Vivanco Rioja Seleccion de Familia Crianza 2008
Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
#59 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2011
The bouquet consists of mature red berries, with hints of smoke, vanilla, and spice. Well-structured in the mouth, this Crianza is expressive and meaty and possesses a good balance of red fruit and toasted flavors. The tannins are mature and lead to an elegant, long finish. While this wine can be enjoyed now, it will also keep for 5-10 years.
Wine Spectator - "Velvety and voluptuous, this generous red delivers plum, blackberry, chocolate and toast flavors, with broad, soft tannins and just enough acidity to stay lively. The finish is graceful. Drink now through 2016. 55,000 cases made."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2008 Dinastia Vivanco Crianza is made from 100% Tempranillo and aged for 16 months in French and American oak. Balsam wood, tobacco, cinnamon, clove, violets, and black fruit aromas lead to a ripe, sweetly-fruited, nicely proportioned Crianza that is likely to blossom for another 1-2 years and drink well through 2020. "
Located in Briones, La Rioja in northern Spain, the Vivanco winery, museum, and foundation is a triumvirate of wine resources built according to the vision of the Vivanco family to “give back to wine what wine has given us.” Third generation Pedro Vivanco is credited with expanding the family business from wine merchant to winery, earning a degree in enology to become one of Spain’s first certified winemakers . Today, he is joined by his sons, with Rafael serving as winemaker and Santiago overseeing the museum and foundation.
Vivanco is dedicated to producing wines using only native grapes vinified using traditional techniques. Through extensive research and experimentation, Rafael has revived nearly extinct varietals and traditional wines that accurately reflect La Rioja’s history of winemaking.
Vivanco selects only the top 20-30% of the annual harvest exclusively cultivated by hand from their 440 hectares of estate-owned vineyards for their annual bottlings. Their holdings are located throughout Rioja Alta, thus the soils vary from ferrous clay to marl. Their portfolio of iconic wines, each with a distinct personality that reflects the land, is renowned for quality, boasting a “Top 100? accolade from Wine Spectator.
The estate is impressive showcasing both the original building and the modern facility. The new, state-of-the-art winery boasts a naturally temperature-controlled underground cellar that houses 3500 barrels. Atop sits the museum, educational center, tasting room, and restaurant frequented by thousands of visitors throughout the year. View all Vivanco Wines
About Rioja(ree-OH-hah) Spain makes some of the best Tempranillo-based wines in the world. Once the only DOCa (recently joined by Priorat in 2001), Rioja is divided into 3 sub-regions: Rioja Baja, Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa. There are 4 red varieties and 3 white varieties allowed in the Rioja DOC. Tempranillo definitely takes center stage, followed by Garnacha (Grenache)), which is sometimes added for body, then Graciano and Mazuelo (Carignan). The region also makes roses. For whites, the main grape is Viura (or Macebo), producing fresh, early-drinking wines. Malvasia, the grape that was once the most planted white, is found less often.
Notable FactsThe Rioja wine trade is somewhat confusing. Grapes are typically brought to a merchant's bodega from one of the 20,000+ growers in the region, or via a cooperative. The wine is then bottled and labelled by that bodega. Rioja's Consejo Regulador keeps track of all vineyards and bodegas to make sure they are following the DOCa regulations. Put in place to ensure quality, the system also controls prices.
As with the rest of Spain, the wine label may state Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva, depending on barrel & bottle maturation. Crianzas are usually found within two years of the vintage and offer fresh, ripe wines. Reserva and Gran Reserva will be found a few years after the vintage, as the bodega will be aging the wines in barrel and bottle before release. Both typically show more secondary characteristics of spice and oak ageing.
The most popular red varieties of Spain include Tempranillo and Garnacha (Grenache). Whites don't garner quite as much recognition, but there are some regional varieties not to be missed, like Albarino and Verdejo. The popular red regions of Spain include Rioja, known for its outstanding wines of the Tempranillo grape; Ribera del Duero, producing high quality reds from Tempranillo and Garnacha; Galacia, with the sub-region of Rias Baixas, home to the deliciously crisp and floral Albarino grape; and Priorat, a region increasing in popularity with its high-quality cult reds. Other regions of note are Rueda, growing the Verdejo grape, La Mancha, a wide desert region, covered in the most planted white variety in the world, Airen, and Jumilla, making wines based on Monastrell (Mourvedre).
Spain's wine laws are based on the Denominacion de Origen (DO) classification system, devised in the 1930's. A four tiered system, the most basic level is Vina de Mesa (table wine) followed by Vino de la Tierra (country wine), DO and at the top DOC. Currently, only Rioja and Priorat have DOC status, while over 65 DO's scatter the country.
Most DO regions are classified and regulated by how long they age the wines. On a red wine label, one may find the terms Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva, denoting the wine's barrel and bottle time. Crianza is usually two years between barrel and bottle (the time in each depends on the DO and/or the winemaker), Reserva up to 4 years and Gran Reserva 5 – 6 years. Classifications of each region and wine are controlled by the region's Consejo Regulador.
Customer ReviewsSign In to Add Your Review3.5 }div>3.7 out of 5 stars
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- 4 Stars: 4
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4 ratings, 1 with reviewNick S - Providence, RI410/25/2012ContessaCarol - Tustin, CA49/21/201243/20/2012
One of the nicest Rioja's I have tasted. This is my go to Spanish wine now. Well rounded, smooth, elegant and a great sipping wine for the evening.David S - San Francisco, CA42/18/2012
- Smooth & Supple
Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
- 5 Stars: