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As soon as the cork exits the bottle and splashes joyfully into a glass, the 2009 Tridente Tempranillo captures the eye as well as the nose. It greets the eager taster with a saturated purple robe and a redolence that brings both joy and anticipation. Scents of ripe black fruits mixed with incense and sweet balsamic notes tantalize the eager nose and foreshadow the broad voluminous flavors that await the thirsty palate. In the mouth, concentrated crème-de-cassis flavors infused with deft touches of graphite and toasted oak caress the palate. Concentrated, powerful, yet silky smooth with nary an edge, the 2009 Tridente Tempranillo provides ample testimony to the glory of old vine Tempranillo from Zamora and other prime vineyard sites throughout Castilla y León. Tridente’s hedonistic Tempranillo is one persistent, smooth, fine drinking wine that makes far too many Tempranillo based wines from nearby Ribera del Duero and Rioja taste like ordinary plunk. Enjoy this splendid Tempranillo from Juan Gil and the ancient vineyards of Castilla y León at cool room temperature (60°-65° F) after a few minutes of aeration.
“I’d drink this wine with just about anything, including a grilled cheese sandwich, as long as someone would keep filling up my glass,” blurted one tasting panel member. “I don’t need much of anything with this wine, except another glass of it,” uttered another member of the panel. And these two testimonials pretty much sum up the consensus of the entire tasting panel. We loved this Tempranillo with and without food, although we think you will agree that paella, pasta, roasted vegetables, mushrooms, and cured meats such as Spain’s succulent Jamon Serrano or their more readily available Italian cousins in the forms of pepperoni, prosciutto, and salami make good companions to Tridente’s old vine offering. Stews, sausages, red and white meats, and all kinds of mild to medium cheeses provide equally satisfying companionship. We tried a wide variety of foods with the 2009 Tridente Tempranillo and found that it almost didn’t matter what we served with it. We even enjoyed Tridente with grilled salmon on a bed of organic greens with walnuts, cranberries and feta cheese. Pulled pork barbecue served with a spicy homemade slaw or roasted green beans with caramelized onions makes for a tasty pairing with this wine as well, but as you like it.
If one follows the Duero River as it flows out of the mountains of the province of Soria in Castilla y León, one will soon discover many of Spain’s most exciting and expensive wines. Along the way, one passes fields of grazing sheep and waving wheat as the land shimmers and glows under the scintillating Castilian sun, but most compelling for the thirsty oenophile in search of liquid gold lay the hallowed vineyards of Ribera del Duero and Zamora, home to Spain’s most compelling grape variety – Tempranillo.
It is on the rolling hills of Zamora and nearby Toro that the Juan Gil family works magic with Tempranillo. Juan Gil Giménez, grandfather to the present generation, constructed his first winery in 1916 in Jumilla. However, it is his son Juan Gil Guerrero and today his grandsons, Juan Gil Gonzalez and Paco Gil Gonzalez, who have expanded the family’s enterprise to include prime vineyards in Zamora, Toro, Rueda, and Montsant. Moreover, they have continuously pushed the envelope on quality. From very old, shy bearing Tempranillo vines from El Pego and Villanueva de Campean in the province of Zamora, Juan Gil fashions Tridente, which now takes its rightful place among Zamora’s most compelling wines. The Tempranillo vines for Tridente grow on gravel rich soils that are trained in the traditional vaso system. Many of these vines are in excess of 100 years of age and yield small amounts of intense, seductive fruit. The resulting wine is aged for 15 months in French oak barrels. Quality, rather than quantity, is paramount with Juan Gil, as the 2009 Tridente aptly attests.
The 2009 Bodegas Tridente makes an ideal accompaniment to cheese. Tridente’s smooth, rich flavors and subtle spice tones complement a variety of cheeses, especially those made from cow and sheep’s milk. A glass of 2009 Tridente with some English Farmhouse Cheshire, a slice of authentic Spanish Mahón, or a few morsels of Danish Havarti, will make any true cheese aficionado dance with delight. For more information on delicious gourmet cheeses, contact us at www.cheesemonthclub.com and savor the day!
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