Monday, September 24, 2012

Bodegas Dinastia Vivanco Rioja Seleccion de Familia Crianza 2008

I guess there comes a time when one should breakaway and wean themselves from life long habits that one may call tradition.  That is what I am now trying desperately to do when it comes to matching my Italian food.  For 40+ years, it has always been, Italian food means Italian wine.  Even after starting this blog, expanding the palate and advocating a policy of "drink what you like, but always give other wines a chance," I would not stray from my 'tradition.'  But, the time has come to heed my own advice, although I will begin with baby steps.  That is, I am not going to stray that far to begin.  How about Spain for beginning this trek?  The meal: a simple pasta covered with Shirley's homemade sauce and sprinkled with a little Parmigiano-Reggiano and a side salad.  The wine: Dinastia Vivanco Crianza 2008($18) made for 100% Tempranillo grapes that is aged for 16 months in French and American oak.
I chose the wine from the Rioja region of Spain, because I find it's characteristics are not that much different than those of my usual Italian red table wine, Chianti.  The Crianza is a little bolder, but both have very nice and similar fruit and berries aromas and taste.
Right out of the bottle, I knew this would be one of the better Rioja wines I've tasted.  Lots of plum and cherry aromas with just a bit of spice and vanilla.  In the mouth, I got cherry, a little cinnamon, some tobacco and a touch of damp woodsy soil with soft tannins and a little acid like feel on the sides of the mouth.  The wine finished nice and smooth with spice notes and some leather.  Much more than expected and a wine I am sure to try again at this price and the fact that it paired very nicely with the pasta and Italian sauce.   Wine Spectator magazine selected the Dinastia Vivanco Crianza 2008 amongst its list of Top 100 Wines of 2011. The wine made by Rafael Vivanco is the top ranked Rioja on the list, appearing at number 59, and one of only 7 Spanish wines to make the top flight.  Just as I expected after the first aromas, this was one of the best Rioja wines I've tasted. Nice wine, nice price and very highly recommended.

You should also notice the unique shape of a bottle of Dinastia Vivanco. It's a recreation of a shape found in the family’s museum, a bottle dating back to the 18th century when each glass bottle was still individually crafted by a skilled glass blower. The design was chosen to reflect the ancient history of Rioja wine.

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