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2006 Conde de Valdemar Crianza 

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Rioja, Spain / $13-$15 Retail

According to Spanish law, red wines designated Crianza must be aged a minimum of two years with at least one year in oak barrels. This blend is 90 percent estate-grown Tempranillo and 10 percent Mazuelo aged in American oak for 15 months. The supple, medium-bodied wine offers aromas of ripe red fruit, vanilla, toasty oak and leathery accents. On the palate, taste plum, dark cherries, spicy notes, earthiness and a slightly rustic character with balanced acidity. Drink it with steaks, roasts, cured meats, duck, grilled eggplant and firm cheeses. Buy it at: Hopper's Carte des Vins, The Wine Seller, Elio's Wine Warehouse, Dorignac's and Schiro's Cafe and Bar. Drink it at: Orleans Grapevine Wine Bar and Bistro, Le Pavillon Hotel, Ralph & Kacoo's and R Bar. — Brenda Maitland


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