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Wine Review: Rioja Ontañón Crianza 2008

Trina and I were lucky enough to have a representative of the Rioja wine region in the U.S. contact us and offer to send us a couple of bottles to try out. My reply: Um, no, I’m afraid Trina and I are just too busy to try free wine shipped directly to our humble abodes.

I know, you’re ROFL now!  That’s preposterous!  And you’re right.  I said, heck yes and here are our addys and no more than a week later, a beautiful bottle arrived on each of our doorsteps.

The consensus – FABULOSO!!

Must. Have. Wine. Mommy-Approved Score: 5 STARS

Price: $10 – $20

Where I found it: Shipped to us

Reviews from wine experts:

From The New York Times: Over the years I’ve made it clear how I feel about Rioja: I love it. I feel most strongly about old-fashioned, well-aged gran reserva Riojas, a style of wine that these days seems somewhat marginalized but is still available to those who seek it out. But what of younger, less-expensive Riojas, intended for early drinking rather than long-term aging?

From Sherry-Lehmann Wine & Spirits: The harmony of this wine is the result of a powerful aroma, fruity and spicy entry that is broad and balanced in the mouth. The youth is outlined in purple hues in color and fruity on the palate, making this a powerful mouthful.

Tasting note from Vino Fine Wine & Spirits:  I ashamedly once considered Rioja *gasp* boring.” Of course, she came to (which is a good thing considering she oversees the largest Spanish wine program in the US) and now believes “that Rioja offers some of the most outstandingly unique wines in the market.”

From the Ontañón site:

The 40-year-old vines that are used for the Ontañón Crianza grow on the slopes of the Sierra Yergas, just south of the River Ebro in Rioja Baja.

The grapes need the warm summer days to ripen to full maturity, but also the cold nights to increase acidity levels. The wines of this mountainous region of Rioja are known for showcasing crisp acidity as well as a full and dense yet elegant fruit profile with notes of mineral and herbal extract that come from the unique soils of the region.

The wine expresses subtle aromas of black cherry with overtones of spice and offers voluptuous fruit within a delicate framework of natural acidity that opens up and deepens over time. Our Crianza pairs well with roast chicken, vegetables, pork and game.

Please check out their classy and fun Facebook page!

Cheers! Leah

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