Wine of the Month: Campo Viejo’s Gran Reserva Rioja

"When the wine goes in, strange things come out" - Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller, The Piccolomini, 1799.

That is certainly true here at Behind the Couch. When the wine goes in, strange things end up in my DVD player – and I don’t mean beer mats. Sometimes the wine you’re savouring dictates what films you crave to watch, and vice versa. Ensuring the wine you’re drinking matches the tone and content of the film you’re about to watch, can make all the difference. FACT.

A recent trip to Granada, Spain, has ensured that many of the films I’ve been watching recently have been accompanied by a beauteous bottle (or two) of Campo Viejo’s Gran Reserva Rioja. I’m a big fan of the Campo Viejo range (yes, I have expensive taste, but wine in Spain is cheap, so I stocked up).

Made from Tempranillo, Graciano and Mazuelo grapes, and a carefully controlled vinification process, this exquisite biddy spends two years in two-thirds French oak casks and the rest in American oak casks. If you think the aging process stops there – stick a cork in it and think again. It then goes on to age gracefully for 36 months in the bottle. Ruby red with aromas of ripe red berry fruit and nuances of wood and spices, it provides a long finish resplendent with sweet tannins and gentle hints of coffee.

Rich and robust, it goes well with mature cheeses and as it’s Spanish, naturally it’s accompaniment with the work of, say, Amando de Ossorio will prove most pleasant indeed. The sophisticated nature of the wine also works well with the likes of the poignant and slow-burning chills of Guillermo De Toro’s Spanish-set The Devil’s Backbone. The likes of Juan Piquer Simón’s trash-fests will only work to jar the palatable nature of this wine though – the likes of Pieces should only be watched after savouring the wine. Not a moment before. The oaky flavours will also work well alongside most backwoods based slasher films, such as Just Before Dawn, Madman, The Final Terror and, of course, many of the Friday the 13th films.


Mykal said…
James: I am a loyal beer man (czech pilsners being my mainstay); but your review has me tempted. Are their any good Irish reds? God knows your little isle has done its duty when it comes to beer and stout.
James Gracey said…
Oops, apologies for the late reply Mykal - must have nodded off after one too many Riojas! ;)
To be honest, I’ve never actually tried any Irish made wines – I’m sure they exist though, although the climate here is far from ideal for vineyards.
I think most wine produced here – and I’m guessing there aren’t that many – is Mead - a honey wine (which I’ve never tried myself). I think there are a few small clusters of smaller wineries around Cork (south coast of the island) that specialise in the stuff. A quick look online revealed that one of the first wineries was set up at Bunratty Castle in 1979. Still, you’ve given me food (wine) for thought – I must endeavour to try some!
Thanks for stopping by – I hope you are keeping well.

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