Behind the Cork™ - Cune Rosado

IMG_0661.jpg

2018 Cune Rosado ($13)

This wonderful Cune rosé is from the Rioja region of Spain and is made from their famous Tempranillo.

The bright red color of this Cune rosé is spectacular. And, hence, it’s big Maraschino cherry and ripe strawberry flavors are no surprise.

These grapes are handpicked and placed in stainless steel tanks at low temperature to delay the onset of fermentation. During these 24 to 48 hours, the must develops this bright red color and then is drained from the vat. Fermentation then begins but it is maintained at 16-18C to preserve the bright aromas and fruit flavors characteristic of this Cune rosé.

Serve this one nicely chilled and enjoy! Cheers!



Disclosure of Wine Sample Submission: I received this wine at no cost for review. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Sample Provided by Donna White of Donna White Communications





Behind the Cork™ - Vallobera Rioja Crianza

Vallobera.jpg

2016 Vallobera Rioja Crianza ($10)

This was an unexpected recent find. A Tempranillo from Spain. And, it’s a Crianza. This style of Rioja is required to be aged for one year in oak and spend one year in the bottle before being sold.

This extra aging takes the bright red fruit flavor of this Tempranillo and adds some rich, chocolaty flavor.

This is yet another fine example of a wine that just fits the model for a Behind the Cork™ wine - it’s a great value. Cheers!

Behind the Cork™ - Wine of the Week

Beronia Rioja Reserva.jpg

2013 Beronia Rioja Reserva ($20)

This Rioja from Beronia is produced with 95% Tempranillo, 4% Graciano (known as Morrastel in Languedoc) and 1% Mazuelo (a.k.a. Carignan).

Being a ‘Reserva’ in Rioja means that this wine is required to be aged for at least one year in oak and then spend two years in the bottle before being sold. This Beronia Rioja Reserva spent 20 months in oak barrels with American staves and French caps.

In the Rioja region, the Consejo Regulador DOCa Rioja, ensures that these quality requirements are met.

While the nice fruit flavors of black cherry and blackberry are notable from the Tempranillo, the oak aging adds nuances of smokiness and vanilla. The Graciano adds tannin and colored, while the tiny splash of Mazuelo also adds tannin and a hint of acidity.

This is a really nice Rioja from Beronia that pairs well with red meats, game and roasts. When looking for a Rioja, keep your eyes out for a ‘Reserva.’ It’s well worth it! And, this Beronia Rioja Reserva is another fine example of a Behind the Cork™ - Wine of the Week that’s attainable and affordable. Cheers and Salud!


Disclosure of Wine Sample Submission: I received this wine at no cost for review. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Sample Provided by Rebekah Polster of Donna White Communications

This wine is imported by Gonzalez Byass.

The Various Types of Rioja Wine

Rioja.jpg

Rioja is maybe the best known Spanish wine, but did you know there are various styles of Rioja?

First, let’s review a bit about Rioja. It is a region in North-Central Spain that’s known for its wine. And, like most Old-World wines, the wine label identifies the wine region, not the grape varietal.

Rioja wine is made from Tempranillo grapes but is usually a blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha and Mazuelo (a.k.a. Carignan).

But, have you’ve ever noticed that a Rioja wine is made in various styles?

The most basic Rioja wine is usually labeled simply as “Rioja.” Makes sense, right? It is aged for a matter of months, bottled and sold. It’s bright and fruity with big cherry flavors.

Then there is “Crianza.” You may not have noticed this word on the label since it doesn’t immediately mean anything to an English speaker. But, one of its translations means ‘aging.’ And, indeed, this style of Rioja is required to be aged for one year in oak and spend one year in the bottle before being sold. The controlling board in Rioja, the Consejo Regulador DOCa Rioja, ensures that these quality requirements are met.

Next is “Reserva.” Now this is a term that appears on a lot of wines, but in Rioja it actually means something. A Rioja Reserva is required to be aged for one year in oak and then spend two years in the bottle before being sold.

Finally, there is “Gran Reserva.” This wine must spend a minimum of two years in oak and three years in the bottle before being sold. But, often these wines are closer to ten years old when sold. This wine is produced from the best grapes and ends up with the best tannin structure.

So, when buying a Rioja, pay attention to the label and turn the bottle around to the backside to look for one of the identifying stickers. Then, you’ll know exactly what you are getting.

Cheers! Or in Spanish “iSalud!

Rioja Label Stickers.jpg



Behind the Cork™ - Wine of the Week

Beronia.PNG

2015 Beronia Crianza Rioja ($15)

The Rioja region of Spain is noted for its Tempranillo and this one from Beronia is indeed noteworthy.

This is a typical Rioja blend of grapes consisting of 91% Tempranillo, 8% Garnacha and 1% Mazuelo (a.k.a Carignan).

The Tempranillo in this wine defines its structure. The Grenache provides more berry flavors and spices while adding to its wonderful aroma. Finally, the Carignan, even this wine’s 1%, adds acidity and an ever-so-slight hint of tannin.

With nice bright fruit on the nose, this wine immediately yields red fruit flavors of cherry and raspberry. Its medium body allows the fruit flavors to shine though.

This wine’s label includes the word “crianza.” In case you are not familiar with this term, crianza indicates that wine has spent one year in oak barrels.

The oak aging was done in mixed barrels with American oak staves and French oak caps. This process added subtle spice flavors and yielded low tannin. This makes for a easy finish with each sip.

This is a very nice wine that can pair with lighter fare and also stands up nicely with bigger-flavored foods.

As with all wines featured as a Behind the Cork™ - Wine of the Week, it’s very affordable and easily attainable. Enjoy! Cheers!


Disclosure of Wine Sample Submission: I received this wine at no cost for review. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Sample Provided by Rebekah Polster of Donna White Communications

This wine is imported by Gonzalez Byass.