Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 97

FOCUS: RIOJA REDS
a warm, full-bodied Rioja for braised meats. §
Pacific Highway Wines, Greensboro, NC
278778

90 | Contino

$68

2014 Rioja Gran Reserva ^ This wine's potent
extract gains freshness with air. The fruit
turns plummy while the dusty tannins take
on the blackness of eggplant skin and the
umami richness of mushrooms. Give it a year
or two in the cellar to meld, then decant for
short ribs. § Arano USA, Riverside, CT
278684

90 | Covila

$31

2011 Rioja Alavesa Gran Reserva II (Best
Buy) ^ Plump richness carries through this
ripe wine, its texture generous, its warmth
showing in the sandalwood scents of oak and
a little burn in the back of the throat. It's a big
Alavesa style, suited to prime rib. § Scoperta
Importing Co., Cleveland Heights, OH

90 | Quiroga de Pablo

$20

89 | Baron de Ley

$20

2013 Rioja Alta Quirus Selección de
Familia ^ Layered over the black-currant flavors, this wine's scent has a caraway note, like
toasted rye. It's earthy, rich and distinctive-
one taster suggested serving it with a Reuben
sandwich. § Wine Bridge Imports, Davis, CA
278753
2016 Rioja Reserva (Best Buy) ^ This wine's
bright raspberry notes and tangy tangerine
acidity combine in a lean, gamey red with
a hint of honeyed sweetness. Pour it with
pimentón-spiced pork rillettes. § Carolina
Wine Brands, Charleston, SC
278658

89 | Franco Españolas

$15

2017 Rioja Crianza Bordon (Best Buy) ^
Blackberry-jam flavors integrate with earthy
notes of herbs and butternut squash in this
clean, firm Rioja. It lasts with warm, peppery
spice. § M.S. Walker, Somerville, MA

90 | Señorío de la Eralta

$28

2014 Rioja Reserva ^ This raspberry-scented
reserva feels like a bright bolt of silk, its notes
of pepper and smoke a little volatile and
high-toned. The finish reminded one taster
of sweet marjoram. The wine should come
alive with Iberico ham. § Tri-Vin Imports, New
Rochelle, NY
278803

90 | Lan

$55

2017 Rioja Edición Limitada ^ Potent with
extract, this is bold rather than heavy, with
an ironlike edge to the blueberry-skin tannins. It's packed with fruit, verging on blueberry-syrup density, rich, smoky and built for
grilled meats. § Monsieur Touton Selection, NY
278688

90 | Milenrama

$16

2015 Rioja Reserva (Best Buy) ^ Rooty notes
shadow this wine's plum and berry flavors.
The fruit is generous, the grape-skin tannins firm, making this a rich and easy red to
pair with the dark meat of roast game birds. §
Skurnik Wines & Spirits, NY
278728

88 | Luberri

$16

88 | Olarra

$18

88 | Sierra de Toloño

$16

87 | Adivino

$11

2019 Rioja Orlegi (Best Buy) ^ "That's what
you would drink in a bar in Spain," says
Nacho Monclús of NYC's Despaña, remarking on the floral blackberry notes and "the
underlying texture and flavor of raw steak."
Peppery and light, it's a versatile red for
tapas. § De Maison Selections, Chapel Hill, NC
278695
2016 Rioja Reserva Cerro Anon (Best Buy) ^
A dry, austere Rioja with quiet black fruit and
scents of old wood, this wine has a volatile
edge to the tannins, needing roast beef or
lamb to bring out the fruit. § Tri-Vin Imports,
New Rochelle, NY
278723
2017 Rioja Raposo Tempranillo (Best
Buy) ^ This wine grows in Villabuena, Rioja
Alavesa, where it develops a crunchy darkcurrant savor. Its oak is a little aggressive for
now, suggesting the wine needs a few years in
bottle to mellow and integrate. § David Bowler
Wines, NY
278620

278666
278674

tive Viñedos de Aldeanueva, this is the bodega's basic red (the bottle with the image of
Herminia on the label). It tastes like Rioja
in a modern, clean way, tightly built around
cedary spice, the herbal notes of sassafras,
and tannins that bring to mind the bitterness of raspberry seeds. For grilled lamb. §
Europvin USA, Van Nuys, CA
278790

89 | El Guardián

$17

88 | Baron de Ley

$15

88 | Viña Herminia

$22

2014 Rioja Reserva (Best Buy) ^ Bright and
lean, its texture integrated into soft, supple
tannins, this is a light, austere Rioja that still
feels round. Its gaminess would mesh with
roast squab. § Mack & Schuhle, Riverside, CT
278632

2018 Rioja Tinto Joven (Best Buy) ^ Generous with jammy blueberry flavor that lasts,
this wine has a dark-roast-coffee bitterness
that places it at a busy tapas bar. § Scoperta
Importing Co., Cleveland Heights, OH

2018 Rioja Varietales Tempranillo (Best
Buy) ^ Light, airy and clean up front, this
bright tempranillo descends into black tannins. A touch of sweetness keeps it balanced
for braised lamb. § Carolina Wine Brands,
Charleston, SC
278669
2014 Rioja Reserva (Best Buy) ^ Vibrant
cherry-red fruit shows this Rioja's lush ripeness, its soft tannins adding a grilled-meat
savor and directing the wine toward a steak. §
Europvin USA, Van Nuys, CA
278795

88 | Viña Herminia

$14

2017 Rioja Herminia Tempranillo (Best
Buy) ^ From a joint venture between the owners of Emilio Lustau Sherry and the coopera-

278796

86 | Beronia

$13

2017 Rioja Crianza (Best Buy) ^ Cool up
front, with spicy red-fruit notes of currants,
this turns warmer in the end as it leans into
oak flavors. Serve it cellar temperature with
a pan-seared steak. § González Byass USA, Chicago, IL n
WINE & SPIRITS

DECEMBER 2020

97


https://www.bodegaslaeralta.es https://www.wine-searcher.com/find/criadores+de+el+guardian+crianza+doca+rioja+spain/2014 https://www.beronia.com/en/classics-range/crianza

Wine & Spirits - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Wine & Spirits - December 2020

Contents
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Cover1
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Cover2
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 1
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 2
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Contents
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 4
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 5
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 6
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 7
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 8
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 9
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Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Cover3
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Cover4
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