Wine of the Week: 2001 Sierra Cantabria, Crianza

Selective breeding and upbringing, that title sounds so damn pretentious don't you think? But if you look up the definition of the word Crianza on the label, that's exactly what it means. But of course it's not as pretentious as it sounds, instead what it means to you is this Spanish beauty spent 1-2 years in an oak barrel and another year in the bottle before being released into the world.

Many folks seeing the wine label, maybe wondering what is this? There's no varietal description. Eh, what kind of wine is this? It is assumed if the wine label states Rioja it's most likely 98% Tempranillo, with a splash of Graciano.

Rioja, sometimes known as the 'grand old man of Spanish wine.' The label also refers to the region from which the grapes received their selective breeding and upbringing. Further, the DOCa is the assurance of Spanish Wine law that this wine is from a region with a proven track record for high quality. Can you imagine there are two levels of quality beyond this level, my mouth waters over fact?

Given this wines region and aging requirements, this wine could easily sell for twice the price of domestic juice. Possibly, it very well could one day command much higher prices, but thankfully for every wine-loving palate this amazing wine is another QPR winner, selling for a mere $12.99 per bottle.

The Sierra Cantabria 2001: this wine boasts a deep ruby core with a nuanced brick colored rim. On the nose a lovely bouquet of currants and earthy elements. Remarkably smooth tannins float on the palate with more finesse than power, a raspberry palate coating delight which lingers on with notes of vanilla and a hint of cinnamon in the finish.

WS gave this wine 85 pts and RP gave this wine 91 pts and if I was in the wine scoring business, it would definitely reach for higher than WS, but not as enthusiastically RP's 91. Suffice to say this is a great bottle of wine for the price, and "everyday quaffer". So enjoy this Spanish beauty while you can @ Crianza, Sierra Cantabria, 2001 Rioja, 2001. Until next time Cheers!


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