Perhaps you’ve read our previous post, Fooled by Numbers: Wine and You?  If so, this short comparison between two very different wines compliments it nicely!

I recently purchased, for the same price, a bottle of El Salegar Tinto Fino 2007 and a bottle of the Maison Elise Richard 2008 Corbieres Red Blend, without knowing at their ratings.

El Salegar Tinto Fino 2007 Maison Elise Richard 2008

Made from a promising blend of Carignan, Grenache Noir, Syrah, and Mourvèdre, the Maison Elise Richard 2008 Corbieres Red Blend was extremely slow to open, and its nose was very closed.  Even after opening, this wine’s nose was stubbornly elusive, being somewhat acidic and only sharing hints of black fruit and prunes.  Though the wine’s texture was not unpleasant, it was not very firm.  Its taste was earthy, but not robust.  Prevalent with brown and black fruits, including prunes, the wine also contained an aberrant licorice flavor which seemed to be an irksome “streak of independence” that divided the wine, rather than unifying it.  Rich with tannins, this is a wine that works best if paired with various potato dishes; I did not find it fully convincing on its own (it also cries for decanting).

In contrast, the El Salegar Tinto Fino 2007 made from Tempranillo grapes, had a delightfully aromatic nose, a very nice body,  and good color.  Containing earthy, herbal flavors including cherries, plumbs, and even some licorice, this wine was pleasantly well-balanced, and offered a robust, satisfying finish.  Unlike the Maison, the El Salegar demanded my attention immediately, and also did not have to rely on food to be enjoyed.

Granted, these are two very different wines, but it is interesting to note that they both were rated highly at 90 points each!