2018 Bodegas Riojanas 'Monte Real' Rioja Crianza
100% Tempranillo. Aged for 18 months in new American oak and then six months in bottle before release, this is a richly spiced and savory style, with firm, grainy tannins. The black fruit is enlivened with brighter touches of redcurrant and fresh acidity. Lovely aromas of cassis, spice, a touch of earthiness and autumnal berries.
One of the grand old names of Rioja, Riojanas has produced heroic wines since its founding in 1890. Such continuity was assured not only by the enduring commitment of the owning Artacho family but the fact that, until Felipe Nalda’s retirement in 2013, Riojanas’ winemaker had been with the bodega for 49 years (since the great 1964 vintage). Under Felipe’s guiding hand, it remained one of the few remaining houses committed to the traditional methods that gave us one of the world's most distinctive and long-lived styles of wine. Rather than being founded in the commercial hub of Haro—as many prominent bodegas were—Riojanas is in the very heart of Rioja at Cenicero where its owners, the Artacho family, have been growers for generations. Because of this, Riojanas has long had the luxury of complete control, from vine to bottle, of much of its production, from prized sites in its home village. Cenicero’s terroir has long been revered as the source of some of the very best Riojas, complete wines that combine the elegant structure of Rioja Alta with the full body of Rioja Alavesa.