LCBO Sale Pick of the Week: Aug. 20

Beronia 2010 Reserva Rioja (Rioja, Spain)

Sale $17.95, Regular $19.95
Discount (until Sept. 13): $2.00
LCBO - Vintages # 50203 | 750 mL bottle

Tastes like: Bold black fruits with a meaty/savoury backbeat. It’s a whopper!
Pairs with: Lamb, brisket and smoky barbecue.
Good for: Autumn. Or a cool breezy evening under a crazy moon.
Alcohol: 14%
Drink: Now to 2019.

Why we're drinking this
This is a kwäf re-run. We first reviewed it a year and a half ago when it was a buck cheaper. That was the 2008 vintage, and now we’re skipping two vintages ahead to 2010. Decanter magazine rated the 2010 vintage in Rioja as “excelente” versus a mere “muy bueno” for 2008. Can you taste the difference? Hmmm — damn right. The Rioja region is evolving a bit these days, getting a little hipper and modern. And this well-priced wine is good entry into the style. Ready to go big or go home? Nevermind the heat, but you better have the A/C at the ready.

Tasting note
A formidable wine on the nose, with tons of deep ripe blackberry, mulberry and plum. Rioja comes out swinging with wood as a general rule, and this wine has had more than 20 months in French and American oak barrels. Yep, it shows. The nose is woody, a touch raw, but with intriguing menthol and spicy vanilla. (That’ll mellow with a big of age.) In the mouth, there’s more spice and ripe fruit, and things get more complex with black licorice, clove and — I kid you not — summer sausage. This is a big, bold, complex wine, so save it for a chilly evening and a meat-fest. Or stock up now for fall — then break out the lamb kabobs, Korean ribs and brisket. It’s on sale for a month, so you’ve got time.

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This week's selection by kwäf Taste Bud Dick Snyder