Yes you can still find phenomenal , world class, incredibly drinkable reds without paying Bordeaux/Napa Valley prices.
Where? RIOJA, SPAIN-HERE'S A FEW OF OUR FAVORITES
$12 BIURKO '18 (organic)
-great value from this esteemed bodega. all tank, no wood, fresh and juicy 100% tempranillo.
$12 EL COTO “CRIANZA” ‘15
-largest vineyard owners in Rioja Alvesa-still to this day one of the tastiest values in all of Rioja.
$12 milenrama “unoaked” "18
$12 BODEGAS ARTUKE '18
-This 16ha family winery (the name is for the sons's of the owner: Arturo and Kike) was created in 1985 after 100 years of growing for their larger neighbors. The vineyards from 30 to 100 years old are located in Barros de Ebro. Artuke whole berry fermented and is blended with 5% Viura. Boy is this Rioja a bargain!
$15 LUBERRI "ORLEGI" COSECHA '17
Orlegi is a return to the traditional light, fruit-forward wines of Rioja Alavesa. Utilizing whole-cluster fermentation for some of the grapes and indigenous yeasts, this is a classic, young Tempranillo from Rioja for everyday drinking.
$16 ERMITA D'SAN FELICES "CRIANZA" '16
-after working in the industry for 33 years, Santiago Ijalba Garcia established Bodegas Santalba in 1998, in the Rioja town of Gimileo. Obtaining his degree in oenology in 1974, Santiago was later joined by his son, Roberto, in 1997, after he'd finished studying at UC Davis in 1996. This is a father/son team, they do everything hand-in-hand. These two winemakers represent two different generations. They have traditional style wines, Emirta; and Abando, which is the son taking over, introducing modern techniques. the 2016 Ermita Crianza is a perfect example.
$17 Bodega Hazanas "Vinas Viejas" '16
Tempranillo and Graciano
$20 ARTUKE “PIES NEGRO” ‘17 (ORGANIC)
$20 Telmo Rodriguez "Bodega Laganza" '18
$20 TELMO RODRIGUEZ “CORRIENTE” ‘16
“Rioja Corriente” is an expression from the turn of the century, referring to a pure, unclassified wine meant for everyday drinking. Bush vines in the cool Lanciego zone within Rioja Alavesa on flat shallow soils that are stony, calcareous, and low in nutrients. Hand picked with wild yeast primary fermentation and malolactic in concrete tank and stainless steel followed by 12 months aging in a mixed regime of barrel and foudre.
$20 MURIEL “FICAS DE LA VILLA” CRIANZA ‘15
$20 MILENRAMA RESERVA ‘14
The 2014 Rioja Reserva shows a Burgundian red color. On the nose, it is very complex with fresh fruity aromas and spices, tobacco and dried fruits aromas. All perfectly integrated, velvety in the mouth with smooth tannins and a long aftertaste. Perfect for red meat, hunting dishes and any kind of roasted or stew.
$20 SANTALBA “COTAS ALTAS” ‘16 (ORGANIC)
$23 BODEGAS MORAZA ‘16 (ORGANIC)
$30 LA RIOJA ALTA “VINA ALBERDI” RESERVA ‘13
$25 Coto de Imaz "reserva" '14
Intense cherry color with garnet edge. On the nose, powerful aroma, complex, ripe fruit and fine cocoa. Fleshy on the palate, powerful, velvety, with ripe tannins and good acidity.
$40 RAMIREZ DE LA PISCINA “GRAN RESERVA” ‘07