I have been meaning to try this Rioja wine for some time and in the last week I have tried it in two vintages. Both were impressive, but the 2007 could use a little more time in bottle to achieve a better balance. Predicador is the inexpensive wine that Benjamin Romeo brought onto the market in 2005. Benjamin Rome is a cult winemaker in Rioja and is responsible for such amazing wines as Contador, La Cueva de Contador, La Viña de Andrés, all priced 80 euros or higher. Benjamin Romeo also offers one of Spain’s most unique whites, Que Bonito Cacareaba, which retails for about 35€. The story behind the name is funny…it translates as “How wonderfully it crowed.” Seems strange but originally it was called Gallo canto or “Cock crows”, but obviously Gallo in Spanish is spelled the same as the famous winery Gallo. Need I say more….so Benjamin killed off the Gallo and in memoriam named the wine Que Bonito Cacareaba! Love it and love the wine. The Predicador is less intense and simpler than it’s pricy big brother, but it offers a lot of bang for the buck at only about 19€. It is an intense, sweet fruit, fresh modern Rioja with great oak integration and a long finish. The 2006 has the edge for me right now…much smoother. The 2007 is delicious, but the tannins are a bit tight still. It really a pleasure to drink a good value wine from this unique and creative winemaker. Read on for more details on Predicador.
Wine: Predicador 2006/2007
Winery: Bodega Benjamin Romeo
Denominación de Origen (DO): Rioja
Grape varieties: 100% Tempranillo
Oak regime: at least 12 months aging in new French oak
Price: 19-20€ retail in Madrid
Visual: Pretty medium intensity ruby…typical Rioja color
Nose: 2006: sweet cherry, spicy oak nose…really intense and attractive though not super complex. 2007: A bit floral with sweet candy cherry fruit…a bit hot on the nose too. A little more complex than the 2006 but not as attractive.
Mouth: 2006: Intense, smooth mouth, very fresh acidity. Vanilla and cherry fruit, a bit of spice. Really long finish with lots of ripe, silky tannins. Fruit lasts long as well. 2007: Better in mouth than in the nose, though the tannins are a bit tough. Very fresh, great oak aromas….quite silky in mid-palate, but the tannins need some time. The fruit comes back again in the long finish.
Conclusion: Both vintages were great! I prefer the 2006 now, but it seems a little simpler than the 2007 which shoes great potential. A great modern Rioja for a very good price.