Castile la Mancha, Spain
It’s purple rim hints at vibrant youth. The aromas of spice, blackberries, and licorice roll forth with a contagious exuberance. The raw beauty of Tempranillo is framed in the 2012 Real Compañía de Vinos, light and bright and ready to dance.
Golden hills glow under the warm Spanish sun in La Mancha. Just east, in Manchuela, old vines languish in tidy rows. Tempranillo, dark and brooding bunches of sapphire skinned grapes, ripen readily here. Here lies Tempranillo’s true beauty, its raw talent.
Bodegas Muriel founded Real Compañía de Vinos to shine a spotlight on this raw talent. The peak of perfect that grapes can achieve under the Spanish sun in these rolling hills. That they started with Tempranillo, Spain’s signature grape and the backbone of so many Spanish wines, makes perfect sense.
The 2012 Real Compañía de Vinos Tempranillo performs brilliantly under the limelight, its purple tinted rim hinting at youth, the depth of blackberry and cherry elevated nicely in wisps of licorice flavors. It’ll show you just what a stage hog Tempranillo can be when given it’s due.
Why we love it
Tempranillo: the backbone of Spanish red wines. This thick-skinned grape makes deeply colored wine with smooth, supple tannins and charming black cherry, chocolate, and tobacco flavors. The name Tempranillo means “little early one,” a name given by the observations of Spanish winegrowers that the grape ripens earlier than its traditional partner Garnacha. It’s an old-world grape with a well-used passport, making its way to the ready palates of new world wine enthusiasts.
We love Rioja framed with time and oak, we love Ribera del Duero framed in earth, but this fresh-faced bombshell from Bodegas Muriel’s Real Compañía de Vinos took our breath away. The sheer vibrancy of this tourmaline beauty radiates from the glass through the palate and warms every occasion.
Intense cherry red with glints of youthful purple at the edges, this glassful readily offers up a bouquet black cherries, blackberries, and licorice. A sip reveals a well-rounded tannin structure that carries the lingering fruit finish on a delicate bed of spice.
Founded in 1982, when Julian Murua Entrena revived his father’s winery, which dates to 1926 in the heart of the Rioja Alavesa (one of the three sub-regions that make up Spain’s Rioja appellation). The cellars are in the quaint, historic village of Elciego, which is renowned for being surrounded by some of the best “terrior” in Rioja. The name “Muriel” comes from the combination of the family name, Murua, and the name of the town itself, Elciego. Today, Julian and his son Javier run the winery with the mission to meld the long-held winemaking traditions of the region with new technologies and techniques to make wines that express the “best qualities” of the grapes coming from these fertile Rioja vineyards. Like most of red wines in the region, all Bodegas Muriel wines are 100% Tempranillo, the “signature” grape of the region. Due to the special micro-climate of the region, there is a triple influence from the Mediterranean, Continental and Atlantic climates, which helps the vines produce very aromatic and elegant wines, whose main characteristic is the potential to age.
It is an ideal wine for aperitifs and tapas .Roast lamb, roasted red peppers with rice and sausage, pork and bean stew. Homemade moussaka if you’re feeling particularly industrious!