Friday, March 16, 2012

A Duo of Spanish Reds: Atano Rioa Crianza Part One

Last year's Vancouver Wine Festival featured Spain.  And I not only became even more seduced by Spanish wine, but I willed my way to Spain. It helped that my wife also suggested the idea and we went for two weeks of Riojas, Cavas, tapas, paella, history, geography, culture, art,!  Spain is amazing as a wine producer because most of us are unfamiliar with the grapes and the wine regions. Rueda?  What is Rioja?  You mean that Sherry is actually a white wine?  And what blows me away is that you can literally go to liquor stores and buy a 2005 red wine for $25, sometimes a 2001 for $20!  Try that with almost any other country and (a), you can't find them in stores, and (b), if you can find them on the shelves, you are paying close to or over a hundred loonies!  So Spain is a bargain as well as an adventure.

Barbara Philip, one of the few Masters of Wine in Canada,  now in charge of European purchases at the BCLDB, chose an inexpensive Spanish red at this year's Vancouver Playhouse Wine Festival's seminar, "Excitement in a Glass".  Barbara's choice was the 2008 Atano Rioja Crianza. For $12.99 for a 3+ year old red wine, this seems like a bargain.  And Barbara admitted it is too good for its price!  Wine fans in B.C. don't often get bargains like this, so please, don't up the price! 

It is an old style Rioja which speaks to Spain and Rioja, typical of the country and the region. There is the strawberry and earthy compost terroir in both the bouquet and the taste.  The tannins are soft and the wine is smooth, fruity in a suave and gentle way, and very appealing. 

Antano 2008 Crianza Rioja 2008
$12.99      13.5%
Medium Bodied    Highly Recommended

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