Alberto Ore should be a name familiar to fans of Spanish and Portuguese wines. His Sierra de la Demanda Tinto and Escalada Do Bibei labels were reasonably smart purchases a few years ago, and I still have a bottle or two hanging back waiting to be poured in a year’s time. Expectations ran high when I found this new label, Real del la 8, at my local shop earlier this week. So with not one but two separate water main breaks in our neighborhood last night, I decided now was better than any time to pop open a bottle.
There are heavy floral notes on the nose which slightly overpower and do not let any other elements shine, but the black raspberry and pipe tobacco on the palate save the day and clean things up on the back half nicely. The finish is short and dry, and there’s nothing memorable taking place to garner any enthusiasm or motivation to lift the glass to your mouth for the next sip.
When dining with folks who have never experienced a proper Rioja, have a bottle of this handy so as not to diminish your supplies. This could also be a suitable house gift for a gathering where there is minimal enthusiasm to attending. At $8 per bottle it hurts not the wallet but the palate: The thrifty buyer certainly receives a proportional experience.
C+ / $8