2012 Miguel Merino "Viñas Jovenes" Crianza Rioja (Previously $15) SKU #1265362

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Tasting Notes

A longtime participant in the wine business, Miguel decided that rather than retire, he wanted to fulfill his dream of owning vines and making wine. Based in the Rioja Alta town of Briones, Miguel Merino makes, as he likes to put it, an "updated classic" style of Rioja, all from his own 2 hectares of vines and several hectares of vineyards owned by a close friend. All the fruit is from sloped, primarily chalky clay vineyards (Miguel is a fan of his slopes) within the cooler climate Rioja Alta town of Briones, which makes these wine a terrific showcase of the terroir (especially in a region where wines blended from various villages are more often the norm). Sourced from comparably younger vines (viñas jovenes in Spanish), this is still a characterful wine (no surprise, as the vines actually are approaching 18 years old and are not far from their prime production period). A beautiful, translucent ruby color, there are deep, dark cherry aromas leading to a very concentrated, pure, intense, cherry fruited palate. Give this wine some air, and do not be afraid to finish it up on the second or even third day; it will only taste better!

Staff Reviews

  • Gary Westby
    By: Gary Westby
    K&L Staff Member
    This is a delicious, well balanced value from Rioja. If you like medium to full bodied reds with great freshness and balance as well as texture and dark fruit, you will fall in love with the Vinas Jovenes from Miguel Merino. This will go perfectly with casual burgers or even by itself!
  • Alex Schroeder
    By: Alex Schroeder
    K&L Staff Member
    Beautiful entry level Rioja from our good friend and direct import Miguel Merino. It’s aged in American and French oak, subtle and nuanced notes of vanilla and licorice underline the more pronounced savory flavors of raspberry and black cherry. The fruit is rather lifted and fresh, with a velvety smooth texture from soft round tannins.
  • Heather Vander Wall
    By: Heather Vander Wall
    K&L Staff Member
    Finally Miguel Merino has decided to share some of his "Crianza" bottling with us! We are so happy to welcome this lovely, juicy, slightly lighter style of Merino wine into our portfolio. With great texture and pretty red fruit/sandalwood notes, this wine is a slightly easier-drinking, lighter little sister to the Vitola.
  • Gary Norton
    By: Gary Norton
    K&L Staff Member
    Not only has Miguel Merino figured out how to make his Crianzas taste like Gran Riservas, but he's learned how to make wine produced from young vines taste like their from old vines. How the heck did he do it? I don't know. But this bottle of wine drinks way above it's price point. Notes of dark fruit, dark berry and dusty bramble notes enter and darker, richer tones of mocha, chocolate and baking spices round out the finish. Fair warning, if this is your first experience with a Crianza, compare it to learning how to drive in a Ferrari.
  • Joe Manekin
    By: Joe Manekin
    K&L Staff Member
    I'm very excited to have Viñas Jovenes back in stock! Miguel does not make much of this Crianza, and it always sells out quickly, particularly in Logroño where it seemed as though all of my favorite, higher end tapas spots were pouring it by the glass! Dark fruits combine with structured, ripe tannins, and lovely minerality to create this under $15 value. For those who appreciate a bit more weight and richness in their Riojas, I don't think you will find better value than this.


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