Gonzalez Byass Finca Constancia from the Castilla region of Spain is made from an unspecified blend of Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Graciano.
Perhaps the most interesting of these is the lattermost which is native to Spain and grown mainly in Rioja where it is often blended, but occasionally produced as a varietal wine. Its key features are a preference for hot, arid climates, good aromatics, long aging potential and a multitude of synonyms.
In the glass, the wine is dark and inky, whilst on the nose there is a rich, heady blend of dark berry and prune fruit, blackcurrant, liquorice and spice.
The palate shows the aromas and texture of bitter dark chocolate, elderberry fruit and a touch of cool mintiness.
It is mouthfillingly dense and smooth with good, rounded acidity and just a touch of grip on the finish.
Sampled over a number of days, the dark-fruit aromas become more prominent on the nose and finish with time and aeration, suggesting this will age for several more years.
The only slight downside is that the tannins feel slightly drying on the finish, but it would be churlish to let this spoil your enjoyment of this big wine.
It has a number of awards (from various vintages) - mainly bronzes and commendations. Match with roast lamb with rosemary and garlic.
£9.99 from Ocado, Rhythm & Booze, General Wine Company and independents; provided for review.
Gonzalez Byass - http://gonzalezbyass.com/en/intro.htm
Ocado - http://www.ocado.com/