Saturday, March 10, 2012

Montebuena Rioja 2009

  Here's a lovely entry level Rioja produced by a very large co-op called the Unión de Cosecheros of Labastida. Rioja can be a somewhat confusing area in that several varietals can be blended with the most important grape of the region, Tempranillo. Garnacha, Graciano, Mazuela and international varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot can all be used in the blend. As such, there are many different styles of Rioja, so at times consumers don't really know what they are getting. This bottling is a step down from the "Crianza" designation which demands 2 years of aging, six months  of which has to be in oak. There is probably no wood on this wine, at least none that I could detect. That's fine with me. This wonderful wine features bright, black cherry and plummy aromas with a hint of earth. It's boldly fruity in the mouth with excellent balance and acidity. It finishes very smooth and long with notes of coffee and spice and is an excellent value at the $9.99 it cost me at my local store. It's imported by another high quality small importer Kysela Pere et Fils. Cheers!

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