Alegro Rioja Crianza 2018

SKU
ALCZ201810 UCNZ
  • Elegant, balanced and reliable- perfect for every occasion.
  • 100% Tempranillo, hand harvested from 10 year old vines.
  • Refreshing wild berry and smoky spice flavours.
  • 1 or more bottles
    $18.99
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  • Mark Faber
    95 points
  • Sam Kim
    5 points

Editors notes

100% Tempranillo, hand harvested from a selection of vines with an average age of 10 years & matured for 6 months in American and French oak barrels. Bright cherry and red fruited aromas combined with subtle vanilla and liquorice notes. Refreshing wild berry and smoky spice flavours on the palate, with soft acidity and supple tannins. Elegant, balanced and reliable- perfect for every occasion.

Details

Tasting Profile

  • Light (Light)
    Full (Full)
  • Low Tannin (Low Tannin)
    Tannic (Tannic)
  • Sweet (Sweet)
    Dry (Dry)
  • Low Acidity (Low Acidity)
    High Acidity (High Acidity)
  • Aroma
    • Cherry
    • Herbal
    • Plum
  • Palate
    • Cedar
    • Cherry
    • Fig

Food Pairings

  • Game
  • Pork
  • Red Meat

Critic Scores & reviews

  • Mark Faber

    95
    "Leather, bay leaf, cedar, tobacco and a core of bright red fruit. Medium weight, the palate expresses bright red fruits layered over with tobacco, cedar, dried spices and bay leaf, with a lovely, complex savoury finish. An exceptional modern and stylish example from this old world region."
  • Sam Kim

    5
    "A gorgeous rendition, the inviting bouquet shows dark berry, subtle spice, rich floral and nutmeg aromas, followed by a silky-smooth palate that's succulent and beautifully rounded. Tannins are supple and in good balance, offering excellent drinking. At its best: now to 2036."

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Locations

Spain

Spain is definitely one of the new-world players to keep an eye on. It is the land of old-vines, american oak and sherry! The main varieties grown in Spain are Tempranillo and Garnacha (Grenache) in the reds, and Airén, Viura/Macabeo, Verdejo and Albarino for the whites. Lesser grown whites include Palomino. Other reds successfully cultivated include Carignan, Mourvedre and Mencia.

Although Spain can be quite a warm country, the vast majority of vineyards are 600m or so above sea level, so the cooler nights allow the grapes to develop full colour and acidity.

Rioja is undoubtedly the long-standing king of all the Spanish wine regions, where Tempranillo and Garnacha are commonly blended. However more recently many more regions have come to the forefront of interest. Ribera Del Duero is producing excellent Tempranillo blends rivalling those coming out of Rioja. Jerez in the South is the home of the fortified wine Sherry.

Spanish wine laws created the Denominación de Origen (DO) system in 1932 and were later revised in 1970. These include:

  • Denominación de Origen Calificada (formerly called DOCa) Priorat calls itself DOQ for Denominació d'Origen Qualificada in Catalan and has a track record of consistent quality and is meant to be a step above DO level.
  • Denominación de Origen (DO)- Used for mainstream-quality wine regions. Nearly two thirds of the total vineyard area in Spain is within the boundaries of a DO region.
  • Vino de Calidad Producido en Región Determinada (VCPRD) - This is somewhat of a stepping stone to DO status.
  • Vinos de la Tierra (VdIT) - A level similar to France's vin de pays system, where the regions are much larger.
  • Vino de Mesa (VdM)- The equivalent of 'table wines' from France or Italy

Rioja

Rioja is located in the south of the Cantabrian Mountains along the Ebro river in the north of Spain. The region also has a river called Rio Oja, which is where the region likely gained its name. There are three main regions in Rioja, with each of them producing quite unique expressions of Rioja wines.

To the west is Rioja Alta, in the higher elevated area. This sub-region is renowned for its old-world wines that are often lighter on the palate due to the higher altitude. The wines coming out of Rioja Alavesa on the other hand are fuller bodies, with higher acid levels than those from Rioja Alta. The third area, Rioja Baja is the warmest and driest of all, and can in summer months can be exposed to very high temperatures drought so irrigation is now permitted in the region.

The reds (tinto) wines of Rioja are generally blends of Tempranillo and Garnacha with lesser amounts of Graciano and Mazuelo. Amongst the white (bianco) varieties, Viura is the most common though normally blended with Malvasia or Garnacha Blanc. Plenty of interesting Rosé wines are produced, most commonly from the Garnacha variety. Note that wineries in Spain are commonly referred to as bodegas.

About the brand Alegro

For many years, Alegro has established partnerships with more than 500 families of small grape growers who have dedicated their lives to cultivating vineyards and passing down their expertise to future generations. Through these collaborations, Alegro has gained valuable experience and a deep understanding of the terroirs that are best suited for growing various grape varieties.

The winery's vineyards, as well as those owned by its partnering families, are spread out across 28 small municipalities located in the central part of the Rioja wine region. This vast distribution offers an array of orientations, growing systems, grape types, soil compositions, and more. Together, they form a melting pot of Rioja wine and showcase its diversity.

Alegro's expertise and knowledge, gained from its partnerships with small growers and its own vineyards, allow them to create wines that capture the true essence of Rioja. Their wines are characterized by a balance of flavors, elegance, and reliability, which reflect the winery's commitment to showcasing the unique qualities of the Rioja region. From the grape to the glass, Alegro's winemaking process is steeped in tradition, skill, and innovation, resulting in wines that are authentic, distinctive, and memorable.

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