Ram√≥n Bilbao Crianza DOCa 2016 75cl | ūü¶ÜThe Bow Tie Duck Manila
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Ramón Bilbao Rioja Crianza 2016 75cl

Oak-Aged Fruitiness

Fol¬≠low¬≠ing the strict stan¬≠dards of the Rio¬≠ja Con¬≠trol Board, this DOCa-cer¬≠ti¬≠fied wine sits between the fruiti¬≠ness of a young Rio¬≠ja and the wood¬≠si¬≠er oak fla¬≠vors of a Reser¬≠va, per¬≠fect for indul¬≠gent every¬≠day drinking.

TAST­ING NOTES FROM THE CURATOR

Ruby-red with vio¬≠let hues, Ram√≥n Bilbao‚Äôs Cri¬≠an¬≠za Rio¬≠ja is fruity but well-bal¬≠anced with the best fla¬≠vors of 100 per¬≠cent Tem¬≠pranil¬≠lo grapes. It has a clean, open scent, filled with black and red fruits, nuts, and mild flo¬≠ral notes. A year in Amer¬≠i¬≠can oak bar¬≠rels imparts to it the sweet aro¬≠mas of nut¬≠meg, vanil¬≠la, and a hint of cin¬≠na¬≠mon. On the palate, it is medi¬≠um-bod¬≠ied and some¬≠what intense, with trail¬≠ing notes of berries and spice.

PAIR­INGS

Rio¬≠ja wines are great for aper¬≠i¬≠tifs with friends. They pair well with a vari¬≠ety of soft cheeses and char¬≠cu¬≠terie. Cri¬≠an¬≠zas are great with Iber¬≠ian hams, espe¬≠cial¬≠ly the acorn nut¬≠ti¬≠ness of a tru¬≠ly mag¬≠nif¬≠i¬≠cent Jam√≥n Ib√©ri¬≠co Bel¬≠lota Pre¬≠mi¬≠um DOP Extremadu¬≠ra. Din¬≠ners of stewed rab¬≠bit or roast chick¬≠en will also ben¬≠e¬≠fit from a glass or three of this wine. If you fan¬≠cy break¬≠fast for din¬≠ner on a cool evening, a skil¬≠let mix of eggs, mush¬≠rooms, and onions will be com¬≠plete¬≠ly ele¬≠vat¬≠ed by the spice-and-black-fruit notes of a Crianza.

THE RIO­JA PYRA­MID OF QUALITY

One of the mar¬≠vels of the Rio¬≠ja wine region is their sim¬≠ple but con¬≠sis¬≠tent clas¬≠si¬≠fi¬≠ca¬≠tion sys¬≠tem, judi¬≠cious¬≠ly mon¬≠i¬≠tored by the Con¬≠se¬≠jo Reg¬≠u¬≠lador DOCs Rio¬≠ja (Rio¬≠ja DOCa Con¬≠trol Board). For¬≠mer¬≠ly called ‚Äč‚Äúvin joven‚ÄĚ, the basic Rio¬≠ja wine is a young wine, a base-mod¬≠el Tem¬≠pranil¬≠lo. There are lit¬≠tle to no tan¬≠nins or oaky fla¬≠vors here‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČbut this wine has a zip¬≠py, fruity taste. Cri¬≠an¬≠zas must be matured for a min¬≠i¬≠mum of one year in an oak bar¬≠rel, fol¬≠lowed by anoth¬≠er year in a bot¬≠tle. They are bold¬≠er than Mer¬≠lot, not too rich, well-dis¬≠play¬≠ing the nat¬≠ur¬≠al high tan¬≠nins of Tem¬≠pranil¬≠lo grapes. Reser¬≠vas get seri¬≠ous. After a year in oak bar¬≠rels and at least two in bot¬≠tles, they tend to be of medi¬≠um body, in between a fruity Cri¬≠an¬≠za and very oaky Gran Reser¬≠va. This last, the Gran Reser¬≠va, spends two years in oak bar¬≠rels then three in bot¬≠tles to com¬≠plete its mat¬≠u¬≠ra¬≠tion process. It is the oak-aging that lends the most fla¬≠vor¬≠ing here. These wines can be cel¬≠lared for up to 30 years.

Storage Instructions

Store unopened red wines in a cool, dry, and dark place safe from con¬≠stant vibra¬≠tion. Keep your bot¬≠tle hor¬≠i¬≠zon¬≠tal in a wine rack or cel¬≠lar to retain the moist¬≠ness of the cork. The ide¬≠al tem¬≠per¬≠a¬≠ture for stor¬≠age is between 16 to 18¬įC. Once opened, a bot¬≠tle will be good for 3 to 5 days stand¬≠ing upright in the refrigerator.

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