Saturday, December 30, 2017

Wine Review: Beronia Rioja Gran Reserva 2008

December is A Very Rioja Christmas on TheWineStalker.net!

Beronia Rioja Gran Reserva 2008

Beronia is named after the ancient Celtic tribe called the Berones that inhabited the land that is now La Rioja in the 3rd century BC. The Beronia winery, however, was established in 1973 CE by a group of Bosque businessmen and founders of a gastronomy society who visited Rioja and decided they wanted to make wine there.

This whole month is dedicated to the wines of Rioja, and three of them are from Beronia. I've already reviewed their 2014 Crianza and 2012 Reserva, and now I'm on their 2008 Gran Reserva. Because I will be reviewing so many wines this month, I'm going to keep the reviews short and sweet.

The 2008 Gran Reserva is 90% Tempranillo, 8% Graciano, and 2% Mazuelo. The grapes are hand selected from their oldest vineyards, and then selected again at the winery from only the best bunches of those previously selected in the vineyard. It goes through slow and controlled fermentation with periodic pumping over, then twenty-six months of barrel aging in French oak, and thirty-six months of bottle aging. It has a 14% ABV.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Wine Review: Beronia Rioja Reserva 2012

December is A Very Rioja Christmas on TheWineStalker.net!

Beronia Rioja Reserva 2012

Beronia is named after the ancient Celtic tribe called the Berones that inhabited the land that is now La Rioja in the 3rd century BC. The Beronia winery, however, was established in 1973 CE by a group of Bosque businessmen and founders of a gastronomy society who visited Rioja and decided they wanted to make wine there. One of the very cool things about their bottling is the braille embossing on the back label.

This whole month is dedicated to the wines of Rioja, and three of them are from Beronia. I've done their 2014 Crianza, now I'm on their 2012 Reserva, and then their 2008 Gran Reserva. Because I will be reviewing so many wines this month, I'm going to keep the reviews short and sweet.

The 2012 Reserva is 97% Tempranillo and 3% Graciano. The grapes are hand selected from their oldest vineyards and undergo a slow fermentation in temperature controlled vats with periodic pumping over. It sees twenty months of aging in barrels of American oak staves and French oak tops, and eighteen months of bottle aging. It has an ABV of 14%.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Wine Review: Beronia Rioja Crianza 2014

December is A Very Rioja Christmas on TheWineStalker.net!

Beronia Rioja Crianza 2014

Beronia is named after the ancient Celtic tribe called the Berones that inhabited the land that is now La Rioja in the 3rd century BC. The Beronia winery, however, was established in 1973 CE by a group of Bosque businessmen and founders of a gastronomy society who visited Rioja and decided they wanted to make wine there. One of the very cool things about their bottling is the braille embossing on the back label.

This whole month is dedicated to the wines of Rioja, and three of them are from Beronia. This here is their 2014 Crianza, then I'll do their 2012 Reserva, and then their 2008 Gran Reserva. Because I will be reviewing so many wines this month, I'm going to keep the reviews short and sweet.

The 2014 Crianza is 91% Tempranillo, 8% Garnacha, and 1% Mazuelo. After being harvested the grapes undergo a few days of cold maceration, and then fermented at low temperature with periodic pumping. It sees twelve months of aging in barrels of American oak staves and French oak tops, then three months of bottle aging. it has a 13.5% ABV.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Wine Review: Maetierra Dominum QP Quatro Pagos Reserva 2009

December is A Very Rioja Christmas on TheWineStalker.net!

Maetierra Dominum QP Quatro Pagos Reserva 2009
Pictured: roasted chestnuts, goat milk gouda, wild mushroom brie, and Maetierra Dominvm QP Quatro Pagos Reserva 2009. Cheeseboard, accessories, and wine courtesy of Rioja.

Here's the thing: I have minimal information on this winery. I've tried to dig up as much info as I can but it's just not out there. From what I can see, they don't even have a website. I've requested a brief history of the winery, so if this review is posted like this then a) I did not receive one b) I'm dead or c) I'm in a coma. Happy Holidays, everybody!

What I do know is that the 2009 QP Quatro Pagos Reserva is mostly Tempranillo with some Graciano and Garnacha. I do not know the percentages. The wine is called Quatro Pagos because the grapes come from four different areas of Rioja, and all from old and low yielding vines. It's aged for fifteen to eighteen months in new French oak, and the final ABV is 14%.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Wine Review: Bodega Ontañón Rioja Reserva 2005

December is A Very Rioja Christmas on TheWineStalker.net!

Bodega Ontañón Rioja Reserva 2005
Pictured: Ornament, decorative towel, bottle Santa hat, bottle scarf, and Bodega Ontañón Rioja Reserva 2005. All courtesy of Rioja.

The family owned Bodega Ontañón goes back five generations, but it wasn't until the 1980's that this family decided to not sell its grapes to wineries and instead start making their own wines. This decision was made by the current owners, Raquel, Rubén and María Pérez Cuevas. Located in Quel (within Rioja Baja), Bodega Ontañón has 250 hectares of vineyard land at high altitude in the Sierra Yerga Mountains.

Their 2005 Reserva is 95% Tempranillo from the La Pasada vineyard that was planted in 1979, and 5% Graciano from the La Montesa vineyard. The Tempranillo was aged for one year in 60% American oak and 40% French oak, and after blending and bottling it's bottle aged for two years before release. Ontañón only produces a Reserva on outstanding vintages, and 2005 is the current release for their Reserva. It has an ABV of 13%.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Wine Reviews: Best of Fall 2017!

Tomorrow is the last day of Fall and Winter officially begins on Thursday. So here's the best of the wines that I reviewed for the season!

#5. Left Coast Cellars White Pinot Noir 2016

Left Coast Cellars White Pinot Noir 2016
Region: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Review Release: October 8th, 2017


The color of the wine is a light copper. There's aromas of peaches, pear apple sauce, lime peel and dried oregano. It's medium to full bodied in the mouth with a slight touch of sweetness that's balanced out by perky acidity. There's flavors of tart juicy lemons, peaches, and oranges. It finishes with oranges on the center of the tongue and tart lemon on the sides of your mouth making your body salivate to provide protection against the acidity.

This is what I would call, in the most distinguished terms available to my vocabulary, "nommy nommy".

READ THE FULL REVIEW / WATCH THE YOUTUBE VIDEO

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $24
Rating: 4.5/5 = Recommended / Highly Recommended (what does that mean?)


#4. CVNE Viña Real Rioja Gran Reserva 2010

CVNE Viña Real Rioja Gran Reserva 2010Region: Rioja, Spain
Review Release: December 14th, 2017

The color of the wine is garnet. It kicks up quite the complex nose with aromas of wet cedar, cooked blackberries, grape jelly, eucalyptus, licorice, black olive, and leather. One of those wines I could just smell all night. On the palate it's medium bodied with a rich mouthfeel, soft tannin and mellowed acidity to create an impressively balanced elegance. There's flavors of tomato, cilantro, onion... shit... wait... I'm eating chips and salsa... hold up, let me cleanse my palate. Okay, there's flavors of blackberries, graphite, black olives, tobacco and mocha. It finishes super smooth with long lasting flavors of blackberries, graphite, and black olives.

DAAAAAAMN! This is gorgeous. It's gorgeous.

READ THE FULL REVIEW / WATCH THE YOUTUBE VIDEO

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $47
Rating: 4.5/5 = Recommended / Highly Recommended (what does that mean?)


#3. Moraga Estate Red Wine 2013

Region: Bel Air, Los Angeles, California
Review Release: November 9th, 2017


The wine is garnet in color. And oh the mocha. Thhaaaaa mochaaaaaa. And the vanilla, too. This nose is KILLING IT with those coffee beans, cocoa beans, and vanilla beans, man. I freakin' love it! There's also cassis and black cherries playing the fruit role, with cedar and charcoal and mint as a supporting cast. It's medium to full bodied with a dusty mouthfeel and hot tannin. There's flavors of black cherries, juicy plums, burnt caramel, and ancho chiles. It finishes hot and dry with flavors of plums, pencil shavings, and ancho chiles.

Alright, guys. This is $175. That's a lot of dough. Is it worth it? Does it stack up to its competition in its price range? Yes and yes.

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $175
Rating: 4.5/5 = Recommended / Highly Recommended (what does that mean?)


#2. Matchbook The Arsonist 2015 Chardonnay

Matchbook The Arsonist 2015 ChardonnayRegion: Dunnigan Hills, California
Review Release: October 29th, 2017


There's aromas of a grilled corn muffin slathered in butter, an assortment of melon and pears, vanilla ice cream, and pineapple lollipop. On the palate it has a medium bodyweight, a mouthfeel that's ridiculously rich and smooth, and an acidity that's ninja stealth until it reveals itself on the finish. There's flavors of melon, pineapple, canned pears, and vanilla. On the finish you're left with pears and banana for quite a long duration.



Although this is only the second vintage of Arsonist Chardonnay that I've reviewed for this blog, it's the fourth vintage that I've had. And they've all been insanely delicious for $20. Perfect score! Mark it down!

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $20
Rating: 5/5 = Highly Recommended (what does that mean?)


#1. CVNE Rioja Reserva 2013

CVNE Rioja Reserva 2013
Region: Rioja, Spain
Review Release: December 5th, 2017


The color of the wine is garnet, and like the Crianza it's pretty transparent. The nose is so toasty! I love it! I mean, I don't even think I want to drink this. I just wanna smell it. Can we make this a fragrance? Or a candle? The toasty oak is just so captivating, and that's joined by violets, wild berries, licorice, sticky fresh herbs, and vanilla. I'm already in love with this wine before I even taste it.

On the palate it's medium bodied with perfectly balanced tannin and acidity, but carrying an ethanol burn. There's flavors of cherries, blackberries, licorice, vanilla, and leather. It finishes boozy and with flavors of blackberries and leather.

Oh, fuck yes. This is awesome. Snatch it up!

READ THE FULL REVIEW / WATCH THE YOUTUBE VIDEO

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $28
Rating: 5/5 = Highly Recommended (what does that mean?)

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Bordeauxing Rioja: The Origin Stories of Manuel Quintano & Luciano de Murrieta

December is A Very Rioja Christmas on TheWineStalker.net!

Marqués de Murrieta
MARQUÉS DE MURRIETA
OAK BARRELS

IMAGE CREDIT: expansion.com
For my article this month I really didn't just want to do a "history of Rioja" or some expansive long read like that. I wanted a story. I wanted to write about a specific person or event with focus. 

I found many interesting stories about Rioja and the people in its history while searching for a subject. But the origin stories of the two guys that brought Bordeaux influence and oak barrel aging to the region caught my eye and sucked me in. One of them had a short success before pricing laws and war eliminated his efforts. Decades later, the other would make it stick.

They've been producing wine in Rioja since the Phoenicians. So about three-thousand years, give or take. The region doesn't have a great geographic position for exporting its wines elsewhere, but it does have a great geographic position to grow vines and make wine. Starting in the the middle ages, Rioja found itself in the path of a popular religious pilgrimage. It's called el Camino de Santiago, known as The Way of Saint James in English, and it takes believers to the city of Santiago de Compostela where, supposedly, the body of Saint James resides. Pilgrims would drink the local wine while passing through Rioja and end up spreading the word of its excellence. Rioja was built on a word-of-mouth reputation instead of export power.

But before Manuel Quintano came along in the 1700's, the wine was still stored underground in clay vessels. Like the vast majority of wine in the entire history of wine, it turned vinegary relatively quick and did not travel well. Much of it spoiled completely and had to be dumped. Rioja needed an upgrade.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Happy Saturnalia!

Happy Saturnalia, humans!

Never forget the reason for the season, mortals.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Wine Review: CVNE Viña Real Rioja Gran Reserva 2010

December is A Very Rioja Christmas on TheWineStalker.net!

CVNE Viña Real Rioja Gran Reserva 2010

The Viña Real brand was established in 1920 by CVNE (pronounced coo-nay). Viña Real is out of the Rioja Alavesa region of Rioja, as opposed to CVNE's main label out of Rioja Alta. The name of the parent winery is actually an acronym that stands for Compañia Vinicola del Norte de España. It was founded in 1879 in Haro, Rioja and has been a leader in progressive winemaking and modernization since its inception. I've reviewed three wine's by CVNE's main label this month.

This whole month is dedicated to the red wines of Rioja, and three of them are from CVNE's Viña Real. I started with their 2013 Crianza, then moved on to their 2013 Reserva, and here I am with their 2010 Gran Reserva. Because I will be reviewing so many wines this month, I'm going to keep the reviews short and sweet.

The 2010 Gran Reserva is 95% and 5% Graciano, all hand harvested from their better vineyards in the Rioja Alavesa region of Rioja. Fermentation occurs in temperature controlled vats, which frequent dropping of the juice over the skins for more extraction. It's placed in French and American oak for malolactic fermentation, then manually racked. Time in oak is not specified, but after oak aging and before bottling it's clarified with egg whites.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Wine Review: CVNE Viña Real Rioja Reserva 2013

December is A Very Rioja Christmas on TheWineStalker.net!

CVNE Viña Real Rioja Reserva 2013

The Viña Real brand was established in 1920 by CVNE (pronounced coo-nay). Viña Real is out of the Rioja Alavesa region of Rioja, as opposed to CVNE's main label out of Rioja Alta. The name of the parent winery is actually an acronym that stands for Compañia Vinicola del Norte de España. It was founded in 1879 in Haro, Rioja and has been a leader in progressive winemaking and modernization since its inception. I've reviewed three wine's by CVNE's main label this month.

This whole month is dedicated to the red wines of Rioja, and three of them are from CVNE's Viña Real. I've already done their 2013 Crianza, now I'm on their 2013 Reserva, and then I'll do their 2010 Gran Reserva. Because I will be reviewing so many wines this month, I'm going to keep the reviews short and sweet.

The 2013 Reserva is 90% Tempranillo and 10% Garnacha, Graciano, and Mazeulo, all from the Rioja Alavesa region of Rioja. After cold maceration, the juice is fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. Then it's aged in new and second use barrels for twenty-two months, being racked every six months. It's clarified before bottling and has a final ABV of 13.5%.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Wine Review: CVNE Viña Real Rioja Crianza 2013

December is A Very Rioja Christmas on TheWineStalker.net!

CVNE Viña Real Rioja Crianza 2013

The Viña Real brand was established in 1920 by CVNE (pronounced coo-nay). Viña Real is out of the Rioja Alavesa region of Rioja, as opposed to CVNE's main label out of Rioja Alta. The name of the parent winery is actually an acronym that stands for Compañia Vinicola del Norte de España. It was founded in 1879 in Haro, Rioja and has been a leader in progressive winemaking and modernization since its inception. I've reviewed three wine's by CVNE's main label this month.

This whole month is dedicated to the red wines of Rioja, and three of them are from CVNE's Viña Real. This here is their 2013 Crianza, then I'll do their 2013 Reserva, and then their 2010 Gran Reserva. Because I will be reviewing so many wines this month, I'm going to keep the reviews short and sweet.

The 2013 Crianza is 90% Tempranillo, 4% Garnacha, 3% Graciano, and 3% Mazeulo, all from the Rioja Alavesa region of Rioja. After being destemmed, the grapes are placed into stainless steel tanks to ferment as is for ten to twelve days. Once made into wine it's allowed malolactic fermentation in French oak barrels, then aged in American oak barrels for thirteen to fourteen months while being racked every five to six months. The wine has a final ABV of 13.3%.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Wine Review: CVNE Rioja Gran Reserva 2011

December is A Very Rioja Christmas on TheWineStalker.net!

CVNE Rioja Gran Reserva 2011

This winery goes by both CVNE and Cune, Cune being a typo that stuck. The name is pronounced coo-nay and it's actually an acronym that stands for Compañia Vinicola del Norte de España. It was founded in 1879 in Haro, Rioja and has been a leader in progressive winemaking and modernization since its inception.

This whole month is dedicated to the wines of Rioja, and three of them are from CVNE's main label. I've already reviewed their 2014 Crianza and their 2013 Reserva, and now I'm onto their 2011 Gran ReservaBecause I will be reviewing so many wines this month, I'm going to keep the reviews short and sweet.

The 2011 Gran Reserva is 85% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano, and 5% Mazuelo; all from the Rioja Alta region of Rioja. It saw two years of aging in French and American oak, and then three years of bottle aging before release.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Wine Review: CVNE Rioja Reserva 2013

December is A Very Rioja Christmas on TheWineStalker.net!

CVNE Rioja Reserva 2013

This winery goes by both CVNE and Cune, Cune being a typo that stuck. The name is pronounced coo-nay and it's actually an acronym that stands for Compañia Vinicola del Norte de España. It was founded in 1879 in Haro, Rioja and has been a leader in progressive winemaking and modernization since its inception.

This whole month is dedicated to the wines of Rioja, and three of them are from CVNE's main label. I've already reviewed their 2014 Crianza, now I'm on their 2013 Reserva, and then I'll have their 2011 Gran Reserva. Because I will be reviewing so many wines this month, I'm going to keep the reviews short and sweet.

The 2013 Reserva is 85% Tempranillo, with the remaining 15% being made of Garnacha, Graciano, and Mazuelo. All of the grapes come from the Rioja Alto region of Rioja. Fermentation takes place in temperature controlled stainless steel, and then both malolactic fermentation and 18 months of aging occurs in French and American oak barrels. It has a 13.5% ABV.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Wine Review: CVNE Rioja Crianza 2014

December is A Very Rioja Christmas on TheWineStalker.net!

CVNE Rioja Crianza 2014

This winery goes by both CVNE and Cune, Cune being a typo that stuck. The name is pronounced coo-nay and it's actually an acronym that stands for Compañia Vinicola del Norte de España. It was founded in 1879 in Haro, Rioja and has been a leader in progressive winemaking and modernization since its inception.

This whole month is dedicated to the wines of Rioja, and three of them are from CVNE's main label. This here is their 2014 Crianza, then I'll do their 2013 Reserva, and then their 2011 Gran Reserva. Because I will be reviewing so many wines this month, I'm going to keep the reviews short and sweet.

The 2014 Crianza is 85% Tempranillo, and 15% Garnacha and Mazuelo, all from the Rioja Alta region of Rioja. It was fermented in stainless steel tanks, went through malolactic fermentation in vats, and then saw a year of barrel aging in American oak. It has an ABV of 13.5%.

Friday, December 1, 2017

December Wine Pick: Campo Viejo Rioja Tempranillo 2015

December is A Very Rioja Christmas on TheWineStalker.net!

Campo Viejo Rioja Tempranillo 2015

That's right! A whole month of Rioja red wines! And because I've got so many to get to, all of them will (probably) be short and sweet. So you won't have to deal with me babbling on or going off topic too much. Deal? Deal.

So let's start it off right with my Wine Pick of the Month! I've got an affordable, consistently good quality for the price Tempranillo right here for ya that will not let you down. Campo Viejo was founded in 1964 by Pernod Ricard Bodegas, and has become a staple brand of Rioja.

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