Javier San Pedro Ortega, Viuda Negra, Crianza, DOCa Rioja, Rioja, Spain, 2014
This wine: varietal tempranillo, aged for 14 months in French and American oak barrique; coated natural cork closure, 13.5% abv, source unknown, ~€8 (05/17)
Consumer tasting note: a creamy coconutty black berried nose, with edges of toast, spice and liquorice; medium bodied, a palate of black berries with vanilla and black liquorice; an entry-level Rioja with some character, but a rapidly fading length. Decant for 20 minutes.
WSET style tasting note:
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity ruby, showing tears.
Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, youthful, with aromas as they come, of coconut, creamy black cherry in a lactic sense, black berry, low-key warm toast, spice, cedar, violets, after a little time black liquorice.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, ripe medium (+) tannins, medium (+) alcohol, medium body, medium intensity, a sense of sweetness in mid-palate, with flavours of black cherry, stewed red plum, hint of black currant, touch of vanilla, black liquorice. A medium length with a clean black berried slightly spicy finish.
Quality: good, balance of acidity and tannins slightly off (tannins to blame) with flavour intensity and alcohol, and with respect to ageing there is little scope for improvement in this dimension, as there is simply not the (predicted) lifespan; showing some youthful complexity on nose and mid-palate; modest intensity in mid-palate with marginally better concentration, but a modest length.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: drink now, unsuited to further ageing, but will keep for a year or two – lacks quality in too many dimensions, most tellingly the length.