Finca Resalso: A Spanish Wine Review

emilio moro

This very large Emilio Moro bottle was presented to celebrate Spain's victory in the 2010 World Cup.

Once upon a time there was Rioja. This was a region in Spain known for long-lived, muscular, spicy red wines. The wines were made from the Tempranillo grape, and they were sold and enjoyed all over Europe.  As far as the wine world was concerned, Rioja WAS Spanish wine.

Enter Vega Sicilia. I know this sounds like a Spanish guy with dark wavy hair and a skinny mustache, but this is also a wine. In the year 1864 it surprised the civilized world by being every bit as good as a Rioja, but not from Rioja.

Vega Sicilia came instead from a region on Spain’s northern plateau called Ribera del Duero, where the summers were hot and dry and the winters were hard and long. The extreme temperatures created good acid, tannins and phenolics in the grapes, resulting in complex and well-structured wines. Vega Sicilia’s wines became a hot item in the wine world, and started a rush to create more great wines near the Duero River.

Next to come along is Emilio Moro, who really is a Spanish guy (but I don’t know if he was dark and mustache’d). He used vineyards first planted in Ribera del Duero in 1932, and in 1989 released his first vintages of Emilio Moro wines. Since then, several of his labels have jumped to the top of the list of world-class Spanish reds.

Our final character is Finca Resalso, and this is not a guy but a wine. It is one of Bodegas Emilio Moro’s five reds, and although it’s made from the youngest vineyards and undergoes the least aging, it still ranks as one of “Spain’s Top Wine Values” (by a critic that’s a lot more renowned than me).

After all that run-up, I’ll say quickly that Finca Resalso 2007 is a wine that’s easy to like. The fruit is 100% Tempranillo (called Tinto Fino in this region) from vineyards 5 to 15 years old, and it was aged for four months in French oak barrels. That’s not long by Spanish standards — even a Crianza, the first level of Rioja wine, is aged in oak for at least six months — but it’s enough to create a very bright and balanced food wine.

Like a Rioja, the nose suggests violets, cherry fruit and minerals. But the palate is more fruit-filled, with savory dark berries, a hint of spice and smoke, and soft, well-integrated tannins. And like all Spanish reds, Finca Resalso has a nice bite of acid that kicks in at the end, making it a great food-pairing wine. (I’d be in heaven if I had a glass of this wine and a big plate of Paella, but I’d need someone else to make the Paella and besides, I’m not in this story…)

There are many other great wines from Ribera Del Duero, and the rest of Spain. Many of them are the children of negociant Jorge Ordonez (a GREAT wine character I introduced in my last review), so you will do yourself a favor if you go out and buy all that you can find.

And they all lived happily ever after. The End.

Finca Resalso 2007 $18.99

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