- Bodegas Sierra Cantabria
- 2019 - 2024
- Case size
Goedhuis, October 2020
Celebrating their 150th anniversary, Sierra Cantabria are steeped in not just history, but innovation. With such iconic projects under their belt as Numanthia and San Vicente, they have revolutionised Rioja and as such many people revere Marcos Eguren, the winemaker, to be the finest Spain has to offer. Beautiful ruby red in colour. This 2016 Crianza has intense cherry notes intermixed with notes of cocoa, fresh coffee and hints of toasty smoke. Dark red fruits, extremely juicy, medium bodied, easy to drink and extremely approachable. This is a delicious and elegant rioja that offers exceptional value for money. Drinking Now – 2025 Viticulture is managed meticulously using the lunar calendar, and microorganisms in the soil are encouraged by using their own organic fertilisers, rather than intervening with artificial chemicals. Everything is handpicked.
Wine Advocate, June 2019,
The 2016 Crianza is pure Tempranillo from a year they consider spectacular because of the health and ripeness that the grapes achieved very slowly. The destemmed grapes fermented in stainless steel, and the wine matured in French and American oak barrels for 14 months. It is still quite toasty and has a classical profile despite the new-ish oak, a little creamy, with that soft, voluptuous mouthfeel but with the fresh profile of the 2016 vintage, with red rather than black fruit. It's a year of good yields, and the fruit and the wines have very good balance and freshness, less concentrated and more drinkable. It's a year of balance and freshness, with good yields and healthy grapes. It has to be one of the finest vintages for this wine. 150,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in March 2019.
James Suckling, October 2020,
Lots of fresh and linear fruit in this crianza with crushed berries and licorice. Medium to full body. Lightly chewy yet polished tannins. Flavorful finish
Wine Enthusiast, October 2020,
Sierra Cantabria 2016 Crianza (Rioja). Smooth, ripe black fruit aromas are earthy and a touch spicy, but mostly just comfortable and clean. On the palate, this crianza narrows a bit and displays a grabby, choppy side. Flavors of spicy plum and berry fruits are dusted with cocoa hints, while this is dry and mildly tannic on the finish. Drink through 2025.
By the far the best known of Spain's wine regions is Rioja, which takes its name from the rio(river) Oja, a tributary of the river Ebro. Lying in the north of the country, along the Ebro valley, the area is sheltered from rain-bearing Atlantic winds by the dramatic Sierra de Cantabria to the north and west. The hilly vineyards are interspersed with orchards, poplars and eucalyptus trees. Rioja is further divided into three sub-regions - Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Baja. The first two are best regarded, with vines planted on cool slopes with clay and limestone soils. The permitted grape varieties for Rioja are tempranillo, which is grown extensively in Rioja Alta and Alavesa and will form the backbone of all the best wines, garnacha, widespread in Rioja Baja and used to add body to the blend, and mazuelo (carignan) and graciano, both grown in miniscule proportions. The key to understanding Rioja is the technique used to mature the wine. Unlike most other areas of Europe, American oak barrels are used which give the wines their characteristic soft vanilla, almost coconuty flavour. Historically the wines were aged for periods far longer than legally required, until all the fruit character had died down and the end result was a light, tawny-coloured wine dominated by oak flavours. Although there are still supporters of this classic style, far more producers are making wines in a more modern way, allowing the dark berry fruit flavours to burst through balanced by a more judicious use of oak ageing and often opting for French oak now.