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Rioja Arana

This fairly young bodega based in the Rioja Alavesa has been supplying us with
its wines since 2015. They are not trying to make heavily manicured wines at
huge prices but rather wines that are based on good, pure fruit flavours in
youth with more complex notes for the wines that have spent some time in
barrel.


The winery is built with the best modern wine-making equipment yet the men
who operate it are older and very experienced in the cellar. It has a possible
storage capacity of some 2 million liters together with 1500 American and
French oak barrels. The Joven (young) wines are built for quaffing with tapas
while the Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva make for more sophisticated
drinking with fine foods.


The white wine is a Joven and is made from 100 Viura grapes and it is best
when served cool at around 8 to 10 degrees C. Fresh and lively on the palate, it
has an abundance of fresh fruit aromas and flavours with a bright, vibrant
finish.


The red Joven is pure Tempranillo with no oak ageing at all, therefore there is
great purity of fruit in the mouth with red berries most noticeable. It is fresh
and vibrant with a delicious fruity finish. A great wine to serve at a barbecue or
buffet.


For the Crianza, the majority of the grapes were Tempranillo but 10% were
Mazuelo. After the vinification, the wine was matured in American oak barrels
for 15 months where the rough edges of the tannins were rounded out and the
whole package became smooth and elegant.


Likewise, the Reserva was matured in cask but for 18 months in a mixture of
French and American oak barrels. Some mineral notes can be detected along
with spice in the aromas. The further ageing in bottle gives a wine that is
rounded and very pleasing in the mouth and making it a great food partner
especially for lamb.


As for the Gran Reserva, this again was made from 90% Tempranillo together
with 5% each of Mazuelo and Graciano with all grapes coming from the Rioja

Alavesa. After 30 months ageing in French and American oak barrels, the wine
was matured in bottle in the winery cellars for a minimum of 3 years, in this
case it was there for 5 years. This is a wonderful glass of Rioja that is both
elegant and silky with dried berry flavours and a touch of vanilla on the nose
with spice hints together with the fruit on the palate. A fantastic bottle of wine
that offers a great price/quality rapport.