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Reds Reign in Rioja Spain

Mention Spain, and most folks will rhyme off the region of Rioja when it comes to serious red wine. Rioja stems from the name of one of the tiny tributaries of the Ebro River called Rio (River) Oja, hence Rioja. Tempranillo is the main red grape variety giving us wines that are distinguished by complex aromas and flavours as well great aging potential. All Rioja wines are classified according to the minimum amount of aging. Our Crianza, highlighted here, must be aged for a minimum of two years – of which one must be in oak casks, almost always American. The seductive scent of vanilla, thanks to the oak, notes of red fruit, chewy, intense tannins and medium body give us a wine with great finesse and a lingering finish. The producer, CVNE, is one of Rioja’ greatest wineries that always punches way above its weight delivering outstanding value.

It's vegan and was scored 93 points by respected wine journalist James Suckling. Grilled lamb is a specialty of Rioja, so head to your local meat counter to pick up some lamb chops. We like to marinate them for a few hours in an olive oil, garlic and rosemary mixture before turning on the heat.        

2019 Viña Real Crianza Rioja #657411, $19.95