Rioja is arguably Spain’s top wine region and is one of only two regions classified under the Denominación de Origen Calificada (DOCa) system. Its two most important red grapes are Tempranillo and Garnacha. There are four categories of red wines in Rioja. The youngest of these is known as “Joven”. “Crianza” must have been aged in oak for at least two years, while Reserva is oak aged for at least three. Gran Reservas spend at least two years aged in oak and three in the bottle, although many are aged longer.

Spanish wine of the month club

This 2007 offering from Viña Olvido is made from 100% Rioja Tempranillo. After vinification the wine was aged for 12 months in French oak and then another 12 months in neutral oak to meet the Crianza requirements. It then spent another year in the bottle before it was released. When all of those years are added up it means this wine has really only been in the US market since 2011. This dry, floral, exotic Rioja is a different breed of cat than typical Riojas. The bouquet is jammy and herbal, with flowery notes. In the mouth, tannins hold up a wayward frame, while black cherry, plum and floral flavors finish with prune and asian spice notes. The finish is smooth and silky. This aged beauty is drinking well right now and should keep for another 2 years with proper care. Serve at room temperature with roast beef, lamb chops, roast suckling pig and medium cheeses.

Featured in our International Wine Club and International Wine Gift Club.