Similar in price but very different in style, these three currently available Spanish red wines all cost $10 or less.
Abadia Retuerta 1996 Rivola Sardon de Duero Vino de Mesa de Castilla y Leon ($9.99)
Inky dark-garnet. Ripe black fruit aroma with notes of vanilla and brown sugar. Full, simple black-fruit flavor, soft acidity and light tannins, and a short to medium finish. Pleasant wine, doesn't seem that a little time in the bottle will do it any harm. U.S. importer: Cutting Edge Selections, Cincinnati. (Feb. 21, 1998)
FOOD MATCH: Spicy Lebanese chicken marinated and baked in lemon and cumin, a robust match for a hearty wine.
Vega Sindoa 1996 Navarra Cabernet Sauvignon/60%-Tempranillo/40% ($7.49)
Very dark garnet color. Grapey black-fruit and pepper aromas. Full, juicy fruit well balanced with tart acidity. Clean, fresh and mouth-filling. U.S. importer: Cutting Edge Selections, Cincinnati. (Feb. 22, 1998)
FOOD MATCH: Pleasant with French onion soup.
Alma 1996 Navarra Garnacha ($6.99)
Clear ruby color. Grape juice and licorice scents lead into an off-dry flavor of grapey fruit with a hint of fragrant black pepper and a prickly touch of petillance on the tongue. Odd, reminiscent of Lambrusco; soda pop for adults.
U.S. importer: Cutting Edge Selections, Cincinnati. (Feb. 22, 1998)
FOOD MATCH: Served with the French onion soup above, but a little too sweet and grapey to go well with food.
All my wine-tasting reports are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores.|