Bodegas Tintoralba Crianza Almansa 2000 Tasting Notes
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Bodegas Tintoralba Crianza Almansa 2000 Tasting Notes

The Almansa Denominación de Origen lies in the Castilla-La Mancha zone just north of Jumilla and Yecla in southeastern Spain, about 100 miles inland from the Mediterranean. The reds produced here have a reputation for being full-bodied; this dark ruby $14 wine is no exception. The wine is fruit forward: cassis, prune, blackberry jam and honey with back notes of black pepper, oak, cocoa, tobacco and smoke. The wine (80% Garnacha and 20% Syrah) is aged for 12 months in new French oak and is unfiltered (indeed, I got a good deal of sediment and would have watched for it had I known in advance).

I sampled the wine in what I call “action circumstances,” meaning that I incorporated it into a dinner already in progress, with no opportunity to decant, using a less-than-ideal glass, scant ability to nose and taste the wine without food influence, and a prior red wine already to my credit. The wine performed admirably for all four diners that evening. It is full-bodied and yet (at 13% alcohol) not too hot. The fruit is well-focused, complemented by a sour-cherry type of acidity (reminding me strongly of Chianti) that provided an Old World foil for what was otherwise a New World fruit statement. The tannins are straightforward and nicely in line.


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food writer Elliot Essman James Beard Foundation Journalism Award
James Beard Award Nominee Elliot Essman

food writer Elliot Essman James Beard Foundation Journalism Award

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