Deep ruby color; cherry, blackberry, cedar, tobacco on the nose; cherry, plum, blackberry, oak, vanilla, chocolate, faint spice on the palate.
Dry; moderate, polished tannins and balancing acidity. Medium body. Blend of 90% tempranillo, 10% graciano. Fermented in stainless steel. Significant but well-integrated oak—aged 12 months in American wood. Rioja reds typically are heavy on the oak, and typically pull it off so there is oak and its influence—cedar, vanilla, chocolate, spice, oak tannins—but not obnoxious “oak monster” cartoon wine. 14.1% ABV
Burgo Viejo started in the late 1980s when six families of farmers in La Rioja decided to unite to create the Bodegas de Familia Burgo Viejo winery. The principals included Castillo Garcia, Galán Garijo, Gurría García, Marques Malumbres, Rivas Marques and Ruiz Casas, Together, they farmed almost 500 acres.
The website notes the group relied on “winegrowing traditions and age-old knowledge passed down from one generation to the next. As a result, the winery is able to offer a wide range of wines, wines that combine the tradition of La Rioja with new market trends in order to meet consumer demands.”
Gorka Etxebarria is the oenologist. He earned degrees in oenology and chemistry from the University of La Rioja and trained in wineries as far away as Australia. Etxebarria has been head of winemaking a Burgo Viejo since 2003.
Burgo Viejo Crianza Rioja Red Wine 2016 has assertive, ripe black fruits with oak in the background. Rich, full wine. Good ambassador from Rioja, especially at this price point. Pair with lamb; beef; veal; poultry; sharp cheeses; hard, aged cheeses. $15-20