Rioja! Just saying it out loud makes me feel like I've single-handedly overthrown a dictatorship. I don't condone trying wines simply because the varietal name is fun to say. I do condone trying the Javier San Pedro Randez 2013 Cosecha because it is deliciously jammy with a healthy balance of acidity and dryness. 

Rioja is Spain's oldest wine region and the first to be a DO when the country first set up its system in 1926. Rioja is typically a blend of tempranillo and other grapes grown in, but not exclusive to Spain, like mazuelo (a.k.a. carignan), garnacha/grenache and graciano.  However, the Javier San Pedro is 100% tempranillo and a "joven" or young wine. Rioja is classified by the amount of time it is aged. Two to three years is crianza, three to four years is riserva, and five years or more is gran reserva. The Javier San Pedro was aged for less than two years and therefore bears none of these labels.

The nose of this wine is like perfume -- and by that I mean it is concentrated and floral. On the palate, it is medium-bodied with notes of blackberry, vanilla and licorice. As aforementioned, it's jammy, which I don't always like, but this jam was balanced with dryness and acidity to make it okay in my book, i.e. not syrupy. It does not have an overly long finish, but it sticks around while enough to still be there when you take a next bite of food.  

We paired this with a vegan meal and it was a perfect choice, as the body of the wine isn't ideal for standing up to red meat, but the acidity goes well with vegetables. It would also play nicely with a heavier fish. 

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