I love to host people at home, it's such a pleasure! Last night we had a friends couple for bruschettas - or something like that! Basically tapas & wine. Who needs more? To match the bruschettas - chopped tomatoes, buffalo's mozzarella, olive oil, black pepper, and bread - I opened one of the my recent discoveries, Viña Arnáiz Roble 2011, DO Ribera Del Duero. A young crianza red wine made from Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo grapes.
A careful treatment is given to strains along the year, from setting the date of the harvest when the grapes have reached optimum maturity in each plot, till proceeds to hand picking the grapes, where plots are manually selected, which of those grapes will be part of the blend of the wine.
Once the grapes get at the winery, they are are ground and pass the maceration tank till they achieve the desired balance in the composition of the wine. They then proceed to racking it by gravity without mechanical actuation and the wine obtained after a first racking, is the malolactic fermentation.
This Viña Arnáiz matures in French oak barrels for 4 months, during which is performed three racking to help oxygenate the wine.
They recommend to open this Ribera Del Duero Roble at least one hour before drinking it, and to pour it in a decanter - if you can - to better appreciate all its virtues... And so I did. Opened it a good hour before serving, poured it into a decanter and... voilá! The wine was fantastic... BUT, I have to confess, ashamedly, that we didn't finish the second bottle, and I had to pour it back to the bottle and left it on the refrigerator till the next day.
Lunch time - gnocchi à bolognesa. What to drink? The left-over Viña Arnáiz Roble. And guess what? The wine was even better! All the subtle aromas were more accentuated, the velvet sensation from the malolatic, the freshness from the maceration, the red & black fruits, and even a mocha finish!
This is, among others, one of my The Day After Wine".