La Llave Roja 8 Meses 2012

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Extremadura VdT
Tempranillo-based Blend

As a kid, Carlos Plaza would check for la llave roja (‘the red key’) every morning. If it wasn’t hanging on the wall, it meant his father was already hard at work in the family winery – and Carlos would race on his bike to go and join him.

Fast forward to today, and that eager child is now a major name in Spanish wine. And this very special release – which already has two gold medals and a 94 point rating– is Carlos’s latest tribute to his beloved dad.

It’s from top-sited vineyards located in the arid Extremadura region (a fantastic-value alternative to pricier Ribera del Duero and Rioja). A delicious blend of strawberry-packed Tempranillo, peppery Syrah, and plummy Merlot, it was all harvested by hand and given eight months – “8 meses” – in top-of-the-line oak barrels. Then Carlos tucked it away, wanting to age it to perfection before release.

We’ve been begging him for a taste for a few years now, but he always just replied “a little while longer!” And after five long years of patience, he finally was ready to show off his creation. And believe us: it was worth the wait.

Over to Gilbert & Gaillard, France’s most prestigious wine guide, on what to expect in the glass: “Intense ruby-red. Black fruit and toast notes are revealed on the nose with slightly milky, spicy oregano and rosemary notes. The palate shows character yet stays fresh with round tannins and subtle fruit. A wine for gourmets.”

We recommend you take their advice – plan to enjoy this wine with a gourmet meal. We suggest rack of lamb, roast beef, or maybe a homemade paella.

Just a few cases imported (that’s all Carlos would part with). You know what you have to do …