Marqués de Arienzo Rioja 2003

I never look a gift horse in the mouth, Trojan or otherwise.  I never knowingly say “neigh” to a first class excuse not to spend my weekend cutting the lawn.

I’ve just been invited to see the Foo Fighters at Wembley on Saturday.  This will be the third time I have seen them in the last 12 months (first at Live Earth, second at the O2).  One of very few bands that can sell out two nights at Wembley, they must be doing something right.  The Foo Fighters were reborn from Nirvana after Kurt Cobain’s “self inflicted shotgun wound to the head”.  I became a believer quite recently which resulted in me enjoying the first hour of the O2 concert and then listening in bemusement as they excavated deep into their back catalogue.  The crowd went wild and I was left holding the spade.  I must do some revision before going this time.

It will also be an opportunity to attack another trophy restaurant (memo to self: bring change of grunge clothing) for Sunday lunch in our fair capital.  I might look up one of the places my mate Douglas has reviewed and see if I agree with his cultured palate.

For me, last year’s “culture” came from a lads’ trip to Puerto Banús.  On the way back I picked up this bottle from Malaga Airport for only €7.  At the time this was a bargain but, of course, with recent currency movements it is now the approximate pecuniary equivalent of a magnum of 1961 Château Pétrus (if bought in the UK or US).

Malaga Airport or bust - Arienzo

I am sure that Rob could tell me if 2003 was a good year for Rioja.  I thought this Crianza excellent.  In the background, strawberry flavoured, it had a good level of tannin and the sort of sweet acidity I associate with blackberries.  I know this because I happened to be eating said fruit when I drank it.

So maybe it tastes like blackberries soaked in tea with a strawberry sauce and just a dab of vanilla ice cream?  Perhaps it smells like teen spirit?  Or maybe I’m an idiot.

3 Responses to “Marqués de Arienzo Rioja 2003”

  1. Douglas Says:

    When you’re next in the vicinity of the capital (restaurant support machine), lets have lunch? (as long as the lawn-mower doesn’t get jealous…)

  2. Robert Says:

    Oops, forgot to comment as requested.

    2003 was not a great year in Rioja, just as it wasn’t anywhere in Europe really. The extra heat and drought means that the essential qualities for “excellent” vintage were not there (too much ripeness, too little acidity). However, it is fine for younger wines that are to be drunk now as they will taste fruity and forward (i.e. ready to drink), just don’t keep it long.

    You’ll find pretty good Crianzas but no top Reservas. 2004 & 2005 on the other hand were very good vintages.

  3. Prof. Riyadh el Arif Says:

    For the Price category of thr “Marques d´Arienzo”, it is simply great.

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