The word joven on the label of a Spanish red wine indicates that the bottle contains a young wine, fresher than aged wines but also without the well-developed tannins that give older wines their structure. Drink it now, quaffing at will.
The 2012 Olivara Joven from the Toro wine region in the province of Zamora in northwestern Spain (about $11 at bay area big-box wine retailers) is a fresh young red made from 100 percent tinto (tempranillo) grapes.
It is a smooth and full-bodied red with a rambunctious bite of bramble on a nose dominated by blackberry and cherry with just a hint of violets. Soft round fruit dominates on the palate but that hint of violets is there in the margins, too. It finishes long and full with a nice peppery exclamation point at the finale.
This wine will pair well with stews and many red meats, but we suggest trying it with chicken roasted on a bed of fennel and carrots.
By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel.