|93||Wine Review Online||I tasted this vintage of this wine both at the bodega in Spain and also in my home in late April, 2022, and was highly impressed on both occasions. I must confess that I’ve probably become somewhat predisposed against bottles labeled as “Crianza” – even though it is my job never to be predisposed — simply because of the sheer number of examples from Spain that were lacking in fruit energy, virtually dripping with overtones of vanilla, and largely bereft of length in the finish and depth of fruit in the midpalate. (Rioja is largely the regional culprit behind this, but it is not alone.) Well, this is THE bottle to cure you if you also suffer from the same syndrome of, “do I really need to deal with another Crianza?” The wine is packed with rich, pure, deeply flavorful fruit that wears whatever oak it picked up over 12 months in barrel very lightly and as a flourish rather than as a principal component, rather like a scarf flapping in the wind behind a motorcyclist. Sourced from vines averaging 30 years of age and aged entirely in French oak, this is packed with delicious fruit flavors (mostly black-toned) with lovely, lively spice and toast accents. Already utterly convincing and complete, this will easily improve for another five years. Yes, $32 is a fairly high price for anything that reads “Crianza” on the label, but the wine is worth more than that, and the word should simply be ignored in this case, as this is a unicorn among goats.
Michael Franz – April 26, 2022
|91||View from the Cellar||The 2019 Crianza bottling from Bodegas Arrocal is produced entirely from Tempranillo again this year, with these vines thirty years of age in the township of Gumiel de Mercado, which sits above eight hundred meters above sea level. The wine is fermented with native yeasts and aged for one year in used French oak barrels. The 2019 Crianza comes in at 14.5 percent octane and delivers a ripe and complex nose of black cherries, a touch of plum, cigar wrapper, a fine base of soil, gentle spice tones and a discreet framing of cedary oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied, focused and complex, with a plush core of fruit, firm, buried tannins and excellent length and grip on the focused and very well-balanced finish. This is going to be an excellent wine in due course. 2029-2065.
John Gilman – Issue #98 March/April 2022