Variety: 94% Tempranillo; 5% Garnacha; 1% Mazuelo
Region: Rioja, Spain
Cost: $15 (SRP)
Winemaker’s Notes: A deep picota cherry red color with a garnet edge, this wine is clean and bright. It is complex on the nose, with aromas of cherry and raspberry standing out, complemented with aromatic notes of herbs such as thyme, rosemary, cinnamon, and tobacco. On the palate it is a very fresh wine, voluminous pleasant and with a long finish. Pair with roasts, chargrilled chops, Iberico cured meats, and mature cheeses.
My Review: My wife and I have been on a trend lately; anytime we go out for dinner and order wine, it tends to come with a screwcap enclosure. I don’t say that to complain, but it’s something I’ve noticed happening with increasing frequency, even when picking wines from Europe. All of that’s to say, that I was actually a bit surprised when the 2017 Beronia Crianza showed up at my house (full disclosure, there were two bottles, the 750ml and a 375ml that retails for around $8) and it featured a screwcap enclosure.
I’ve been a fan of the enclosures for a while; one of my favorite vineyards in Virginia uses them exclusively. There’s no worry about cork taint and given the number of times I’ve taken a bottle of wine to a friends house and we’ve had to scramble to find an opener, screwcaps are really earning their place.
But we’re not here to talk about enclosures (that’s another post that I’ll need to write one of these days). We’re here to talk about the 2017 Beronia Crianza.
In the glass the wine was a dark cherry red color with hints of a purplish-garnet around the rim. On the nose I picked up raspberry and hints of dried thyme and tobacco. In the mouth the wine was bright, with the raspberry from the nose coming through, but with dried herbs being the star of the show; the thyme I got on the nose was joined by more dominant tobacco and a hint of Herbs de Provence.
My wife and I paired the wine with some French Dips we made at home; we seasoned and pressure cooked some beef to shred. The brightness of the wine, coupled with the earthy herb notes, were a great pairing with the food.
For $15 I think this is a great value wine, and I love that there’s a 375ml option; perfect for taking with you on a picnic or when you just want a couple of glasses of wine without opening a full bottle. It’s approachable without being simple, thanks to a good blend of herbs and fruit notes that add a subtle complexity without being pretentious.
Editor’s note: I received this wine as a free sample for review.