ABOUT: Benjamin Romeo's Bodegas Contador Predicador is an ambitious wine from Rioja, side-stepping the rules of the local Consejo Regulador and doing his own thing. Seems pretty common in the wine world, make a bunch of rules and restrictions then break them. Benjamin started his wine making career like a musician, first in the garage. His wines caught the attention of Mr. Robert Parker in the early 2000's and put him right on the map. The success is well deserved, the wines are exceptional. The Predicador wine is made from vines surrounding the historic village of San Vincente de la Sonsierra situated in the Rioja Alta, which in 2009 had the best weather conditions in all of Spain. This wine is just one out of 8 wines he makes, and we've only seen this one in our market. These are Rioja's I'd hunt down and tuck into a basement corner for a snowy day.
TASTE: The 2009 Predicador is made from 89% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha, and 1% Viura. The wine was treated as a crianza and spent 16 months in barrel, 12 of those months in 100% new French oak. This is new school Rioja, fresh, bold red & black cherry fruit flavors, black tea and vanilla, with hints of garrigue, the herbaciousness often associated with wines from the southern Rhone of France. Medium body, fine tannins and a long finish. This wine has a many things in common with really good quality Chateauneuf du Pape.
PAIR:Piquillo peppers stuffed with Manchego, grilled garlic beans, red lentil soup, pizza with rosemary potato slices, root and roasted vegetables, and carmelized onion and blue cheese tart.