2012 CVNE Viña Real Crianza, Rioja, Spain
The first wines under the Viña Real brand were launched in 1920. They were produced from grapes grown around the village of Elciego in the Rioja Alavesa sub-zone of the famous Rioja Spanish wine region.
These vineyards are still controlled by Viña Real today. They bord the ‘Camino Real’ or ‘Royal Drive’ (an old Royal Route) hence the origin of the Viña Real name.
This wine is a Crianza, meaning it has spend more than 12 months in oak barrels: 13 to 14 months in American and French oak in this instance.
The final blend is composed of 90% Tempranillo, with 10% of Garnacha, Graciano, and Mazuela.
So how good this 2012 CVNE Viña Real Crianza really is?
The answer is in the Tasting Notes:
The Wine is of a bright red color, slightly purple on the rim, with medium intensity.
Aroma profile dominated by the fruit: ripe red berries, and the oak: vanilla, caramel and sweet spices.
At agitating the wine, not a whole lot of further complexity comes out: some additional herbal notes (thyme, eucalyptus) and a slightly warm alcohol feel combined with fruit freshness: in the form of red cherry liqueur if you wish.
The first palate is crisp, with rather sharp tannins gripping your taste buds.
Some herbaceous flavors absent from the nose are revealed early-on the tasting experience, and are quickly joined in by the fresh fruit detected on the nose.
Towards the finish, the oaky caramel, vanilla and smoke take the lead in association with granulous tannins for a drying finish.
Mid-length finish on herbal tones, spices, the cherry liqueur again and caramel.
A clean well-executed Rioja wine with a good complexity and solid typicity: fruit, sweet spices, and caramel oak combine into a typical Rioja feel.
The wine’s partial tannic density, complexity and depth however show the limitations of medium-concentration and medium-ripeness fruit for producing a truly characterful wine.