I was recently invited to a tasting event at my local wine shop, Highbury Vintners. HV put tasting events on for their customers several times a year and they are a great way to expand your knowledge, challenge your palette and discover something new.
To my delight, this tasting focused on two of my favorite wine regions; France and Spain. The tasting covered a broad selection of color and grape varietal, and with the exception one or two bottles, all were priced under £30.
I tried several great wines that evening, but my favorite by far was this 2008 Crianza from Spanish winery Prado Rey. Prado Rey is situated in Ribera del Duero, one of Spain’s premiere wine regions. Recently awarded “Wine Region of the Year” by Wine Enthusiast (Wine Star Awards), Ribera del Duero is renowned for specializing primarily in Tempranillo-based wines.
Tempranillo is one of my favorite varietals, so from the get-go I had high expectations and hopes for this wine.
This Prado Rey 2008 Crianza is made up of a blend of 95% Tempranillo, 2% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon. Tempranillo grapes are known for producing wine with bright, bold and masculine characteristics and this bottle is a perfect example of that; I was immediately bowled over by a distinct bouquet of dark cherry fruits, wood chips and fresh tobacco leaves. They are quite distinct smells but they work really well together.
Funnily enough, I thought that its bouquet shared a lot of similarities with Old Spice. Now that is a classic smell! Vibrant flavors of cacao, spiced plum and earth are easily detectable on the palate, and its robust well-rounded tannins compliment a smooth body and a long, clean finish. From my first sip I knew that I had come across a seriously good wine. If you’re a fan of hearty vinos with a fruity yet earthy kick, then this is definitely up your alley. It’s well-crafted, well-structured, and has clearly had a huge amount of skill and passion put into the making of it.
Further research into Prado Rey has made me like this wine even more. The Prado Rey winery sits on 3,000 hectares of land and encompasses seven different vineyard sites. That’s a lot of terroir, which means a lot of great variety! Their philosophy is based around the principles of innovation, quality and environmental and corporate responsibility. I love that they have such a positive and ethical ethos. In these times this is important to me as the end product is. Interestingly enough, the company also produces a line of fine cheese and beauty products… I’m sensing a Prado Rey-themed girls night on the cards. An evening of ethical wine, cheese and facials… bring it on!
You can buy Prado Rey 2008 Crianza from Highbury Vintners in London for £11.50.