Rufete from Salamanca

 

At a glance:
Country: Spain
Region: Sierra de Salamanca
Grape(s): Rufete
Year: 2014
Maker: La Zorra
Price:18.99

Every once and a while, I ask the staff at our local wine store to suggest something I haven’t had before. I have had varying luck with this tactic – at one store, I’m pretty sure the guy used this question as an opportunity to unload some wine that was well past its prime – a sketchy pinot noir from New Zealand that tasted like it had spent more than its fair share of time in hot storage containers and dusty, sunny shelves.teso bottle

This time I don’t think I was getting an offload (and, to be fair, this particular shop has always come through with interesting wines to recommend), and we ended up with a rufete from Salamanca. I can safely say I had never heard of that grape (although it apparently makes up a lot of the port wines from the Duoro region in Portugal, which I have had), and had also never knowingly consumed wine from Salamanca. At 18.99, it was a little pricier than some of my other ventures into the unknown, and when I opened it and saw some crumbled cork remnants around the edge of the bottle’s opening, I was a little nervous (could this be a reprise of said NZ pinot incident of 2013???) . The wine had a bit of a funky smell going on too – also not a great sign (suspense building).

in glass.jpgThat said, in the glass, the wine tasted good. It was light in body and color, more towards the pinkish side than a lot of reds I’ve had, and with a nice acidic start, smoothing out towards the end. Drinking it again a day later, listening to Nashville skyline before
heading out to dinner, the wine had lost a bit of its fruit at the front end, and the acid had mellowed a little bit, but still tasted good. And, to be fair, not a shock that a wine, even
sealed up, lost a bit of punch after being open for a day. Also – Nashville skyline was
better than I remembered – need to mentally re-organize my favorite Dylan records. Still not threatening Freewheelin though for me – Don’t think twice is one of my top 5 all time songs and I don’t see that changing soon (if you haven’t listened in a while, do yourself a favor: http://ow.ly/XHIJ3 ).

So returning to the wine – was it something new? Yup, the grape and the location met that criteria for sure, so score another one for my local wine store on that count. It wasn’t a great wine, but it didn’t bum me out either – don’t think I’ll buy it again for the price since I’m relatively cheap and there is so much out there at that price point, but I’m interested enough to try other stuff from the region or to revisit the rufete grape.

 

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Rufete from Salamanca

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