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La Linda Tempranillo, Argentina 2006

February 12, 2009

~$US10, 100% Tempranillo, Argentina

I’ve been feeling the need to expand the old palate and try more wines from the Southern Hemisphere – looking for oddball wines that represent good value and aren’t overtly spoofalated. At first glance, this could easily be mistaken for a Spanish Tempranillo – but alas, it’s from Argentina, the land of Beef, Malbec and Torrontes. And priced at under $10, it had my attention.

In the glass, the La Linda was a crazy dark magenta, with a decent level of transparency, which was an auspicious sign that maybe this wasn’t overly extracted and jammed. The nose was definitely a fruit fest – a glass full of berries with dash of vanilla. Decadent, it smelled like it could be heading the wrong direction, but the palate really pulled this wine into a good place. A punchy acidity and an intriguing bittersweet tang on the back-end really surprised me. It was more medium-bodied and leaner than the nose let on, which gave it a refreshing quality – one to enjoy with food (pork?) or on it’s own. Beyond the fruit some cedar and pepper-spice added dimension. Curious cool. A slight edge of stiff tannins packaged the whole deal quickly but nicely.

Overall, a great change-of-pace-weeknight red or party wine. It didn’t bring too much oak, extraction, single-dimensionality, or the funk as some cheaper Spanish Tempranillos can – instead showed a clean balance of sexy fruit, an elegant palate, and slightly off-beat swagger that made it a joy to toss back another glass.

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