Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rioja worth finding.

I got to spend a week hurrying around Rioja last month, visiting, what, 18 or so wineries - luckily, the Riojans aren't as interested in tramping their guests through the vineyards as some people are. Among the wines I didn't have a good sense of previously are those from Bodegas Beronia, and their 2005 Reserva is now one of my favorites, and is available at a fairly good price for Rioja Reserva.

It's got that classic, seductive Riojan aroma of raspberry, ground coffee, toasty oak and black cherries - almost desserty, but that impression is removed by the brisk acid and lively cherry and berry flavors, a clean minerally tang with some black pepper and anise notes. The characteristic Riojan oak vanilla quality is here, of course, managed and subdued, and it finishes crisp, tangy and flavorful. Silky, elegant wine. Try the Crianza as well.

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