The Spanish League Ends With A Bang - I Watch With A Bottle Of Rioja In My Hand
Jancis Robinson writes of Tempranillo in her classic, How To Taste: "Even though I've never actually smelled a fresh tobacco leaf, this does the trick for me with its suggestions of both greeness and earthiness and something very definitely savory."
The above quote nails Rioja. Throw in strawberries, hints of barnyard, coffee and forest floor as well as a long, saline finish- and the Faustino I is a textbook sample of classic Rioja. While lacking the power and complexity of The Big Three (Muga Prado Enea, Castillo Ygay and La Rioja Alta 890), it is nonetheless smooth, mellow and refined, with fine acidity it is easy to take for granted, and proves a wine doesn't have to be great to be great. And the fact that you can pick it up in most supermarkets in Madrid and Barcelona is an excellent reason to emigrate.
At halftime, Barcelona leads 3-0 while Madrid trails by a goal. Will Beck's comeback end in a whimper? Twelve minutes to the end, Madrid regains the lead in the championship run and a minute later leads 3-1 while Barsa's valiant efforts are in vain as even their 4-1 victory cannot budge Real off the top. Ten years ago, my heart would have been broken. Today, I am actually in awe of what Real Madrid has done.