We recently returned to La Cumbre, a great tavern in Pozuelo, that has all sorts of traditional food. My favourite thing there are the torreznos, which is freshly fried pork rinds. Calling them pork rinds is not doing them justice. They are juicy, thick bits of pork skin, with bits of sea salt…crunchy, moist, salty, and greasy all at once. Who knew something so disgusting in theory good be so sublime in your mouth!
They have a nice wine list in La Cumbre and we had a coupe of great bottles. A wonderful Ribera del Duero that we have often: Emilio Moro. Also the great wine that follows: Esporao Reserva.
We visited the winery a few years ago…it's not far off the freeway between Madrid and Lisbon…soon after you pass the border into Portugal. It's a hot region, both in weather and in terms of wines. Some of Portugal's most expensive red table wines are made here. The area took off 10 years ago, leading the way in Portugal's wine revolution. Since then, rivals have sprung up throughout Portugal, but Alentejo still makes some great wine. They can be pricy and hard to find in Spain, but this wine is inexpensive and very easy to find in Spain!
Wine: Esporaõ Reserva Tinto 2002
Winery: Herdade do Esporaõ
Appellation: DOC Alentejo Reguengos
Grape variety: 30% Trincadeira, 40% Aragones, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon
Oak regime: 1 year in American oak followed by 1 year bottle aging
Visual: Fairly pale garnet color…showing quite a bit of evolution for a 2002
Nose: At first a little closed but then tons of sweet blueberry and vanilla. Fairly simple, but so appealing!
Mouth: So smooth with tons of sweet blueberry and vanilla…good acidity. Perhaps a little mono-dimensional, but very attractive. Soft tannins…finish is super long, with the blueberry dominating it.
Food: This wine goes great with all sorts of food. It stands up to many things, but is so smooth that it dominates none. We had eggs with asparagus and shrimp, peppers stuffed with fish and shrimp, grilled vegetables etc.
Conclusion: If I think about this wine too much, I realize that it is not a very serious wine. But this is not a wine to be thought about. It offers a purely hedonistic experience….sexy and smooth…so seductive. It is great on its own or with lots of foods. Even the label is appealing...the artwork changes every year! Not for aging…perfect now…though it will maintain for a while. A couple more recent vintages are already on the market.