Movie & Wine Pairing


Altos de la Guardia Tempranillo 2015
Rioja DOCa, Spain

The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)
Monday, July 31 @ 09:15 AM
SATURDAY, September 30 @ 08:00 PM

Vincente Minnelli was a director of many strengths, among them pulling out great performances from his actors. His 1952 melodrama about an unscrupulous movie producer, played by Kirk Douglas, is a penetrating look at the Hollywood system in which they both thrived. Pair its complexities with this Rioja, a smooth and elegantly crafted wine with an array of spices and bramble fruits on display.


This special release hails from the boutique Altos de la Guardia winery, located in the heart of Spain’s premium Rioja Alavesa region. Crafted by acclaimed winemakers Jean-Marc Sauboua and Hector Gomez, it’s made with pure Tempranillo (Spain’s star red) and boasts a gold medal from Tempranillos Al Mundo (the world’s most prestigious competition dedicated to the grape). Showing all the ripe-fruited character of Rioja’s stellar 2015 vintage, the wine brims with rich blackberry flavor. You’ll also enjoy toasty vanilla notes and smooth tannins, thanks to light oak aging.


Jean-Marc Sauboua (below left) trained at Bordeaux’s legendary Château Haut-Brion, and has made acclaimed wines all over the world. He loves Rioja (his mother’s homeland), and jumped at the chance to invest in the tiny Altos de la Guardia winery. Together with Hector Gomez (below right), formerly of Finca Villacreses in Ribera del Duero, he crafts limited-volume wines that balance classic Spanish personality with Jean-Marc’s modern flair.


In the ancient town of Laguardia, wines are noted for their finesse. And at Altos de la Guardia cellars, that tradition continues. The grapes used here are carefully handpicked from 60- to 80- year-old vines high in the foothills of the Sierra Cantabria mountains. Tempranillo here enjoys ideal sun exposure and high altitudes, which creates those hallmark bright, elegant flavors.


Altos de la Guardia is the kind of rich, food-friendly red that can take you all the way through dinner. While waiting on the main course, enjoy this smooth Tempranillo alongside classic Spanish tapas like marinated olives, jamón serrano and firm, aged cheeses, or mushroom and ham croquettes. For the main meal, you can’t go wrong with slow-roasted lamb or pork.

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