One issue with having limited experience of a particular variety is that you are not really familiar with a stylistic interpretation. That said, I can only call out a particular wine as I see it.
I picked this up as a nod to a good wine drinking buddy, The Wine Punter, who had recently had returned from a sojourn around North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula with a love for the Rioja.
This 100% Tempranillo Reserva opens to a dusty, earthy nose that is a little flat rather than the expectations of fullsome fruit that I had expected. There was a little dark fruit present with a background shroud of oak. On the palate, the dark fruit represents itself, along with a vein of oak that was wrapped up with some smoky/ charry notes. It was delivered with a silken finish that was further expressed with some fine tannins and a resurrection of the gentle spice.
Look, it was OK. It wasn't overwhelming me, frying my bacon, flicking my switch -you know?. I had to look hard for some of these notes. My over-riding opinion was that it was just a little 'flat'.
A duff bottle perhaps? At $30 I'm not inclined to revisit.
Source: Retail, Vintage Cellars Paddington
Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac