Sunday, July 24, 2011

Spirit of Wine Review & Rating: ***+ $$ El Arte de Vivir, 2007, Ribera del Duero, Spain - GOOD VALUE

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Original review, September, 2009: The El Arte de Vivir, 2007, from Ribera del Duero, Spain, is made from 100% tempranillo sourced from vines over 60 years old. 60- to 80-year-old vines. It was aged for six months in French and American oak, and comes in at a modest 13% alcohol.

In the glass, it shows as a very deep, dusty red. Aromas are rich of black cherry with a dusting of oak, not shy, but also not exploding from the glass.

On the first sip, you notice a husky, balanced, deep red blend. Full throttle black cherry and black currant touch the top of your palate. That is followed by a slightly spicy follow-on of sweet, deep red fruit onto your tongue. Acids perk up your gums, and husky tannins give the finish a stretch. Fully pleasurable, though lacking in distinctiveness.

Three stars out of five on the Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for its plush, pretty pleasantness. A moderately good value. No one will object to the wine.

Jay Miller of Wine Advocate awarded a generous 91 points, citing its "fleshy fruit, excellent concentration, and 1-2 years of aging potential."

With a two-day storage half-filled in a bottle sealed with a vac-u-vin, this developed some added complexity and character. Aroma picked up a subtle, cloaking fruit robe; and the palate picked up an element that reminded me of roasted chestnut. Not quite to four stars, but edging precariously close!

Updated review, almost two years later, July, 2011:  Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously,  still shows as deep burgundy, with soft, deep black cherries in the glass.  The sip shows the same deep fruit and fleshy, lengthy finish.  But showing a bit of tiredness now.  Don't wait any longer to drink. Remains a good value.

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