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Rioja

Dinastía Vivanco Rioja Viura-Malvasía-Tempranillo Blanco 2016

Dinastía Vivanco Rioja Blanco 2016

Soft in tone and texture, Vivanco's 2016 Rioja Blanco is a non-traditional blend of 50% Viura, 35% Tempranillo Blanco, and 15% Maturana Blanca. It's the color of sun-bleached straw, and with a swirl radiates underripe pineapple, yellow apple, pear, lemon blossom, and barley flour. Lees contact has graced this Rioja blend with deceptive softness on entry, a sensation that quickly gives way to a backbone etched in lemon-pith. Nice value in this bottle and an solid food wine as well. 13.0% ABV | Sample Dinastía Vivanco 8.9 Points...

Dinastía Vivanco Rioja Crianza Selección de Familia

Dinastía Vivanco Rioja Crianza Selección de Familia 2013

Smooth and open-hearted, Dinastia Vivanco's Crianza Rioja 2013 is an effortless plunge in to ripe plums, juicy black cherries, vanilla, wafting anise and lavender notes followed by a daub of earthy soulfulness. Composed of 100% Tempranillo, this is a fresh, round Crianza framed in black tea and ripe tannins. Easy to drink and even easier on the pocket book. 13.5% ABV | Sample Dinastía Vivanco 8.9 Points...

Faustino Rioja Reserva V 2006

Faustino Rioja Reserva V 2006

Faustino's Rioja Reserva V 2006 imparts little fruit. Expect notes of leather, sun-baked roof tile, grilled meat and tomato paste. Medium-bodied, this old-school Tempranillo offers moderate acidity and low-to-moderate, but fine tannins. The profile of the nose echoes that of the palate, and it paired reasonably well with grilled steak fajitas. 12.5% ABV Bodegas Faustino 8.9 Points...

Zaco Rioja Tempranillo 2014

Zaco Rioja Tempranillo 2014

The Zaco Rioja Tempranillo 2014 is crafted in a modern style, and is laden with black fruit, roasted black cherries, vanilla and anise. There is admittedly, lots of sweetness on the nose. Equally softly textured on the palate with plummy undertones and low acidity. It's only on the palate that the earthier side of this rather laid back Tempranillo is present, with just a touch of baked earth and roasted pepper on the finish. 14% ABV | Sample Bodegas Bilbainas 8.8 Points...

Bodegas Muga Rioja Rosado 2014

Bodegas Muga Rioja Rosado 2014

Lovely, lively and oh so drinkable, Muga's Rioja Rosado was a must-buy after tasting their budget-friendly reds. Salmon-hued with notes of watermelon and cherry blossom and interestingly—dried coconut flake and dried pineapple. The 2014 is a blend of 60% Garnacha, 30% Viura, and 10% Tempranillo grown in alluvial and calcareous soils. It's medium-bodied and softly textured, and not as lean as Provençal rosés. I do appreciate the touch of chalk and wet stone on the finish. Serve with tuna steaks or with grilled cantaloupe skewers wrapped in prosciutto. 13.0% ABV Bodegas Muga 8.8 Points...

Muga Reserva Rioja Muga 2009

Muga Reserva Rioja Muga 2009

Bodegas Muga Reserva Rioja 2009 is a praise-worthy blend of traditional grape varieties: 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, 7% Mazuelo, and 3% Graciano. Like an old and beautiful tapestry, there is a lovely interplay of dried roses and violets, brambly fruit and ripe Italian plums, saddled horses and red clay soil. This lovely pastoral scene, and these fine threads continue on the palate, evoking the past—where fine, concentrated tannins, moderate acidity and deep, rustic fruit notes add structure to the tale. Bodegas Muga 9.1 Points  ...

Bodegas Ostatu Rioja Alavesa Blanco 2012

Bodegas Ostatu Rioja Alavesa Blanco 2012

The Ostatu Rioja Alavesa Blanco 2012 is a blend of 85% Viura and 15% Malvasía and is slightly more mineral-driven than the previous vintage, and smells of warm rain on wet cement, lime zest, and buttercups. I love how dry and lean the palate is, all acidic verve, with a lovely textural component. Wet shell, lemon pith, and limestone on the finish. A great oyster wine and a good value, too. Of note, Osatatu's vineyards are planted in poor calcareous, clayey soils, and are sustainably farmed. 13.0% ABV Bodegas Ostatu 8.9 Points...

LAN Rioja Reserva 2005

LAN Rioja Reserva 2005

Bodegas LAN Rioja Reserva 2005 is one of my favorite value wines from the region. Notes of plump, juicy black cherries, baking spices, saddle leather and dried herbs permeate the glass. In the mouth it's silky, yet slightly rustic with nicely integrated, mouth-coating tannins. If you haven’t had LAN, buy it, put it in the cellar and forget about it for a decade or more. Inexpensive, generous, and incredibly tasty. Bodegas LAN 9.0 Points...