La Antigua - Rioja Crianza 2013
La Antigua is a unique wine... Geographically, Rioja is in a valley that goes from East to West. Located to the north are the mountains of Sierra Cantabria and to the South the mountains of Sierra de La Demanda. Most of the wineries lie on the southern-facing slopes of the Cantabria mountains, and in the areas surrounding the Ebro River. La Antigua vineyards are northern facing in the Sierra de la Demanda foothills. Because of their exposure, temperatures are cooler, resulting in grapes that ripen slowly, showcasing flavors of greater balance and focus.
Most who own these vineyards are simple farmers – Rioja is largely controlled by the big bodegas to the north – and most farmers sell their grapes to these large producers. Antigua is a rarity in that they not only grow the grapes, but make the wine!
So what do we have?
70% Tempranillo, 20% Graciano, 10% Garnacha. Organically grown vines planted from 1940-1955. Aged for two years in 60 percent French and 40 percent American oak barrels. Another 2 ½ years in bottle has gifted us with as smooth a wine as you’ll ever lay lips to!
Sexy aromas of blackcurrant and cherry, with a whiff of smoky oak give way to floral aromas that emerge with aeration. Dark berry and coconut flavors, along with mocha and a subtle floral note meld seamlessly into a lush finish with not a rough edge in sight.
Give this just a bit of aeration before diving in – maybe 20 minutes in a decanter. Food pairing? Think rich, hearty dishes – the region is known for their stick to your ribs food… grilled rack of lamb, roast lamb shoulder, braised pork shoulder with truffles and porcinis, venison ragout… hmm… I am getting hungry!
Decanter: 93 Points
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