WINE REVIEW: 2008 ARÍNZANO GRAN VINO DOP PAGO DE ARINZANO ($80)
by Andrew Chalk
Appearance: Opaque, garnet with some browning at edges;
Nose: Cedar, figs, oak;
Palate: Huge, chewy tannins. Years of ageing ahead. Medium acid. Plum. Very ripe.
Overview: This Tempranillo, aged 14 months in French oak, exhibits almighty power and concentration that leaves one wondering if it will ever soften to be a gentle wine. I would give it the benefit of the doubt as it has so much pedigree. The noted Spanish wine reviewer José Peñin gave it a score of 95/100 (textually, an ‘excellent’ wine, which is his highest rating).
Vinos de Pago is a relatively new Spanish quality designation. It denotes a wine of great quality produced in small amounts that may not be stylistically typical of its geographical origin. This winery, for example, is in Navarra but its style is a winemaker’s mind bend.