Rioja is one of my all time favorite region of Spain. It is a classic that never ceases to bore me. There is always something new to discover or a glimpse of a detail that you did not see before. For me, it is like the films of acclaimed iconoclastic Luis Bunuel. This is a region that it is always re-inventing itself but always true to its origin.
For my wine of the month feature, I choose the Riojas of Bodegas Fernández de Piérola. I had a chance to taste them in the Raspipav wine saloon last year. Their Crianza was in the top 10 of the Montreal Judgement 2014. The theme of last year was to select the wines with the best quality price ratio in the private importation segment of Quebec.
This is a relatively new Bodega for Rioja time standards. It was founded in 1996 and they are situated in Moreda which is part of Rioja Alavesa. They are blessed with an optimal microclimate: Clay, chalky and ravinous soils with considerable differences in day and night temperatures.
Their Pierola Crianza 2010 ( the one that i tasted) comes from vines over 30 years old. It displays wonderful notes of blond tobacco, black cherry with toasty oak and intriguing nuances of smoked black earth. It has an excellent structure with polished tannins and is quite elegant despite the fact that it spent 18 months aging in a mix of 70% american oak and 30% french oak.
Their Reserva 2005 come from tempranillo vineyards between 45 and 60 years old. It has more powerful nose than the crianza displaying notes of jammy cassis, leather and lead pencil. On the mouth, it is quite potent and concentrated with ripe but massive tannins. It is quite oaky, but give it some time in a carafe and it will drink beautifully in a few hours. Or you can cellar for 10 years.
Pierola is represented in Quebec by MonCaviste. You can get their Crianza 2011 by the modest price of $21.70 per bottle in case of 12. Their 2005 retails for $33.60 and comes in cases of 6. These are perfect for the BBQ season at its full swing in these part of the world.
While you are drinking their wines, please watch this little video of Autumn in the Rioja. It makes you dream that you are. In my case, it does that effect on me:
For a mini report in general of the region, I also found this video made by a Mexican news online channel. It resumes nicely the wonders of Rioja in 5 minutes:
Happy drinking and see you soon!!!