2008 Bodegas Puelles Crianza Rioja
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2008 Crianza is a blend of 95% Tempranillo and 5% -others- from around Abalos that is raised in French and American oak. It has a natural, red currant and cranberry-scented bouquet with a touch of tomato vine. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp, edgy tannins and exquisite balance. There are light red berries, tobacco notes and an earthy tincture towards the finish of this simple, but highly pleasurable Crianza. Drink now-2018.
Crisp and supple, this lively red offers cherry, licorice, leafy and light tobacco flavors on a medium-weight frame. Shows good balance in a leaner style. Drink now through 2015.
Jesús Puelles is one of the most talented vignerons in Rioja. Hailing from a long line of vineyard worker/owners, Puelles knows the terruño in his little slice of land in the Rioja Alta town of Abalos. Nearly all of the grapes for his red wines come from his own 26 hectares, which are generally north facing and located between 300 and 600 meters in altitude, all within the village of Abalos, very rare in a region where sourcing from various villages and even sub-zones is more the norm. Produced from primarily estate fruit (Tempranillo, with a touch of Garnacha and Graciano), this is a lovely Crianza that beautifully shows the elegance of the vintage. Mixed berries and a hint of earthy savor on the nose lead to a palate showing delicious fruit of terrific cut and purity. The wine was aged in used French and American oak barrels (roughly 50% each), racked twice, and lightly filtered prior to being bottled and undergoing additional aging at the winery. This is a textbook Crianza, with loads of style and a lot to offer for the price. (Joe Manekin, K&L Wine Merchants, Spanish wine buyer)