LCBO Sale Wine of the Week: October 6

Beronia 2013 Rioja Tempranillo Elaboracion Especial (Rioja, Spain)

Sale $14.10, Regular $16.10
Discount (until Oct. 9): $2.00
LCBO #426981 | 750 mL bottle

Tastes like: Dark fruits and berries — plum, blackberry, blueberry — and smoky cherry. Nice juicy acidity.
Pairs with: Red meats, charcoal grilled if you can. Lamb is traditional in Rioja, but also good with charcuterie and meatier snacks. It likes tomato sauces too.
Good for: Sipping while you stand by a warm charcoal barbecue waiting for that marinated lamb to finish up.
Alcohol: 14%
Drink: Now to 2018.

Why we're drinking this
Rarely have I met a Rioja that I didn’t like. The quality in this northern region of Spain is generally very good across the board and Canada, being a major importer, tends to get the good stuff. The region’s main grape is Tempranillo and this one is 100%. It’s been aged eight months in new oak, so it’s pretty woody — if you like that sort of thing, it certainly does make for a nice fall/winter wine. Earlier in the year, I rated the 2012 vintage of this wine as very good. The 2013 was a tougher vintage, rainier and cooler, producing a wine that is noticeably different. It’s still good, but less vibrantly fruity and more rustically woody. A solid wine — and it’s nice to see some vintage character coming through. Isn’t nature wonderful?

Tasting note
Wine geeks might call this wine “brooding.” Let’s say it’s a darker, more rustic wine style. The fruit is certainly there, but you may find your attention goes to the woody and tobacco notes. The tannins are noticeable and a bit chunky, which isn’t a bad thing. The wine is dry, herbaceous and medium bodied. It’s a good sipper in the colder weather, with 14% alcohol to add some warmth. A nice food wine, good with all kinds of red meats, charcuterie and hard cheese. Fans of bigger Cali Cabernet Sauvignons would do well to give this a try. I think it’s more interesting.

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