Wine (like all food, and life) is meant to be fun! I’ve really enjoyed roping friends and family into drinking a bottle of wine with me and encouraging them to use funny words like mushroomy to describe the wine.
The Campo Viejo Rioja Reserva 2012 is a beautiful garnett/ blood red and ‘smelt like red wine’ according to my sister, so a good start!
The palette has hints of caramel & cinnamon, with a nice jammy base (things like plum & black berries) – and just a bit of elderberry. The elderberry & cinnamon combo is a lot of fun.
Some people (totally me) tend to steer clear of red wines in an attempt to avoid a strong tannin and that weird dry astringent after feel/taste. This wine does have some tannin (ha ha! of course – all that oak ageing, see below) but in a lovely way without drying out your mouth – so don’t be afraid of that. It has a medium finish, hold out for those spices right at the end.
It was a gift, but google tells me it was around $20 NZD – so not bad at all.
Below is a little bit more info about Rioja wine:
Rioja is a (normally) red wine from Spain made from Tempranillo grapes.
As with most traditional wine styles Rioja is made in La Rioja. Surprise! Much like French wine – Spanish wine is controlled and regulated heavily to ensure that traditional wine styles, regions & names are protected (think champagne).
Rioja can be broken down into four categories:
Rioja – The youngest, this wine has no required ageing. It is more fruity, less astringent and less complex.
Crianza – Aged for a one year in the bottle, after at least one year in the oak. Considered to be good value, and a nice wine.
Reserva – Yum! This is the style I have tried. It is aged for at least one year in oak, and two in the bottle.
Gran reserva – The fancy stuff, only promising vintages aged for at least two years oak & three in the bottle.
PS. We drank this with pasta puttanesca and 10/10 would recommend.