Campo Viejo Rioja 2010, Spain
T his is a velvety beauty that goes well with many different foods and many different occasions. Campo Viejo Rioja would be a good thing to bring home this week if you didn’t impress your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day.
The wine is a beautiful, intense ruby red with pleasant aromas of black fruit, vanilla and some cherry. The first taste seems pretty mellow, but the wine gets more intense as you drink it.
It has bright cherry fruit flavors with some blackberry, strawberry and spice. There is even a hint of bacon, which you might miss if you aren’t looking for it. There are sturdy tannins and nice acidity to make a balanced wine.
The wine is made from 100 percent Tempranillo grapes from Rioja in northern Spain. The wine was fermented in stainless steel tanks and spent four months in American oak. Tempranillo is the predominant red wine grape variety from Rioja, the best known wine region in Spain.
Winery: Founded in 1959, Camp Viejo is the premier winery in Rioja. It was created by two winemakers from La Rioja, Beristain and Ortigüela. They had worked in the region for years and were respected for their knowledge of Rioja.
The winery name comes from the area where Ortiguela grew up, an emblematic spot in Villar de Arnedo. For generations the area was called Campus Veteranus, an area of vineyards which was historically given to the veterans of the Roman legion as a reward for their service.
Even today, the town’s inhabitants use the name “campoviejeros” for the descendants of families that have lived in the area for centuries working the land and its vines passionately.
The company built a state of the art winery on a high plateau close to the city of Logrono, south of Bilbao in northern Spain. It uses many innovative winemaking techniques, and is built partly underground.
Camp Viejo offers a variety of wines including a white, a rose, three levels of Tempranillo, a premium wine called Dominio, a sparkling wine (Cava) and a Rose sparkling wine.
Goes with: My fiancee Teri and I had it with grilled pork chops and bean nachos that we threw together. It was a wonderful pairing, going equally well with both dishes. The lively fruit flavors played off the salsa in the nachos and the smokiness was a nice complement to the barbecue sauce on the pork chops.
You can drink this versatile wine with red or white meat, roasts and cheese. It’s nice with everything from chicken to burgers, and all kinds of meat on the grill. I think it might go nicely with paella.