05 Sierra Cantabria, Rioja
Cantabria tends to get it right--in many ways typifying Rioja for me. Because you can't, on one sip, really figure it out. Is it Old World, is it New World? And who came up with those over-aired, oxidized words? On the open, it's tight and confusing. Too earthy, tough to make out, and really just not all that pleasant. But give it some time and the fruit comes out--a lot like Californian pinot noir, in fact. Which is just what I was waiting for. The wine's far from perfect, but I like how it shows so much. Really rich, dark cherry fruit on the palate backed by this deep finish of chocolate chip, vanilla wafers, and pipe tobacco. Enough to call it Old World. Enough to call it New World. Or maybe just Another.