Category: Rioja

  • Battle of the Vintage Riojas: Sierra Cantabria San Vicente 2008 vs. CVNE Reserva, 2012

    From the cellar: This time of year, the “season” if you will, is a good excuse to dig up some gems. The 2008 San Vicente was a “significant birthday” birthday gift, and a great gift at that.  What a wine (despite the dry cork: Hey BC wine sellers, how about some lie down?!!).  Each sip […]

  • Artuke Finca de los Locos, 2018

    The biggest disappointment of 2021 so far.  Wow.  Just not good. Maybe it was the Wine Advocate’s 93 points, and, therefore, some latent expectation the wine could never meet.  Or maybe it was the cost, and the resentment that comes with paying too much for wine in BC in general.  But really, I think it […]

  • Artuke Pies Negro, 2018 & Artuke Tinto, 2019

    This is a case where the “better” wine was not as good as the “value” wine. (At least according to the Wine Spectator, which gave the PN 93 points and the Tinto 90.) Let me explain: The Pies Negro is a curious bottle.  It evolved with air, it shifted from an aggressive, acid heavy fruitiness, […]

  • Faustino I Gran Reserva Rioja, 2001

    It’s the end of the world as we know it.  Better make the best of it.   Was this better than the 2006 we so eagerly sipped over the holidays?  No.  It wasn’t.  The 2006 was better.  Was the 2001 good?  Oh, Jesus, Joseph and Mary: Heavenly.   This was as warm and cozy as […]

  • Faustino Gran Reserva Rioja, 2006

    Look what Santa brought down the chimney? A very old bottle of Tempranillo.   A beautiful wine, quite up front, luscious on the palate with pronounced and perhaps a too assertive woodiness, gorgeous depth and nuanced on every sip.  It drank spectacularly but not cohesively with food.  It shone just on its own.  And it […]

  • El Pacto Rioja, 2016

    Everything you want in a Rioja at about the price you want to pay for a Rioja.  Drinks like something more expensive, silky tannins, assertive structure, decent fruit, some nice dark hints of charcoal and chocolate; full bodied but not flabby.  Food friendly, a decent sipper, and a lovely label to boot.  There will be […]

  • Marques de Caceres Rioja Reserva, 2011

    Probably the first bottle of Rioja I ever drank was MdC; a Crianza of course.  I would hazard a guess, based on the volume and availability, many North Americans and not too few British would echo the sentiment.  Marques de Caceres is an omnipresent red which usually comes on strong and tannic and decent in […]

  • Vina Eguia Rioja Reserva, 2011

    Yeah.  So.  Not Rioja’s finest hour.  It’s a close but no cigar vintage.  We did not find it elegant or balanced or rounded, as promised.  We found it a bit uneven, with a vanilla that’s at the fore (and not in a good way) and a softness to the fruit that was decent and palatable […]

  • Campo Viejo Rioja Reserva, 2012

    The reds we like, the reds that really shine without breaking the bank, have slowly moved into a break the bank category: More and more we’re shelling out $28-42 for a bottle to really bow down to.  And of course enjoy on a Tuesday night.   Having said that, it’s important to remember that drinkable […]

  • CVNE Rioja Reserva, 2012 & CVNE Rioja Crianza, 2012

    The best tasting, best drinking red wine in its class, the best red wine under $40 in BC, period.  And, I might add, much better than many BC reds up to half the price more.  We have held off posting until assured there was no more to be found in the Lower Mainland.  Joking.  Half […]