Viña-Real Crianza 2016
This red is dense and focused, with cherry, berry and vanilla flavors that emerge as the tannins give way, leading to a floral and spicy finish. Drink now through 2031.
The bottle I tasted of the 2016 Viña Real Crianza is a blend of 90% Tempranillo and 10% Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano from Rioja Alavesa that fermented destemmed in stainless steel with neutral yeasts and matured in French and American oak barrels for 13 to 14 months, during which time it was racked every five or six months. It's expressive, deliciously aromatic, floral and elegant, reflecting a cool year that delivered fresh wines that seem to be very approachable early on. 2016 is a pretty vintage, but this wine is not banal; it has depth and complexity that's remarkable for the price point. The palate is fresh and balanced, with fine tannins.
A tight nose with clamp and aromas of field greens and alfalfa could use more fruit, while this crianza feels grabby and tannic. Berry flavors are spicy but lean toward green, while this tastes minty and feels scratchy on the finish.
All sizes are 750ml unless otherwise stated.
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