CELEBRATE RIOJA WEEK!
We’re longtime fans and supporters of the wines of Rioja, Spain’s most prominent wine making region, and our Rioja tastings (and bottles) are always some of our most popular. Join us tonight, 6-9 pm, for a tasting of a few unique expressions of these vibrant wines, as part of a citywide celebration! We’re pouring four exceptional wines, giving away swag, and serving regional snacks! Olé!
R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Gravonia Crianza 2004
For 131 years, the three generations of the Lopez de Heredia family have produced truly exceptional and singular wines at their historic winery. Their vinification and aging practices are unique and steeped in history, and they have never strayed from these traditional practices- bucking trends and modern technology, their wines are distinctive, and often called “masterpieces” throughout history. Their whites, in particular, deserve special attention for their unique aging and longevity. This is truly one of my favorite wines in the store. 100% estate grown Viura aged 4 years in barrels, bottled, and aged another TEN years in the cellar before being released to us lucky drinkers! This wine is unbelievably complex- incredibly vibrant, savory, intense, and literally like nothing else I’ve ever drank, vintage after vintage. This wine is outstanding now and will continue to age gracefully for years to come. Pair with all kinds of fish, from salty-cod to spicy stews, and my fave, paella. Life-changing. $30
CVNE Vina Real Crianza 2009
CVNE is a traditional Rioja producer who doesn’t shy away from a little modern innovation. Their Crianza is bright cherry red, youthful and vibrant, with a sharpness and distinctive spiciness we all love in younger Riojas. 100% Tempranillo, the grapes are hand-harvested from the villages of Laguardia and Elciego, and the wine is aged in a mix of French and American oak barrels for 12 months before resting in the bottle several months longer. This is a fun one- classic and easy drinking, full of character but playful and fun at the same time. Uncork with good friends and simple tapas on one of these breezy spring nights. $18
Ramirez de la Piscina Reserva 2007
This Reserva comes from another family-run winery, steeped in the wine making traditions of La Rioja. Current run by the fourth generation, Ramirez de la Piscina has one foot firmly planted in the traditions of the past and another stepping into the current advancements in winery technology and science. They believe that the magic starts in the vineyard, so they pay incredible attention to their grapes which grow in a unique micro-climate, too far from the river for irrigation. They hand-harvest and carefully sort their fruit before it hits the winery, where grapes are destemmed before undergoing carbonic maceration and fermentation in temperature controlled tanks. The wines are then aged in oak barrels and bottles, successively, in extensive underground cellars on the property. Their 2007 Reserva (the current release) is a treat, a real testament to the history and experience that goes into every vintage. This wine is architectural- firm underlying structure and soaring heights, a balance of dark fruit and fresh acidity, with moments of spice and a smooth lengthy finish. $23
Sierra Cantabria Reserva Unica 2008
Although I usually gravitate towards “pretty” reds, light and delicate on their feet, I find myself reaching for this bottle again and again, and it’s decidedly none of those things. This powerful, concentrated wine, 97% Tempranillo and 3% Graciano, is aged nearly two years in a mix of French and American oak before bottling without filtration. With intense black and red berry fruit, luscious vanilla-laced notes of oak, and a lingering velvet-y finish, this is a sexy wine- a description I won’t use lightly. It’s a hot date that’ll knock you off your feet, leaving you you heady and happy, texting your friends excitedly, and wanting just a little bit more. Pair with slow cooked pork or flash grilled steaks, seasoned simply with salt and fresh pepper (and maybe a splash of red wine) and the best of company. $30