2012 Miguel Merino "Viñas Jovenes" Crianza Rioja
A longtime participant in the wine business, Miguel 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, primarily chalky clay 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 18 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!