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One More Bottle of Wine: Twisted Oak Winery's 2005 "The Spaniard" Blended Red Wine

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Jan 7, 2008 7:00PM

2008_01_prepare_to_die.jpgLike a lot of you, we took advantage of yesterday's weather, donned some shorts and ate brunch (Vella). On the way home we decided to make a detour and taste some wines. The weekly tasting at Lush focused on the staff picks for 2007.

Our favorite of the lot was a monster blended red from Twisted Oak Winery in Calaveras County, California. In a unique coincidence, we recently re-read Mark Twain's "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," so the location stood out. Then we sampled "The Spaniard" named in honor of Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride and oh, sweet Jeebus, was it amazing! This bold blend of tempranillo, grenache and graciano is aged in new French, new American and two-year-old French oak. Since two of these grapes - tempranillo and grenache - are noted for their ability to take oaking well (they're also great blending grapes) you'll be picking up rich, warm spice from the moment this wine is decanted. The graciano adds balance and a dark fruit to the mix, with a medium tannic quality on the finish.

This monster red comes with a monster price tag, at over fifty dollars. But it is worth every penny, especially if you pair it with lamb.