When it comes to "quality, value, availability, and excitement," Rioja leaves most regions in the dust.
“Here we are,” I thought when I got off the bus at Dinastia Vivanco Wine Museum in Rioja, Spain. “Exactly like six years ago, when everything started...” No, wait, that’s not precisely true. At that time, here ...
Aged for 3 to 4 years, it has a certain complexity, with a beautiful, almost sensual texture, yet also a touch of citrus and apple. Being a brut, it is truly dry, just well-rounded by the aging. Very solid for the price. Delicious with dry-cured ham, chorizo, marcona almonds, olives, etc.
Clear, medium intensity, bright ruby red. Clean medium intensity aromas of soft earth, moss, dark cherry, plum, fresh cranberry, violet, chalk, strawberry, and tobacco. Dry on the palate with medium tannin, medium-high acidity, medium body. Flavors of bright red fruit, cranberry, strawberry, raspberry, tart cherries; clean minerality on the finish. Drink with spicy lamb kebab or grilled portobello mushroom with blue cheese. Highly recommended. RR
Blackberries and brambles show in the nose, with a vanilla background from American oak. The palate is dark and deep, with earthy mulberry backed by black cherry. Mild black pepper and tobacco leaf show on the mid-palate, lingering over a mid-length finish with the mulberry. The depth and complexity of the wine belie the moderate price. Drink with flank steak or ropa vieja. Highly Recommended. DH
That lovely cigar box and cedar nose so typical of many Spanish reds is immediately forthcoming on the nose, along with some herbal elements. Black cherry fruit is forward, and the wine is a bit clumsy in that regard. Tannins are still sharp, giving a somewhat dusty finish, but still quite pleasant overall. At least one hour of aeration is recommended. Still could use some additional age. Good with just about any grilled meat on the barbecue, especially if using wood to smoke. Recommended. GT