Cuna de Reyes 2009 Rioja Crianza (Spain)
Aged for a year in French and American oak, this wine is mostly Tempranillo with some Garnacha and Mazuelo. Grapes are sourced from vineyards in Nájera, in the southern edge of Rioja Alta.
The wine shows a great deal of finesse, showing classic Rioja vigor. Aromas of ripe cherry and toasted spices are followed by a bit of dirty vanilla. Medium bodied with fine and linear tannins, the fruit flavors are bright red fruit with black pepper and a touch of savory herbs. The finish moves to vanilla and cedar. A very nice bottle and a best buy.
About Rioja Alta
Logroño and Haro, the principal towns of Rioja, are both in the Rioja Alta. Logroño is a very big town by Spanish standards, but Haro, at the western edge of the region, is an enclosed hilltop community and a much smaller, far more charming, older, and traditional place. The area’s wine is Rioja’s fullest in terms of fruit and concentration, and can be velvety smooth. Bodegas Muga makes fine examples of pure Rioja Alta, as do CVNE (Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España)—in the form of their Imperial line—in nine years out of every ten.