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Why do we love this case?

Rioja is a region that needs no introduction. Universally adored worldwide for making powerfully focussed, incredibly age-worthy and unbelievably enjoyable wines, Rioja rarely disappoints. These six represent a wide variety of styles, from the ever-famous tempranillo to the always-delicious grenache. They’re aged and ready to go, but there’s aeons of life in them yet, so no rush. 

Every case contains ONE of each of the following:

Red
Tempranillo
Rioja

Burgo Viejo Licenciado Reserva 2016
Black Cherry
Herbaceous
Savoury
Medium-bodied
Chewy
Bold
Pierre Mansour
Sarah Jane Evans MW
Decanter
Simon Field MW
Spanish Import

Burgo Viejo is a property jointly owned by six families of grape growers. For ages they sold off most of their harvest, but have started making wine under their own label of late. We are very excited they’ve made that decision. Despite the fact that their little pocket of Rioja is planted more to garnacha, Burgo Viejo has focused on the more high-profile tempranillo. In an effort to describe the wine, I’ve enlisted the work of Decanter’s Simon Field MW, who is much better at writing than I am. In his review, he states, ‘Intense colour, powerful aromas of tar and blue fruit; minty savoury, rich, lifted and long; an impressive reserva statement of intent.’ Yeah, that’s what I meant to say.

You'd pay $55.00 full price

Red
Red Blend
Rioja

Bodegas Olarra Cerro Añon Rioja Gran Reserva 2011
Black Cherry
Cedar
Cloves
Medium-bodied
Grippy
Elegant
IWC
Spanish Import

The International Wine Challenge called this wine a “beautiful example of its style”, which it certainly is. That style is classic Gran Reserva Rioja, which indicates at least five years ageing, and minimum two years in oak barrel, in this case new French Allier barriques. This wine was picked on the riper side, so there is an abundance of juicy fruit character balancing the sweet and spicy oak. At 10 years old, all elements are singing harmoniously and there isn’t a string out of tune. The colour is still dark and the palate firm and grippy. The fruit is on the plush side, balanced by nice tannin. This wine offers a great experience to the intrepid drinker, with the fruit power to make you feel at home.

You'd pay $50.00 full price

Red
Red Blend
Rioja

Valserrano Crianza 2016
Cedar
Cranberry
Cherry
Medium-bodied
Grippy
Concentrated
Boutique Producer

One of the younger wines from a family producer we’re pretty mad about. We were lured into the world of Valserrano by the Decanter 95 point Monteviejo 2012 and a visit by wine buyer Beth confirmed it; they’re the kind of quality producer that we want to work with for years to come. This Crianza, made predominantly from tempranillo with 5% mazuelo (carignan) walks and talks Rioja. Cherry fruit, plums and lick of spice. There is an oak presence, from 16 months ageing in American and French oak, which doesn’t overpower the palate, but reminds you ofwhat you are drinking and why. This wine will be great with dishes full of punchy Iberian flavours - embutidos con pimentón (cured sausages with smoky paprika) are the order of the day.

You'd pay $45.00 full price

Red
Red Blend
Rioja

Burgo Viejo Rioja Reserva 2016
Plum
Orange Peel
Cedar
Medium-bodied
Grippy
Bold
Berliner Wein Trophy 2020
James Suckling
Spanish Import

Burgo Viejo are a classic Rioja producer who follow the region wine classification and craft an old-school style, with heaps of Old World charm. To achieve Reserva classification, a wine required a minimum of 36 months ageing, of which 12 months must be in barrel. In the hierarchy of classification, Reserva Rioja sits in a nice spot, with more integrated oak than a Crianza and more fruit power than a Gran Reserva. This wine has an autumnal nose and nice energy on the palate. It is spice driven with red fruits, dried herbs, fennel, tobacco, vanilla and smoky sweet spices. It’s mellow, complex and with a medium body, will suit all kinds of food.

You'd pay $45.00 full price

Red
Red Blend
Rioja

Burgo Viejo Rioja Crianza 2018
Mocha
Oaky
Plum
Medium-bodied
Grippy
Concentrated
The Wine Advocate
American Oak
Spanish Import

This Crianza, crafted with 90% tempranillo and 10% graciano walks and talks Rioja. From the slightly warmer Rioja Oriental subregion, it is classic on the nose with coffee, dark chocolate and spice. The palate mirrors the nose, with the addition of juicy plums, caramel and cedar. A year in American oak gives the wine abundant, grippy tannin and toasty notes of vanilla. Still in a youthful phase, I see this wine mellowing in texture and gaining complexity over the next decade as fruit gives way to more herbaceous characteristics. Fans of old school Rioja will be very pleased with this wine.

You'd pay $30.00 full price

Red
Tempranillo
Rioja DOC

Gatito Loco Tempranillo 2019
Cherry
Spice
Plum
Medium-bodied
Bright
Deep
Mofo Fave
Spanish Import

Far from the dusty leather armchair wines most associated with the region, this is young, racy and much more fun. It’s for a young-at-heart crowd, bright, juicy and exuberant. Though, for all its fun, it tastes like a wine well above the price bracket. Raucously red fruited, with 10% American oak to give it some spice, it is compact and punchy in form. Great value for all of the spice, plums and tannins in this delicious wine.

You'd pay $25.00 full price