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2006 Campo Viejo Rioja Crianza

Let's start with the conclusion: this is a QPR crazy bottle of wine. What do you do when you're having a couple of dozen people over for a barbecue, but one is your wine-loving boss? Buy this wine. Bright cherry fruit flavors dusted with cocoa powder lead to vanilla from the obvious use of wood. But acids balance tannins, and wood does not overwhelm or collapse into a maple-vanilla mess, but rather complements the fruit. Serve with a crowd and don't worry about disappointing the wine lovers or giving the wine snobs a reason to whine.
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2007 Celler de Capçanes Mas Donís Barrica – Montsant

A pleasant and interesting wine, leading with plum, raspberry, cranberry, and spicy hints of cayenne and thyme. Light tannins and acids are there in good balance. The mid-palate is lacking, dropping from attack to simpler one-dimensional juice, but retaining the peppery pop. It's a good burger and fries wine but a ribeye would knock it out in the first round.
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Sherry Shall Rise Again

Sherry consumption and sales have been on a decline for the last thirty years. Some might believe that the day of Sherry is over, or that it will never return to its previous heights. However, looking at 3,000 years of history in the Sherry region of Spain, known as Jerez locally, gives me faith to exactly the contrary.
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2008 Juan Gil Monastrell – Jumilla, Spain

A knockout of a red wine from the somewhat obscure Jumilla region of Spain. Made from Monastrell, known in France as Mourvèdre, it is high in alcohol (15%) and presents a heady mix of lush and brawny characteristics. Lovely nose of crushed blackberries with tones of vanilla and Indian spice, primarily turmeric. It situates well on the palate with a solid tannic structure to hold it up. Finishes a bit hard, but that will likely soften with time. I really like this wine, and the price is right. Try it with classic Spanish tapas, like a nutty manchego with Serrano ham.
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2006 Santa Quiteria Almansa Loma Gorda – Spain

This is just absurdly good for the price. Blackberry, mulberry, and black cherry all float above a cloud of cigar smoke and tar. There is also a tremendous mineral streak of molten rock. Tannins are taught but smooth. Drink with a pot roast and both will be better for the pairing.