Back to Spain today, for a bottle of table wine I picked up in an end-of-bin sale for about $7. At that price, honestly, there’s not much one could complain about, but nonetheless, we’ll strive to give you a full rendering of exactly what you’re drinking here.
This 2010 Protocolo seems to be a decent table wine, and an entry-level bottle made by a winery that produces any number of other higher-end bottles of Castillan wine (from Castilla, in north-western Spain). The bottle, tellingly, says that the grapes are selected and the wine is bottled by the family’s vineyard — as we discussed when reviewing another low-price table wine, that notation on the label means the wine producer bought the grapes, rather than growing them. Oftentimes, it means the grapes didn’t come from the vineyard, or even the region, that made the winemaker famous. This bottle is, however, still labeled as a wine from Castilla. The region is well-known for its tempranillo grapes, and this bottle is made from 100 percent tempranillo.
How does it look? This wine swirls easily, and seems to have a slight body, with a somewhat translucent, dark cherry red. The legs are slight, suggesting this wine won’t be very sweet.
How does it smell? The protocolo smells very floral, with a faint fruit aroma on the finish. That fruit aroma opens up a bit once the wine breathes, but the initial nose is heavy on cogeners and other scents (not surprising, maybe, for a wine with 13.5 percent alcohol by volume.)
But how does it taste? The fruit flavors of this wine are much more forward in the taste as they were on the nose, though they do become more prominent as the wine opens up and airs out. I’m still getting cherry and some mild peach flavor, with a bit of oak on the finish. There are some very faint floral and other green flavors on the finish as well. Overall, this is exactly what it bills itself as — a table wine, with just enough complexity to keep you interested.