Tempranillo Time for $12

It is time to stock the cellar with Tempranillo wines from the Rioja region of Spain. Spain is at the top when it comes to wines that deliver in quality and price. It is hard to imagine how wines from Spain can be so inexpensive. I recently purchased and tasted a couple of lovely Tempranillo wines from the famous Rioja wine region. Both wines are in the $12 price range.

Tapas and Bodega Lan

2016 Bodegas LAN Crianza

The Crianza is a legal term in Spain, and that means the wine is in the barrel for 12 months. In addition to the barrel aging, the Bodegas LAN Crianza was in the bottle nine months before its release. The grapes for the Lan are 96% Tempranillo and 4% Mazuelo, all sustainably farmed.

The Bodegas LAN is a very mild-mannered wine. I like to think of it as wine on good behavior. The LAN has beautiful acidity, along with a gentle mix of red and dark fruit. It displays the pure fruit of the Tempranillo grape. What a value at $12 at Weimax Wines. Use Wine-Searcher.com or 1000Corks.com to find out where you can buy this delicious Tempranillo wine from Rioja. I rate it at 89 Points.

2016 Bodegas Cune Crianza

Cune Tempranillo Crianza Rioja
The lovely Cune Crianza Tempranillo

About 18 miles away from Bodegas LAN is the historic Cune winery (1879). The 2016 Cune Crianza has a lot of high marks from the wine critics. Robert Parker, Wine Spectator, and Wine Enthusiast agree with a 90-Point Rating.

The Cune is 85% Tempranillo, and the remaining grapes are Mazuelo and Garnacha Tinta. The wine was fermented in stainless steel and then placed in cement tanks. The wine is aged in American oak barrels before being bottled.

Like the LAN Crianza, the Cune is an easy-drinking and medium-bodied wine. I get more vanilla from the wine, but the overall balance is lovely. I find both wines very similar.

I found the Cune at Total Wine for $12.49, or $11.24 if you mix-or-match six. KL Wines carries the Cune for $11.99.

It is Cune or CVNE? Check out the reason why we see this winery use both of these names.

I can say these two wines are beautiful examples of Rioja Tempranillo wines. For the price of these wines, you get a lot of “Bang for your Buck.”

Food Pairing

I love cooking Paella for a crowd. Lately, it has been just for the two of us. I make enough Paella for six, and we have leftovers for two more nights during the week. I believe it is mandatory to have a Spanish wine with Paella. The Bodegas Lan and Cune Crianza are both perfect matches with the rice in all its glory, with paprika, saffron, and other flavors. Chicken, lamb, and pork dishes will also be excellent with these two Tempranillo wines.

Bodegas LAN is good with Paella

More on the Tempranillo Grape

Tempranillo is the king of grapes in Spain. Rioja is the most famous and recognized region for Tempranillo wines, but Tempranillo vines can be found elsewhere in Spain. The Ribera del Duero region and the Toro region also produce magnificent Tempranillo wines. Ribera del Duero Tempranillo is more robust than the Rioja wines. In Toro, there is a saying about the Tempranillo grape, “We must tame the horse.” It means that Toro Tempranillo can be too big unless harvested at the correct time and treated within the cellar to restrain the grape.

Tempranillo wine aging in barrels
Barrel aging of Tempranillo

In addition to Crianza on the label of a Spanish wine, there are Reserva and Gran Reserva. Reserva means the wine has been aged for three years, one of which must be in the barrel. Gran Reserva signifies aging for five years. Two of those years must be in oak barrels.

Rioja Vineyards – Spain wine trip in 2007

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