***WINE FUTURE ARRIVING MARCH 2023***
I first tasted the 2018 and 2019 vintages of the Labastida Rioja Alavesa Crianza wine last spring at Prowein and was immediately struck by the modern sensibility combined with old vine intensity and concentration, not to mention the insane price.
For the last decade or so, no country has consistently produced better value than Spain (though, I have to add, Australia is now giving them a run for their money but only because of their little tiff with China).
The winery really wanted me to close out the 2018 (91-points from James Suckling) but I much preferred the stellar 2019 vintage (which, oddly enough, only scored 89-points from Mr. Suckling, which makes me scratch my head but, considering he has quite a team of tasters now, I assume palates can disagree). Anyhow, 91 or 89, this is damn fine wine.
Both 2019 and 2020 were fantastic vintages in Rioja and this wine is really singing now...its not just an excellent wine but also an outstanding value.
AFAIK, there is only one retailer selling this here in the US at $23/bottle (and only by the case!)...this well-built Crianza can be yours today for just $8.16/bottle.
We don’t have a lot of it so are selling it in six packs to spread the love...double up if you must :-).
The wine is produced from Labastida's epic, 80-hectare Rioja Alavesa vineyard planted on predominantly limestone and sandstone soils, making it clearly the “Premier Cru of Rioja”, a sort of cross between Burgundy, Champagne and St Emilion. These are traditionally the last grapes picked in Spain!
Labastida Crianza is produced from 30-year old head-pruned Tempranillo and Garnacha vines grown at 450-650 meters of altitude and aged in 50% American oak and 50% French oak for 12-14 months. There are quite a few second fill barrels from their higher-end programs in the mix and the net effect is about 20-25% new oak, again a mix between French and American with a bit more preponderance of the American to my palate.
Right out of the bottle, the bouquet is rich-yet-elegant with a robust, complex display raspberry, black cherry and chocolate-covered strawberries mixed with crushed stones, leather and tobacco notes that become more sensuous as the wine opens up. Ripe, fleshy and seamless on entry with pretty red fruits and peppery leather notes mingling with blackberry jam over a robust, concentrated and chalky tannin structure that melts into chocolate, clove and leather notes singing throughout the complex and silky finish. As it opens in the glass you will see how the ripe black fruit evolves to licorice, vanilla and cinnamon spice, whilst retaining an exquisite balance and freshness – text book Rioja Alavesa Tempranillo that has more than a passing resemblance to a St. Emilion Gran Cru (Merlot), at a fraction of the price! Drinks great now and will age for another decade.
85% Tempranillo, 15% Garnacha
100% Rioja Alavesa estate fruit, 450-650 meters elevation 14% alc. 200 cases available Arriving and shipping in March 2023