26 August 2011

Rioja from Campo Viejo

Paul helped me out with this online tasting of Campo Viejo wines with Assistant Winemaker Roberto Vicente Miguel. It's tough to enjoy three great wines with steak, but he soldiered through. With online tastings I like to open early and take some notes, and then I can devote more attention during the actual video/Twitter/etc. while also providing notes on how the wine has opened up over time. All three of these are great bargains, and I'd recommend purchasing all three if you get a chance. Open them all at once and take a look at the differences between the three. Spanish wines provide some outstanding quality-price ratios, but when you hit the Gran Reserva on this set you won't believe how fantastic it is.

2007 Campo Viejo Rioja Crianza
$10, 13.5% abv.
85% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha, 5% Mazuelo (Carignan)
The youngest and simplest Rioja is Crianza, aged for two years, one of which must be in oak. This one was fruity with black cherry aromas and flavors. Dark and dusty with medium tannins. Tasty and uncomplicated, and not bad at all for a sawbuck.

2006 Campo Viejo Rioja Reserva
$14, 13.5% abv.
85% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano , 5% Mazuelo
Reserva means that it's been aged for three years, again, with at least one of those years in oak. This one was similar to the Crianza, but smoother with light tannins. As it warms, you get a nose of light eucalyptus, tobacco, and green pepper.

2003 Campo Viejo Rioja Gran Reserva
$20, 13.5% abv.
85% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano , 5% Mazuelo
Gran Reserva wines get two years in oak and three years in the bottle before release. This was an amazing wine. Light leather and smoke aromas. On the palate there are mild tannins with hints of black cherry and chocolate. The overall structure is light and delicate, and it just melts on your tongue. Highly recommended.

Note: These wines were received as samples.


Joe said...

I'm glad you said "sawbuck".

Have always felt Rioja is a great deal. I need to pony up several sawbucks to get more Ribera del Duero, Priorato, etc. in the cellar.

Benito said...


It's a fun slang term. For obvious reasons, I don't refer to C-notes as "Benjamins". Plus, I rarely write about wines at that level. Lots of Hamiltons, though.

One of these days I'll find a truly awesome Gran Reserva and it will delight and amaze everyone for around $50. Excuse, me, I mean a "Hawaii", as in the 5-0. ;)


Paul R. Syms said...

Hi from the UK,

Totally agree with your review! The Crianza is a nice fallback, and good value. I'm hooked on the Reserva, which my local supermarket puts on offer every few months for under a tenner; I always buy six, to get the extra 5% discount. I've never tried the Gran Reserva - but I'll look for it on your recommendation.