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With its juicy cherry and tobacco flavors,
this Rioja red is a classic example of
the region’s flagship Tempranillo grape.
What You Need To Know
One reason to like Rioja’s crianza
wines—aside from their spicy red-fruit flavors and their ability to
pair brilliantly with everything from lamb burgers to chicken
paella to steak—is that they’re pre-aged. This red from Bodegas
Riojanas was, like all crianzas, matured for two years at the winery
before being released, a process that softens Tempranillo’s firm
tannins. Founded in 1890 by the Frias Artacho family, Bodegas
Riojanas is a large producer in Rioja Alta, the region’s top wine
zone. While Riojanas’ wines languished a bit at the end the last
century, quality has been on an upswing lately. That renaissance
comes thanks to a new winery (built in 2005) and the efforts of
talented winemaker Pablo Orio, who has brought modern rigor
to Riojanas’ old-school ways while preserving the wines’
Black cherry, leather and
spicy tobacco scents.
Plum and cherry flavors have
a dusty, spicy edge.
Cellar temperature—the bottle should be
cool to the touch.
Chicken with rice; roast
pork, sausages, lamb.