Rioja Semi-Crianza by Rioja Vega 2018
Rioja Vega’s Semi-Crianza Rioja Red is a nice reminder that Tempranillo grown at altitude expresses the best version of itself, glowing with red and black fruits, cushiony acidity, and the alluring package of sweet-sour and savory earth.
Despite its sub-$17 price tag, this gem packs a punch. Bodega Rioja Vega’s “Semi-Crianza” (meaning it is aged in oak for less than 12 months) shines with classic Spanish flair, varietal purity, and a supremely layered palate that leaves its quaint $16.99 price tag far behind. Let’s put it this way: There are countless more-expensive Riojas I wished tasted like this! You need to check it out.
The vineyards are planted in the fertile soil fed by the Ebro River, creating the perfect climate for growing grapes. Under this ideal location Rioja Vega’s winery has thrived since its foundation in 1882 by Don Felipe Ugalde.
Rioja Vega uses traditional and artisan techniques in aging, such as the use of oak barrels, a Riojan practice dating back to Manuel Esteban Quijano in 1786. More than 130 years have passed and is still thriving. The winery, located about 10km from Logroño, is today a classic on the Spanish wine scene.
‘Semi-Crianza’ refers to wines that are aged less than 12 months in barrel, and this is a beautiful example. Cherry colour of medium intensity. The very attractive aromas and flavours are red and black fruit with licorice notes, enveloped by drying tannins. A bright wine with a clean finish.
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