"Not really sure why I shot these in front of the Marshall amp, but the wines rock."

2001 Contino Rioja $35.97

This is a great bottle of Rioja, it is very complex and delicious.  It seems to have a leg in the new school and and leg in the old school which is great.  On the nose there is a mix of fig paste, chocolate, raspberries, and toasty vanilla oak.  There is a good mix of earthy and berry fruit here and the color is dark blood red.  The mouth feel is very rich and round with a caramel and berry component.  The tannins are pretty well integrated and the finish is silky and harmonious and goes on for 30 seconds.  Purchased at PJ Wines.  RECOMMENDED

2005 Chiarlo Tortoniano Barolo $27.99

I probably would not have opened this bottle for a few more years as it is still young, but the label had been damaged and so I thought why not try this one young.  The 2005 Barolo’s ideally need at least another five years or so to really come into their prime and will certainly last another 10-15 years beyond that.  That said, the Tortoniano was still a pleasure to drink already.  It is brick garnet in color, and the nose has accents of grilled kebabs, black pepper, black and sour cherries, fresh leather, and mint.  There is a whiff of acetone which is common with Barolo, and the mouth feel is fairly round and plush with an exotic mix of Eastern spices.  The acidity is solid, and the finish still a bit drying, but this will certainly mellow with proper age.  Purchased at online auction from Wines Til Sold Out aka WTSO.  RECOMMENDED