NZ Master of Wine Steve Bennett regularly travels through Europe sniffing, swirling and spitting his way through thousands of wines to find the best and the best of the best to chuck on a boat and bring into Aotearoa. The Anciano brand is one that has been delivering amazing bang for buck in absolute spades for some time now and this is the Anciano N0.5 Crianza from the world famous Rioja region.
Spanish winemaker Azucena Hervella, alongside (another) Master of Wine Norrel Robertson, has produced this great example of a traditional looking and tasting, aged Crianza style at a seriously good price. Using Tempranillo fruit from the heart of the Rioja Alta region and aged for 12 months in American oak before another 12 months in bottle before release. A 2018 vintage it’s now had another few years bottle age and drinking superbly!
Scoring 5 Stars with local critic Sam Kim who said “This is an impressive Crianza. Spicy, savoury and sweet, all at once, showing dried cherry, leather, cocoa, game and almond notes on the nose, leading to a splendidly flavoursome palate offering ripe fruit flavours with silky texture and fine tannins. Gorgeously drinking. At its best: now to 2024.”
Norrel Robertson MW, who played a hand in producing the wine, called it “A really lovely combination of bright red fruits, great acidity and a mixture of spice, cinnamon and vanilla coming through on the finish. Classic Crianza from Rioja.”
Not only does the wine taste the part it looks the part with its fancy gold wire wrap! So whip out the corkscrew (you’ll need it here) and enjoy this one with red meats (think lamb, casseroles, sausages and other grilled red meats), a hearty vegetarian feed or a nice wedge of mature cheese.
Damn, you're looking young for your age!
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