You know what they say about first impressions. That’s right, they’re very hard to change. And the Viña Don Royo red makes a really nice first impression, which I think benefited the wine as I reviewed it. Pop the cork on this vino tinto and it offers up a rich and robust nose, with ripe raspberry, hints of fig and marmalade, with singed toast. I was eager to see what the wine would offer up on the palate. If it delivered half as much complexity and intensity at it teased up in aroma and bouquet, then surely we would have a winner on our hands.
So, excited for what I was about to experience with this wine that had so quickly captured my admiration, I diligently sipped a small amount to acclimate my palate. The wine’s rich fruit quickly activated the taste buds on the tip and edges of my tongue. It offered an intriguing sour-ish tang that further built up the excitement. I was eager to begin a thorough examination of what appeared to be an impressive wine. It seemed this Spanish charmer had made an impression on my palate as well. However, in my enamored state, I failed to notice that this wine made very little to no impression at all on the finish. I’m sure I simply dismissed it, assuming that I was distracted by what was going on in the front of my mouth. I tasted again. And again a burst of raspberry, plum and acid tantalized my tongue, smoothly transitioning through to the mid-palate and finish. And again, as the wine finished, my mind was still focused on the initial impression the wine was imparting on my tongue. I was enamored. This wine had seduced me. It had tricked me. I continued, taking another sip….and then another.
Now I was catching on. That first impression was beginning to flicker, and it was allowing me to come to my senses. The lack of finish was now becoming the most prominent element. Lack of finish may be putting it kindly. The Don Royo’s finish seemingly drops off a shelf, and flat goes away, leaving the wine a bit unbalanced. I checked the bottle for the alcohol content, expecting 12.5 – 13%……..not even close. This wine is 11% alcohol by volume, not enough, in my opinion, to provide any real amplification to the complex fruit the wine was offering. But the first impression persisted, and I still found myself enjoying this more elegant style of Spanish Grenache, despite missing an important aspect of a quality flavor profile. You know what they say about first impressions….…..they’re very hard to change.
Wine: Viña Don Royo
Disclosure: This wine was received as a sample.