2006 Miguel Merino "Vitola" Reserva Rioja

SKU #1161460

*A K&L direct import! This is our latest arrival from Miguel Merino, whom we like to call "the hardest working man in Rioja." Having begun his humble "retirement project" in the early 1990s by restoring an older bodega just down the hill from the historic town of Briones, Miguel either owns or rents to own a total of around 8 hectares of vines, all of which are located in Briones; not only is this village specific Rioja, but it happens to come from one of the most sought after villages in all of Rioja Alta, where many top bodegas have some of their most prized, older vineyards. For Vitola, Miguel uses fruit from vines (primarily Tempranillo with a bit of Garnacha, Graciano and Mazuelo) averaging 40 years of age. He is going for a modern classic style of wine, structured but both ageworthy and drinkable upon release. Some quick vine growing/winemaking notes: Organic (non-certified) vineyards, native yeast fermented, regular barrel topping, no fining and a very gentle filtration. The warmer 2006 vintage is in a sweet spot now for those who value richness, intensity and weight of fruit, but with some appealingly secondary and early tertiary development as well. Sumptuous black cherries, sweet baking spices and a lovely, meat/savory character all combine into the magical balance which great Rioja is known for. Do not be shy about popping this open now, though it will certainly continue to improve and hold well for at least another 5 years. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish wine buyer)

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Price: $19.99
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Staff Image By: Jeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/28/2015 | Send Email
Surely one of the best outcomes of adding a Direct Import program from Spain was the good fortune, indeed the honor, of being able to offer our customers the wines of Miguel Merino. A force of nature, Miguel's passion and energy are revealed through his meticulously crafted wines. The 2006 Miguel Merino Vitola Reserva Rioja is a great example. Polished, generous, elegant. True of the wine. And of the winemaker. Gracias, Miguel.

Staff Image By: Olivia Ragni | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/20/2015 | Send Email
If you're looking for a Rioja with some age, that's ready to drink, look no further. The 06' "vitola" has developed aromas of pine, mushroom and resin, while the palate has notes of chocolate, coffee grounds and roasted tomatoes. Tannins and acid are well integrated at this point and drinking beautifully.

Staff Image By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/17/2015 | Send Email
This is one of our sexiest Riojas. The classic richness and spice of the best Reservas but with a riper fleshier fruit component. More effusive aromatics and a lush palate make this a hard red to pass up for $20.

Staff Image By: Sarah Covey | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/7/2014 | Send Email
The juicy goodness that is Miguel Merino wine just keeps on comin'! Red plum, cassis, and blackberry with notes of meat and game. Elegantly integrated oak and tannin with balanced medium plus acidity. A really lovely wine from Miguel Merino, who continues to demonstrate that his wines can age with the subtle grace of the best of Rioja.
Top Value!

Staff Image By: Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/7/2014 | Send Email
Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Half
I absolutely love this wine's complex and traditional flavors but what really excites me is its supple nature. Still the classic length but wrapped in a richly textured wild fruit compote that balances that structure perfectly. The balance between the spice, leather, earth and that beautiful fruit is simply magnificent and to get it for this price is amazing. Although I think I could drink this wine on its own I'd suggest grilled meats or some aged Manchego.
Drink from 2014 to 2021

Staff Image By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/6/2014 | Send Email
Though he is no pilot, I often hear our friend, gifted winery director and noted Rioja Raconteur, Miguel Merino speak of "cruise altitude" in his Riojas. What Miguel means is the moment at which point a wine starts developing real interest and a keen sense of balance between fruit, tannins and complex flavor development. This 2006 Vitola, to throw some Spanglish your way, está en plena "cruise altitude!" Awesome wine; I suggest you try some.

Staff Image By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/6/2014 | Send Email
This might be the best red under $20 in the store. If you have not tried any of the wines from super producer Miguel Merino, now is the time. This wine has such an open-knit, generous personality, some of the highest quality Tempranillo fruit I have ever tasted, and also texture, maturity and poise. It has it all... Just add lamb blocks!
Top Value! Drink from 2014 to 2020

Additional Information:



- A very important red grape varietal that's native to Northern Spain, grown across the north and central regions of the country. Low in acid and alcohol, with subtle strawberry, leather and tobacco notes, the grape responds well to oak aging and plays particularly well with others. Tempranillo is an important component, when combined with Garnacha, Mazuelo, Viura and Graciano, of Rioja, with the best examples coming for the cooler, higher-elevation regions like Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa. It is also grown in significant quantities in the Ribera del Duero where it is called Tinto Fino and Penèdes where it is called Ull de Llebre o Ojo de Llebre. Tempranillo hasn't gained a particularly strong foothold outside of Spain, achieving some success under the name Tinto Roriz in Portugal. There it is used as a component of Port and in the table wines of the Ribera del Duero and the Dão.


- With more land under vine than any other country in the world, Spain is the great sleeping wine giant. In recent years, a great deal of money and passion has been poured in the burgeoning Spanish wine industry, helping to improve quality among its vast array of wines from sparkling Cava to Sherry to Rioja Gran Reserva. The most important red-wine-producing regions are Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Navarra in the north and Priorat and Penedes in the northeast.


Alcohol Content (%): 14