Beronia: There's No School Like Old School

Spain's dependence on American oak, which can come across as astringent if not carefully moderated, has turned me off of most Spanish reds for the better part of the last decade. That doesn't stop the samples from coming in and, while evaluating wine requires an open mind, I've sent several emails to publicists telling them there's more sawdust than grape in the bottles they've sent.

2017 Beronia Rioja Crianza $16
Finally, a break from that trend. And, no surprise, it's from one of Rioja's stalwarts: Beronia. Made in a more traditional style, allowing for the wine to communicate its place and soul without interference.  Clean, precise, and a textbook introduction to traditional Rioja, it benefits from characteristic Spanish sun-baked red fruit, food-friendly acidity, and subdued oak influence. The finish has a subtle sweetness to it What more could you ask for at this price point? Bonus: now bottled in 375ml for picnics, solo meals, and one extra glass at the end of dinner. 88 points (Sample)