El Coto Crianza 2004

I haven’t taken the time to explore much Spanish wine, but it’s fair to say the Iberian peninsula is so hot right now. This, incidentally, is typical of my (in)ability to be ahead of the curve. No matter, if you are like me and are a novice in this area, I can highly recommend Dave Worthington’s excellent site Tinto y Blanco.

This evening, I was at my local First Murphy on an emergency wine run (triggered by those moments where nothing in the cellar looks remotely appealing) and decided to buy a few cheap Spanish bottles. Here’s the first, an inexpensive Tempranillo-based wine from a vintage officially rated “excellent” by the Rioja Control Board. 
A fun, moderately expressive nose of savoury red fruits, brown spices and a a nice thread of funky undergrowth. Some sweet oak too. I find it attractive, if straightforward.  It’s not an aroma that grabs you by the scruff of the neck; rather, it persuasively suggests you start thinking about what food to have with what you’re about to taste. The palate is sweeter than expected, with fresh red fruit and sweet oak the dominant characters. There are also some complexities; aniseed-like spice, for example, along with a general undercurrent of savouriness that keeps the fruit and oak in check. A really appealing, easy flow through the mouth, with acid and tannin balanced to create the sort of breezy sophistication you don’t quite recognise until it’s over. A dip through the spicy after palate never quite redeems itself on the finish, mostly because it doesn’t have enough time. 
There’s a lot to like here and all I can think about while drinking it are the various foods that might go with. Spicy sausage, I reckon. 

El Coto
Price: $A21.85
Closure: Cork

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