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Bodegas Briego Tiempo Crianza, Ribera Del Duero
I’ve reviewed vintages of Bodegas Briego since 2009 and have always been impressed by the quality and price points for their Crianza bottlings. This is a bottling that goes well with dinner, especially if you will tuck into a slice of country ham with collards or a big old plate of fried chicken. Ribera Del Duero wines go really well with southern cooking. It’s got the stuffing and the acidity to cut through the fat and salt and come out smelling like raspberries and allspice.
Cune Reserva Rioja
If you need to perfect (and yes, there a few of you out there), the correct spelling of this wine is C.V.N.E, but even the head winemaker pronounces it “Qunee.” This is a stellar bottle of red, a slick patch of anise and wormwood muddied with pebbles and grit. Layered minerals shoot through fresh cherry flavors like a Gatling gun.
Bodegas Balbas “Ardal” Reserva Seleccion Especial, Ribera del Duero
Runaway now, little children, run away. You don’t want to be around when the adults open this bottle. May I also suggest you lock your doors, hide under your beds, and cover your tiny precious ears? You really don’t want to hear the “fucks” and “damns” and “holy shits” that are emanating from the dining room just about now. Your parents are enjoying themselves just about now, drinking such a gluttonous bottle of wine. They are enjoying this bottle so much that they will forget to feed you dinner. I am so sorry.