This wine takes me back to the early 1980s when Rioja was one of my first loves in wine. Around the mid-1980s I quit buying Rioja because of a perception that the winemakers there had moved away from their traditions to create a more commercial wine. My visit to Rioja last June convinced me that many Rioja estates were still following at least some traditional practices and that Spanish wine drinkers were appreciative of the old-time style. I had El Somo, with its distinctive red, black and silver label at least twice as a wine by the glass and enjoyed it immensely it each time.
El Somo is a non-vintage Crianza that cost me $8.99 at Sawall's Health Foods in Kalamazoom, but it is several steps ahead of most Crianzas I have had. Has that old-time creamy texture. Sweet, vanilla American oak but from seasoned barrels. Goes beautifully with rack of lamb, but I had a few sips left when I moved on to dessert: a raspberry/blueberry clafouti. And it continued to drink well.
I bought the last three bottles of this at Sawall's. Hope they bring in more.