If you’ve dismissed Spanish wines until now, you might be in for a surprise. You’ll be hard-pressed to find an easier drinking wine, from Spain or anywhere else, than Viñedos de Aldeanueva’s Cortijo Crianza (aka Cortijo II Crianza; the II refers to, well, I’m not sure exactly what, but I think it has something to do with Aldeanueva’s vineyard holdings).
The Crianza (as I will be calling it) is 100% Tempranillo, as much Rioja is, but has the character of a beefy, young Cabernet.
There’s subtle spice and dusty earth here, but none of it dims the hearty fruit core on the Crianza, a plum and berry monster that goes down easy but doesn’t overpower on its own or with food (I had it with a Spanish rice and chicken dish).
Crianza isn’t overly complex, but at $14 a bottle, you wouldn’t expect it to be, either. Compared to a $14 California Cab, I’ll take the Rioja any day of the week.
A- / $14 / oleimports.com