I rubbed a whole chicken down with salt, pepper, Spanish smoked paprika and dried parsley tonight and smoked it over charcoal spiked with cherry wood chips. Rioja seemed like an appropriate choice so I opened two. Both wines were quite tasty with the food:
The 2006 Heredad Ugarte Crianza, Rioja, offers rich, classic flavors of porcini mushroom, saddle leather and mint. Drinking at or near its peak, the leather and dusty cherry flavors shine on the palate.
The 2009 Montebuena Cosecha, Rioja, is a completely different animal. Although the sweet raspberry fruit and spice speak more of Spanish Garnacha than Rioja, I really enjoyed this wine. Not terribly complex, but the purity of fruit is something to be appreciated. Well done; albeit a bit atypical for this region.