Faustino V 1998 Rioja Reserva ($16.99)
This is a clear, dark reddish-purple wine, blackish in the glass. Black-cherry and brown-spice aromas add a whiff of oaky vanillins; swirling the glass brings up perfumed notes and a heightened sense of alcohol. Flavors follow the nose, rather light-bodied and tart, but there's plenty of crisp, spicy black fruit. It's a straightforward Rioja, not overly complex, but I wouldn't bet against it evolving with cellar time. Crisp acidic snap makes it a good food wine. US Importer: Palm Bay Imports, Boca Raton, Fla. (Feb 6, 2005)
FOOD MATCH: It made a fine match with hearty buffalo-meat cheeseburgers lightly seasoned with Tex-Mex spices.
WEB LINK: http://www.bodegasfaustino.es/
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