Vina Santurnia (Rioja, Spain): A lesson in vintages

Posted on by Arianna Armstrong in Jess' Wine Tasting Notes | 1 Comment
2005 Vina Santurnia

2005 Vina Santurnia

One of our favorite stores for buying wine is The Wine House on Cotner in West Los Angeles. We like it because the prices and selection are great, the staff is knowledgable, it's close to home (which in LA is a bigger deal than it ought to be), and we can always order more of whatever we fall in love with.

The first time that happened, we fell in love with the 2004 Vina Santurnia, a delicious wine from Rioja. At $10.99 a bottle, we didn't even hesitate to order a case. Mitch is a big Pinot Noir fan, I'm a big Cabernet Sauvignon fan, and this wine satisfied both of us. We both like that it's smooth and has a nice mouthfeel, a barely-berry flavor in a medium-bodied, dry red wine. We ordered a case of course, after we cleaned out the remaining five bottles they had in stock. Except we still haven't invested in proper wine storage and the last few bottles started to get a little… negative… before we finished the case.

Nonetheless, we happily drank the remainder and went back to The Wine House to purchase some more. Except now they were onto the 2005 vintage. I'd been doing research and learning that a 2004 Whatchyacallit isn't going to be the same as a 2005 Whatchyacallit unless we're talking about Champagne. So we sent up a test balloon and only bought a few bottles of the 2005. Good thing! We didn't love it as much as we loved the 2004.

Until today that is! I have this not-so-secret love affair with Garlic Triscuit (pronounced tris-kwee in our household). I also love Garlic Jack cheese. Well, in fact, I like nearly all foods with garlic in them, including raw garlic which grosses everyone out and is neither here nor there. Anyway, I had a lovely snack of Garlic Jack on Garlic Triscuit this afternoon, and opened a bottle of the 2005 Vina Santurnia to enjoy with it. And enjoy I did! The pairing of food and wine seems like an academic pursuit to me, until the magic happens like it did today.

On the label
Rioja – Type of wine named after the region of La Rioja in Spain
Denominacion de Origen Calificada – Spain's way of telling you this wine comes from a top-quality wine region
Vina Santurnia – The winery
Crianza – This means it spent one year in an oak barrel
Varietal – 100% Tempranillo