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Great Wine: Pago de los Capellanes Tinto Joven, Ribera del Duero (Tempranillo)

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Iggy Pop singing “Lust for Life” over the song’s propulsive rhythms—that’s the joyful and youthful energy of this Tempranillo wine. Alive and precocious, fragrant and virile, this is loaded with juicy, wild, dark red fruit flavors and a touch of the woods, violets, creamy vanilla, black pepper and exotic sweet spices. The intent of this style of Tempranillo is purely pleasure-driven. The 2014 PAGO DE LOS CAPELLANES Joven Ribera del Duero is meant to be enjoyed young: the “Joven” distinction in the wine’s name means it’s aged only 5 months in barrel. We’re not looking for the complexity and depth that comes with extended age, here. Energy and virility and lustful passion are favored over wisdom and crankiness in old age. It’s important to recognize how much value is packed into an under-$20 red wine. Ribera del Duero, a most prestigious winemaking region of northern Spain, makes the finest expression of the Tempranillo grape in the world (its rival, Rioja, makes equally spectacular Tempranillo and is the oldest winemaking region in the country). And Pago de los Capellanes, a contemporary and forward-looking bodegas (the word Spaniards use for “winery”), is one of the most respected in the New World age of winemaking in the Old World. There’s no holding back—a rush of vibrant raspberry that comes on the finish tells you this wine is interested in flashy style. Ah youth, it’s wasted on the young . . . not!  –J.M.

 

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May 22, 2016

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