there are very many sub-$10 California reds that will compare with this Crianza unless they are just sold locally in California.

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