Trempranillo and Malbec usually top my list of value wines new wine drinkers should try. If you’re tired of lame Merlot, cheap and tannic Cabernet, and bad Chianti, then you should try some Malbec from Argentina and Spanish Tempranillo.

I went though a phase about a year ago where I drank lots and lots of Tempranillo. I sort of wore myself out with it. I recently picked up a couple bottles and last night opened Creta Roble 2006.

Tempranillo is often blended with other grapes to make great Spanish offerings but I like it by itself. This wine is 100 percent Tempranillo aged in a combination of American and French oak.

The taste is really smooth on the palate – easy to drink. There is a hint of earthiness while being fresh and juicy with a little spice.

When you see Spanish Rioja wines the chances are there is Tempranillo in the bottle. But also you should try it by itself for a real taste of Spain. This wine is produced from 70-year-old vineyards. Old vines like that almost always produce rich wines. The vineyards are in the Ribera Del Duero region of Spain.

It has moderately high alcohol at 14.5 percent and is an Eric Soloman selection. I paid $12.99 for it at Cork and Cracker in Indianapolis.

This is one of better Spanish wines for the price point that I’ve had in a long while.

Send comment or questions to: hewitthoward@gmail.com

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