House: Viña Bujanda
Name: Crianza Rioja
Origin: Rioja, Spain (Basque country)
Price: 54 DKK/7,30 EUR/8,90 USD on winefamly.dk (market price: 99 DKK/13,30 EUR/16,30 USD)
Rioja as a wine region
Rioja is one of the most famous wine regions in Spain located in the popular Basque region in the north of Spain. Being very popular among locals as well, if you ask them to name one region from their country there is high chance that Rioja will be the first one to cross their mind.
Rioja wines all hold certification DOC Rioja (Denominación de origen controlada Rioja). This means that if the houses want to have this designation on their bottles, they can only make Rioja wines and nothing else (no import from other regions/countries). If they would, they would probably not survive for long as Spaniards are, like French, Very proud of their wine heritage.
San Vino wine fight
Every year, in the end of June, citizens of Haro in Rioja relax for a weekend and take a break from their wine making chores. In the morning, mayor of Haro leads the citizens and visitors to the cliffs of Bilibio in honour of San Pedro. And there all the hell breaks loose. People start throwing buckets of wine at each other, having fun and enjoying the amazing view.
And this year I am going to partake in this activity as well. If you would like to join me, feel free to text via contact page.
What does Crianza mean?
When you produce a wine in Rioja under DOC mark, you are permitted to make wine in four categories:
Joven (young wines): sometimes, when winemakers do not want to be constraint by the regulations of Crianza and higher categories, they use this description.
Crianza: wines have to stay in the winery for at least two years. At least one year has to be in oak barrel, rest can be in the bottle
Reserva: wines have to stay in the winery for at least three years. At least one year has to be in oak barrel, rest can be in the bottle
Gran reserva: wines have to stay in the oak barrel for at least two years and in the winery for 4 years before they can be released.
So let’s take a look at the Crianza I am tasting today.
Viña Bujanda, Crianza Rioja
The Crianza I am tasting today is 100% Tempranillo, the most common Spanish grape. wine is very powerful in the nose, with the oak and black currant notes. Alcohol comes a bit forward, but it is not overwhelming. Taste confirms black currant and oak with a very nice acidity complementing it. Wine has a smooth medium long aftertaste.
This was a very nice lighter Rioja that is absolutely worth the money and provides great value for the price. I can imagine drinking this wine even on the breezy summer days. I reccommend this wine with lighter beef, veal or pork dishes or fatty poultry (duck, goose).
PS.: I am looking forward to visiting this region in june