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Bodegas Medievo Crianza, Rioja 2018

Red Wine from Spain - Rioja
A well-made, cedary Rioja which has delightful fruity flavour and a touch of oak. Terrific value for money.
Price: £8.25 Bottle
Price: £99.00 Case of 12
Due in on 08/10/21
Code: SP16701

Wine characteristics

  • Red Wine
  • Medium-bodied
  • Tempranillo
  • 13.5% Alcohol
  • Oak used but not v. noticeable
  • Now to 2023
  • 75cl
  • Cork, natural

Rioja

Rioja sits shielded in northern Spain between the mountain ranges of the Sierra de Cantabria to the north and the Sierra de la Demanda to the south. Both of these rocky ranges play their part in creating a suitable climate for the production of fine wines, shielding the region from cold winds from the Atlantic and hot winds from the Mediterranean.

Rioja is split into three sub-regions, Rioja Alavesa, Rioja Alta and Rioja Baja.

Rioja Alavesa - Bounded in the north by the craggy Sierra de la Cantabria and in the south by the Ebro river, and sitting in the foothills of the former, Rioja Alavesa feels a distinct Atlantic influence on its weather, despite the protection of the mountains. It has twice the rainfall of Rioja Baja to the south-east and enjoys cooler temperatures on average. The classic Rioja mainstay tempranillo is king here and makes up more than 80% of plantings, supported by garnacha, mazuelo (aka carignan elsewhere) and graciano for red wines, and viura, malvasia and...

Rioja sits shielded in northern Spain between the mountain ranges of the Sierra de Cantabria to the north and the Sierra de la Demanda to the south. Both of these rocky ranges play their part in creating a suitable climate for the production of fine wines, shielding the region from cold winds from the Atlantic and hot winds from the Mediterranean.

Rioja is split into three sub-regions, Rioja Alavesa, Rioja Alta and Rioja Baja.

Rioja Alavesa - Bounded in the north by the craggy Sierra de la Cantabria and in the south by the Ebro river, and sitting in the foothills of the former, Rioja Alavesa feels a distinct Atlantic influence on its weather, despite the protection of the mountains. It has twice the rainfall of Rioja Baja to the south-east and enjoys cooler temperatures on average. The classic Rioja mainstay tempranillo is king here and makes up more than 80% of plantings, supported by garnacha, mazuelo (aka carignan elsewhere) and graciano for red wines, and viura, malvasia and garnacha blanca for whites. Chalk and clay soils proliferate. Generally, the wines of Rioja Alavesa are considered the most finely balanced of Rioja reds.

Rioja Alta - Elegant reds are considered the hallmark of Alta wines. A great chunk of the major producers are based in Rioja Alta, concentrated on the town of Haro. Warmer and a bit drier than Alavesa, it also enjoys slightly hotter, more Mediterranean influenced summers and has a range of clay based soils. The reddish, iron rich clays provide a nurturing home for tempranillo while those bearing a chalkier element support the white viura well. Alluvial soils closer to the river are often home to malvasia for blending in to whites. In this area mazuelo is a regular addition to Rioja blends, providing some tannic sinew and beefing up the colour, and the reds here will often take a more significant underpinning of oak.

Rioja Baja - Most of Rioja Baja is south of the Ebro and further south and east of its neighbouring sub-regions. Summers in Rioja Baja are more often than not very warm and dry, with vineyards at lower elevations than its neighbours. Consequently soils are predominantly silt and other alluvial deposits with little chalk present, and garnacha reigns supreme among the red varieties because of its ability to deal almost effortlessly with the heat. As a rule, reds from Baja are higher in alcohol and less elegant than in Alavesa and Alta, though of course there are always exceptions and particularly so as viticulture and winemaking improves with every passing year.

RIOJA CLASSIFICATIONS AND STYLES EXPLAINED

The official Rioja classification is a guarantee of the amount of ageing a wine has undergone. Usually the best wines receive the longest maturation but this does not guarantee quality, which is why it is just as important to follow producer.

Crianza: Minimum two years (with at least 12 months in barrel)
Reserva: Minimum three years (at least 12 months in barrel)
Gran Reserva: Minimum five years (at least 24 months in barrel)

What can be confusing is that producers use different ageing techniques (for example some might use American oak, others French, others a mix of both) which will influence the style, structure and flavour of the wine. To help you find the style you like we have split the wines into the following designations.

Traditional: Fragrant, silky wines from long ageing in cask (usually American oak) and bottle; ready to drink on release.

Modern-classical: Younger, rounder wines that retain the delicious character of Rioja through cask ageing (often a mix of American and French oak) with the structure to develop in bottle.

Modern: Richer, velvety wines aged for less time in newer (usually) French oak; released earlier and may need keeping.

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Bodega del Medievo

Headed by Joseba Almaraz, Bodega del Medievo was started by a group of farmers and wine dealers who wanted both to enhance and protect the quality and sales of their wines.

They are based in Aldeanueva de Ebro in the La Rioja Baja district – the warmest and most productive sub-zone of Rioja, where grapes ripen consistently. They carefully source their fruit from over 150ha of vineyards, 65% of which are tempranillo, 20% grenache, 10% mazuelo and 5% are graciano.

La Rioja Baja isn’t generally renowned for more traditional elegance, but it does produce excellent Rioja in a fruitier, more everyday style. Marques de Mejia is a good-quality, honest Rioja from one of the highest zones in the district, and offers particularly impressive value for money.

Although it doesn’t have an official age classification, it is affectionately called a ‘semi-crianza’ as it is aged for six months in new oak – half that of a crianza’s legal requirement – to give a nice lick of true Rioja style.

Spain Vintage 2018

A good if not great vintage in Rioja, with early rains and frosts followed by drought conditions in the growing season. Fortunately, some late summer rains offered respite from the aridity and an earlier than recently normal harvest took place in very fine weather. The result is wines of balance and digestible levels of alcohol.

Ribera del Duero enjoyed a very good vintage in 2018, with wines showing harmony between freshness and fruit as alcohol levels were moderated by the cooler growing season. Yields were cruelly reduced by severe frosts and the drought, but Ribera rode them with some success.

Priorat in Catalonia had a good vintage despite the conditions, with its proximity to the moisture of the Mediterranean Sea and its many old-vines with deep roots being able to withstand the heat and dryness well.

Galicia had a good vintage too, thanks to its Atlantic Ocean influences and despite some fires in Rías Baixas that hit vineyard areas.
2018 vintage reviews

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