"Drinking good wine with good food, in good company is one of life's most civilized pleasures." - Michael Broadbent #Wine
And meeting these three last year was one of highlights from my trip to Rioja last year. Their passion, their dedication and their desire was evident in everything they told us, everything I seen while I was there and each wine I sniffed, spilled, swirled and eventually slurped down with reckless abandon.
If you ever wanted abundant authenticity in a bottle, this is the place to find it. There's no clever or slick marketing going on here, no cutesy animals on the label, and no failed attempts to be overly clever with the label verbiage. Is authenticity a big deal to you when it comes to wine? If not, maybe you're not far enough along the path to notice, but if you keep going I think it will become a priority for you.
Some on the cynical side of the equation may just scoff at my pursuit for authenticity in regards to wine. Perhaps you’re thinking; "oh it [authenticity] has just become another brand to be sold and packed to an unsuspecting group of slack-jawed vino-sapiens who wouldn't know better anyway".
Wait a minute folks, just slow your roll for second, I’m just as skeptical and cynical as the next guy; the rose colored glasses had been slapped off my face by the hard-cold realities of life long ago. Nay I say, the wines of Rioja offer the customer something far more than a vain spectral performance, attempting to hold its self up as the paragon of wine virtue.
Did I have to go all the way to Rioja to find this kind of authenticity? The quick answer is no, it can be found here domestically. But in my opinion there's something far more "real" here than what meets the eye, something generations old, pumping the blood [Tempranillo] in the heart of tradition.
I'm not sure my words can adequately describe the sense of place I found during my visit, not only in the wines, but also in the folks behind the label, the people who call Rioja home. In the picture above you can see the Peciña's, three generations with Pedro Senior in the middle and Junior, on the left.
Okay I hope I've some how tempted you to stick around for part two of this Travel Tuesday tale, where I'll get into the tasting notes and the great food, [the cook I wanted to take back with me to the U.S.] so stick around the next installment will appear here tomorrow cheers!
The stair-way to heaven? Hmmm, perhaps?
See what happens when wine-bloggers think they've seen it all?
Shhhh, be very, very quiet the Gran Reserva wines are sleeping.