Rioja is predominantly planted with Tempranillo and is mostly known for its red wines. There is often splashes and blends of Grenache with Tempranillo, which won't usually be disclosed on the label. What was traditionally Rioja-style, has evolved over the last couple decades. Rioja of the past had always been associated with extensive oak ageing in new American barrels. Today, you will find Rioja in a broader range of style. Experimentation with different oak regimes and producers who are nurturing more rarer varietals and exploring different blends. Bottles labeled strictly "Rioja" have little or no oak ageing and spend minimal time ageing before being released. Crianza denotes one year in oak and one in bottle. Reserva spends one year in oak and two in bottle, while Gran Reserva is two years in oak and three in the bottle. This wine is gritty and rugged today. Enjoy now or wait several more years, if you can! Chill to 17C.
Fuzzy raspberry beret, with a deeper core and candy-hued edges.
Rustic initially with flavours that are dusty, vegetal and earthy. Evolves quickly into a meatier, BBQ rub, cedar chips and a bit of butcher block. The fruits are ripe and tart, cranberry, black cherry and currants. There is also substantial green peppercorn notes.
Salivating acidity that washes along the inside of your cheeks and along the sides of your tongue. The tannins are drying on the gums and tip of the tongue. Besides the rustic red berries and black plum skin, the wine offers a lot of texture and body. We like how the crunchy cranberries brighten the sandy tannins and woody notes. There is a bit of heat mid-palate, but it fades and is replaced by more black cherry and licorice.
We think a gamey sausage like elk or venison would further accentuate the rugged nature of the wine.