In this Spanish red you have an amazing confluence of tastes, and I noticed it best earlier this week when I uncorked the Pico Cuadro Original 2010 the night after a pedestrian Cabernet Sauvignon from California. I thought the Cab was pretty good until this gem splashed my glass on the next night, and I realized there is such a clear difference between the quality of the two bottles. You’ve got amazing dark fruits in the Cuadro, and some crazy graphite…maybe mocha?…or something lurking back in the shadows. This wine earns great points for not only its subtle underpinnings but also the bold fruits that are front and center.
We had the Pico alongside filet mignon, a great and rare treat, and flamed up the steaks just right (yes the extra kiss of heat was perfect). They had been prepared with the last of a homemade salt and seasoning rub, and soaked up the herbs perfectly. You wanted to slurp all the salty goodness out of each bite, to roll it around on your palate, and then wash it down richly with a mouthful of this well-structured red wine. A spot of burnt butter asparagus and mashed potatoes made the meal complete.
“This Ribera del Duero is sourced from a single vineyard of 100% Tempranillo vines with 80+ years of age. The wine is all about precision, with clean and distinct aromas of blackberry, raspberry, violet, cinnamon, and leather along with notes of black licorice.” Others offered, “…offering concentrated boysenberry and cherry cola flavors lifted by zesty acidity.” Sounds great, right? That’s the profile that enticed me to buy this one too. I’m always going to remember the Cuadro–as much for these unbelievable tastes as for the memories it will always stir.