Valdepeñas DO, Spain
100% Tempranillo; probably about 13% ABV
$6 at the Richmond, CA, store on 31 Dec
The Pata Negra is apparently the type of pig from which Jamón ibérico (Iberian ham) is traditionally made. Valdepeñas DO is “almost completely surrounded by another DO (La Mancha) but is an independent DO due to its long history of producing a distinct style of wine known aloque or clarete which is made by mixing white and red grapes.” However, this wine is 100% Tempranillo.
I brought this over to San Francisco, decanting it before I left and putting it in the back of the car, estimating it would likely need 60 – 90 minutes of air. However, on New Years’ Eve, there was quite the backup on the toll plaza getting onto the bridge heading into the city. So I was sitting stuck in stop and go traffic thinking, “The wine’s been open an hour. I should really taste it! The wine’s been open an hour and a half…” But, actually, the wine was still quite good when I got there, and even some hours later. My notes are quite vague because I wasn’t thinking too much about it at the time. As I recall, it tasted of typical Tempranillo tangy darker red cherry, earthy aged complexity of wood / slight cinnamon, with the fruit slowly darkening to tangy purple cherry / plum over time and acquiring a tasty dark herbal note.
A word of caution, though. The cork was quite dry and broke in two as I was extracting it with my corkscrew. I was able to dig the corkscrew in again and pull out the last bit, but you should open it with that in mind, either making sure the corkscrew goes all the way through the cork, or using an Ah So two-prong cork extractor, or whatever works best for you.