Isn’t it Sardonic?

Abadia Retuerta 1996 Sardon de Duero “Cuvée El Palomar” (Castilla & León) – This wine, served blind, has me completely fooled into thinking it’s some sort of lush, middle-aged Loire cabernet franc that had seen a little wood. Boy, was that wrong. It’s tempranillo and cabernet sauvignon, and while there are some soft barrel aromatics that emerge when the wine is still, what’s most present is a grassy, bell peppery earth, fine acidity, very slightly underripe tannin, and a medium-length finish with an odd lactic turn. There are definitely some appealing qualities here. Based on its structure, however, I’d drink it over the next few years; I think the wine will turn increasingly green and tart with much more aging. (12/07)

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