Hump Day: Predicador Wine, La Rioja

Spain is the third largest wine growing nation on our planet. Of the 62 wine regions found within Spain, La Rioja is undoubtedly the most well-known of all of them. International fame has bestowed itself upon this community and D.O. (Denominación de Origen), so much so that it could rival Bordeaux (IMHO).

Today, on this first day of spring there is indeed much to celebrate. We're shedding our layers day by day as temperatures warm. We are given another opportunity to start again if plans didn't go our way in early 2013, as the cherry blossom and almond trees bloom. Easter is around the corner in Spain, a time for gathering with family and toasting to a brighter future and a quick and painless recovery through the economic crisis. Erasmus students will return for a weekend, lovers will hop on 1 1/2 hour flights to take advantage of the puente, and abuelos (grandparents) will walk their Mary Jane clad grandchildren past the town's cathedral.  

Undoubtedly a lot of jamón and vino will be consumed over the holidays. If I may, I'd love to recommend one of my favorites to you, as surely a month full of catharsis and red fruits pairs well with a deep intense red wine. Allow me to introduce Predicador.

It received 90 points in Robert Parker's Wine Advocate from June 2011, and my personal praise in 2012. A real bargain wine when compared to its sister wine, Contador, that values around $300, and that is produced with similar quality standards.

The symbolic top hat image of Predicador. 

Predicador. Spanish wine standout by Benjamin Romero. 

Markets are aflush with strawberries in Spain. March is a great time to find them coming from Huelva - "Strawberry Kingdom." Might you find strawberry notes in your glass of vino tinto

Product of Spain. Predicador wine. 2008 Harvest. 

Predicador by Bodega Contador
Region: La Rioja, Spain
- 96% Tempranillo, 3% Garnacha, 1% Viura
- French oak
- Aged 16 months
Notes: Cherry cola, incense, black raspberry, Asian spices, dark red fruits
Price range:  18-23 euros
Best drinking time frame: 2013-2020

U.S. residents may purchase online from J.J. Buckley.

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