The 2008 AllozO Tempranillo Reserva is sourced from grapes grown near the town of Tomelloso in the Ciudad Real Province of Castilla La Mancha in Spain. AllozO is produced by Bodegas Centro Espanolas (they also make exceptional Reserva, 25 and 100-year-old Brandy), even though Tempranillo is The Red wine of Spain, it was not commonly grown in La Mancha. Bodegas Centro Espanolas committed to Tempranillo in 1987 and since have proved La Mancha to be one of Spain’s best Tempranillo growing regions. The La Mancha DO is the largest single grape growing region in the world, it is larger than all of Australia’s wine regions combined. The AllozO Reserva is aged in American and French oak barrels for 18 months and then is aged another 18 months in bottle. Even though this is an aged wine, it should be available for around or maybe a little under $20, non aged La Mancha Red (and White, too) wines are often priced under $10. There are many Bodegas’s in La Mancha producing world-class wines and very often at bargain prices. The alcohol content is 14%.
The color is dark plum red with a hint of rust, along with black highlights. The nose is complicated, extracted blackberry, oak spice, chocolate powder, vanilla, plum, baking spices and a hint of cedar. This Tempranillo is smooth and balanced upfront, with all sorts of flavors and textures showing up on the mid-palate. It tastes of blackberry, rich, gooey fudge, ripe plums and vanilla. The mid-palate shows, curry spice, orange zest, milk chocolate powder, tart cranberry, a slight and welcome pull from the tannins, with a final splash of sour cherry. This is not a wine that is light on flavor and while there is a lot going on, the structure keeps everything in balance. This is a Spanish wine and a European wine, so therefore it is a food wine and would work well with savory stews and roast meats. The finish is full, complicated and lengthy.
Usually, the one type of wine that value wine drinkers (under 20 bucks) do not have access to is aged wines, the AllozO was harvested 6 years ago and can easily go another 6 years. And that is why up and coming wine regions like La Mancha are great, the quality of the wine is there, but the world-wide reputation takes a while to catch up, in the meantime there are bargains to be had. What you have to remember about import wine is that they are vetted 3 times. First an importer has to decide he can get an US distributor to take his wines, the distributor has to decide that he can get wine shops to carry the wine and wine shops have to decide their customers will buy the wine. As long as you are buying from a quality wine shop, while there is no guarantee that the wine will be your style, it will be a quality wine. Wines from La Mancha can offer “bang for the buck,” at prices that are just begging you to take a chance. Give them a try.