The 2009 Volver from Bodegas Volver in the up-and-coming Spanish wine-making region of La Mancha (yes, the home of the fictional Don Quixote) is made from 100 percent tempranillo, the dominant grape in the renowned wines of Rioja, Spain. These particular tempranillo grapes are from 50-year-old vines, according to the importer, Jorge Ordonez of Grapes of Spain, who also brings us some of our absolute favorite value wines (see “A new contender for best $7 red wine ever?” and “Top 5 Spanish red wines”).
“The 2009 Tempranillo is produced from estate-grown fruit aged for 6 months in French oak,” he wrote. “Cedar, spices, incense, violets, and blackberry aromas and flavors lead to a nicely proportioned, lengthy red that is similar in personality to its organic sibling but with slightly greater volume and length.”
That seems high praise indeed. Yet Miller’s boss, Parker, was even more taken with the wine, scoring it 92 points and describing it as “a great value that I would unquestionably drink as a house wine.” Writing the July issue of Hedonist's Gazette , the separate chronicle of the “gustatory experiences” of Parker and his other reviewers, Parker noted that the 2009 Volver “sells for an astonishing $16-$17 a bottle.”
Imagine how astonished Parker would be if he happened into Calvert Woodley, where the 2009 Volver is its Wine of the Week, on sale for $13.99 a bottle. Uptown shoppers and Marylanders close to the District line will also find it at Paul’s of Chevy Chase for $13.99. That’s also the price at MacArthur Beverages for the 2008 vintage, which earned 88-point scores from both Wine Spectator and International Wine Cellar. Wine Advocate’s Miller liked the 2008 better than the current release, scoring it 90+ and predicting that “optimal drinking” window won’t even start until 2014 and will last until 2021.
So if you have a wine cellar and some patience, the 2008 Volver is also available at Pearson’s in Glover Park, Wells Discount Liquors in Baltimore and Kybecca Wine & Gourmet in Fredericksburg. (See Slideshow for prices and other wine shops that carry Volver.)
Yes, for some of us, $14 to $20 a bottle may be a bit steep for a house wine. But with the holidays coming up and plenty of good reasons to pull out a bottle with a little something extra, here’s one that’s worth a few dollars more.
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