I was dining at Sabroso Latin World Cuisine in Rhinebeck, N.Y., a fun little Hudson Valley town with a burgeoning foodie culture. I was taking care of my jones for Spanish food with some grilled shrimp and chorizo to start, followed by a very solid paella. Nancy and I used to adore Alejandro Fernandez's Pesquera bottlings, but it’s been a few years since we added any to our cellar as we found the wine wandering down a progressively rustic streak. Still, we decided to take a trip down memory lane.
Though the wine list didn’t provide vintages (a major faux pas at any serious restaurant), it was nice to wind up getting the 2005, a classic-rated vintage in the Ribera del Duero region, at the modest price of $54. The wine showed its telltale charry aroma, with a mix of dark cherry, plum, raisin and grilled beef notes. It was smoky but fine-grained on the finish, with a nice streak of acidity stretching it out. Hints of roasted apple wood and iron checked in too. I rated it 90 points, non-blind. Plenty firm enough for food, but nicely rounded from a little time in the bottle, the wine could easily be cellared for a few more years.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Bodegas Alejandro Fernandez Ribera del Duero Pesquera Crianza 2005 (88, $38).