2008 Miguel Merino "Viñas Jovenes" Crianza Rioja
We are very pleased to be focusing our Spanish direct import program in Rioja, and most fortunate to have begun working with one of Rioja's most beloved vignerons, Miguel Merino. A longtime participant in the wine business, having sold wine for wine distributors in the States as well as working as an export manager, Miguel has found success every step of the way, and then decided that rather than retire, he wanted to fulfill his dream of owning vines and making wine. Based in the Rioja Alta town of Briones, Miguel Merino makes, as he likes to put it, an "updated classic" style of Rioja, all from his own 2 hectares of vines and several hectares of vineyards owned by a close friend. All the fruit is from sloped vineyards (Miguel is a fan of his slopes) within the cooler climate Rioja Alta town of Briones, which makes these wine a terrific showcase of the terroir (especially in a region where wines blended from various villages are more often the norm). Sourced from comparably younger vines (viñas jovenes in Spanish), this is still a characterful wine (no surprise, as the vines actually are approaching 15 years old and are not far from their prime production period). A beautiful, translucent ruby color, there are deep, dark cherry aromas leading to a very concentrated, pure, intense, cherry fruited palate. Give this wine some air, and do not be afraid to finish it up on the second or even third day; it will only taste better!