94% Tempranillo, 4% Graciano and 2% Mazuelo from Rioja, Spain. The Bodegas Beronia Rioja Reserva spends 20 months in mixed oak barrels with American staves and French tops. It spent another 18 months in bottle prior to release.
The Bodegas Beronia Rioja Reserva has an SRP of $24 and is available for as low as $16. Imported by Vin Divino LTD. Sample submitted for review.
From the bottle:
Matured in French and American oak barrels. Intense flavours of black fruits, liquorice, chocolate and cloves with a touch of minerality. The classic partner for lamb and red meat dishes.
Today’s wine from Rioja is indicative of a lot of wines in this region in the prominent use of oak aging. To be sure, oak aging is used all over the world but winemakers in Spain and France are the masters of it.
The use of oak imparts a number of different flavors to wine, as the wine pulls flavors out of the wood as it ages. The type of oak also makes a difference, the two main styles being French or American. (It’s actually not so much where the oak is from, but how the oak is prepared that determines whether it is considered French or American; in fact, American oak can be imported into France and deemed “French” if the barrels are crafted in the French method.) The bottom line is that French oak imparts much more of the flavors from the wood and sap than American. Those flavors include things like chocolate, caramel, and vanilla among others. And today’s wine is, quite simply, a vanilla monster.
After a couple weeks of tasting a long line of lackluster wines, the 2010 Bodegas Beronia Rioja Reserva was a breath of fresh air. The wine begins with aromas of dark fruit and lots of vanilla — it may sound simple but, in fact, it’s such a beautiful marriage of these two things that this is far from the case. Add in a little chocolate, baking spice and lots of other touches and you may have trouble getting your nose out of the glass. Tasting reveals a smooth wine full of flavors like blackberry, oak, vanilla, and licorice. While still a bit oaky, it works quite well and also has some good aging potential. The wine ends with more vanilla, dark fruit, sweet spice and lingering chocolate notes on the long, dry finish.
See a listing of local retailers selling the Bodegas Beronia Rioja Reserva here.