The Back Story:
When I go shopping for wine, I usually have one of two goals; I either want to luck out with a bargain wine, or I’m actively searching for the next big thing. On this particular trip, I had bargains on the brain. This particular wine was purchased in a thirteen-bottle glut, meaning it sort of got lost in the shuffle. Honestly, I think the only reason I picked it up was I had been talking about Tempranillo on Twitter the day before.
The wine maker has no online presence, making the search for verifiable knowledge of this wine rather futile. Here’s what I can tell you about the 2008 Campos Reales La Mancha Tempranillo: it’s a 2008 vintage, it’s from Spain, and I’m not entirely sure it was pressed from grapes.
The appearance of the wine was a deep ruby, almost entirely opaque, with an average viscosity. The swirl suggested a thin texture.
The nose of the wine was initially fruity, with an almost sickeningly sweet combination of black cherry and red delicious apple. After the first initial sniff, though, tobacco came forward and dominated my senses. I could hardly smell anything else once I detected that.
The mouth feel of the wine was nothing special. The texture was a little thin and had very little character.
The flavor of the wine was tobacco. What else? Tobacco, tobacco, TOBACCO. Drinking this wine was like smoking a pipe; it was sweet and smoky. There was a hint of blackberry flavor, and it was rather tannic, but nothing else came forward. The acidity also seemed to me to be a little low. The finish, as with the initial taste and the mid-palate, was tobacco.
For the Casual Drinker:
I would not call this an easy-drinking wine. The overwhelming tobacco taste is certainly an acquired one and not one that you would expect to dominate a wine. After a half a glass it started to sit rather heavily on my stomach, and I had to calm it down with a bitter ale. It’s cheap enough that, if you’re in the mood for something different, you could give it a shot, but I definitely would say it’s not for everyone.
As impressed as I was with the unique flavor and low price point, drinking it felt like a dessert wine. It was strong and sweet, good for a half a glass, but anything more than that just didn’t sit well. I’ve read several reviews online that only attributed a minor tobacco finish to the wine, giving it an otherwise red-fruit characterization, so you might not be attuned to the tobacco the same way I was. As I tasted it, though, I’d be hard-pressed to entirely recommend this wine. At just under $8 for a bottle, it’s merely an experiment worth attempting. 5/10