La Vina de la Merce Crianza 2019

Sweet, Spicy, Supple, Sensational: 2019 La Vina de la Merce Rioja Crianza

There's a new Rioja in the house, we poured it at last week's Meet the Importer Tasting, and pretty much everyone loved it. El Vino Prodigo is the brainchild of Pedro Pecina Gil who grew up in the vineyards of Rioja. His La Vina de la Merce Rioja Crianza sees extended cask and bottle aging before release, and it is a SERIOUS wine at a great price.

Pedro, aka Pedrito (little Pedro) is the son of Pedro Pecina Sr. of Hermanos de Pecina Rioja fame. Pedro Sr. was the longtime head agronomist at La Rioja Alta, and Pedro Jr. spent 20+ years working alongside his father before deciding to start his own operation. I can say with 100% conviction that I am very pleased with the work he's doing at El Vino Prodigo. 

El Vino Prodigo Rioja Crianza La Vina de la Merce

2019 El Vino Prodigo 'La Vina de la Merce' Rioja Crianza

Smooth, seamless, and spicy Rioja at a great price! 

ORDER NOW in our online store. 

Pedrito named this wine after his mother who sadly passed away in a car accident when he was a child. A beautiful ode to the woman who brought him into the world, this is a lovely and quite traditional Rioja. 100% Tempranillo that sees 14 months of aging in older American and French oak barrels, the wine sees an additional 9 months of aging in bottle before release.

Before I get to the tasting notes, I wanted to talk a bit about the very special site that this wine comes from. Located high up (600 meters) in the Rioja Alta zone, this 35+ year-old, organically farmed Tempranillo vineyard is planted in limestone-rich soils. The site is also very windy, and this coupled with the well-drained, rocky soils results in low yield and intensely flavored grapes.

Despite not seeing any new oak, you can definitely "feel" the oak and the micro-oxygenation that long aging in barrel provides. This is quite dark in color, and the nose is all Indian and Asian spices, vanilla, cocoa nib, cherry compote, and violet. Quite full, rich, and heady, this could easily pass for a Reserva-level Rioja. Spicy, sweet, supple, and pleasure-bent, this is for the lover of old-school, traditional Rioja.

A word of advice if you buy this one -- decant it for 30 minutes to let the oak integrate. It really turns into something special. Serve with grilled lamb chops, a NY strip, or sip slowly and let the aromas and flavors take you away.

ORDER NOW in our online store. 

Josh Spurling
Owner, Operator, Wine Monger
Table Wine Asheville