2012 Beronia Tempranillo “Elaboracion Especial” Rioja, Spain (14% alc.) $15.95 LCBO General List Whilst I am often banging on about just how much more there is to Spanish wines than Rioja, it has to be said that the region is capable of making some bloody good wines, and some wonderfully approachable and accessible wines too. Take this little cracker from Beronia for example, a very interesting take on Rioja, and an immensely enjoyable bottle for only $16. Following an extended maceration to extract additional aromatics and pigment, the must is both fermented and aged in new American oak barrels with a very particular low-and-slow toasting, adding a some serious coffee bean and dark chocolate elements to the bouquet. Left for eight months on its lees in these barrels, the end product is an extremely consumer friendly glass of red wine. Look out for ripe raspberries, black cherries, the aforementioned coffee bean and dark chocolate, and nice heady hit of wood spice. The palate is most pleasing with gentle, supple, well-managed tannins and a little hit of juicy acidity working in synergy with the red fruit core. Try with grilled lamb sausages. (Four apples out of a possible five)… Superb value here.
Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And this is great value Rioja, that is for sure.