2006 Izadi Crianza, Rioja Alavesa

2006 Izadi Crianza, Villabuena de Alava, Rioja Alavesa, Spain

Welcome back!  Lately, I’ve taken a break from some wine tasting because it’s been so utterly hot here that some Rioja Reds just are too much for these humid summer days.  However, there are some modern Riojas that are wonderfully refreshing and easy to drink on just such days. One example is the 2006 Izadi Crianza from the Rioja Alavesa region of the Rioja Denomination.

As I may have mentioned before, Rioja is a denomination or appellation.  Rioja is actually composed of three different regions- Rioja Alta (Haro area), Rioja Alavesa (LaGuardia area), and Rioja Baja (Alfaro area).  All three denominations run along the Rio Ebro (EbroRiver). It’s amazing to think that one appellation can have three distinctive areas and produce such different wines, but in this case, it is due to the microclimates and terroir of each area.  Terroir, a French term, refers to the special characteristics that the combination of climate, geology, and geography together give to a particular grape-growing area.

Today we are going to talk about Rioja Alavesa.  Rioja Alavesa is located on the northern side of theEbroRiver.  While it is situated within the boundaries of Basque country, it is still within the wine denomination of La Rioja.

The Izadi Bodegas/Winery is only about 25 years old.  However, the vines from which they harvest their grapes can be from 25 to 100 years old.  Izadi is part of Grupo Artevino (Wine Art Group) and includes wineries from Laguardia (Orben Winery), Ribera del Duero (Villacreces Winery), and Toro (Vetus Winery).  I met with the director of Izadi, Sr. Anton and he said that there has been a lot of popularity with their Villacreces Winery in Ribera del Duero, where they are allowed to blend certain varietals more to the American and British consumer palates.  Their 2008 Pruno de Finca Villacreces won an award for being the best wine inSpainfor less than 15 Euros, or US $20. It was also rated by the wine critic Robert Parker at 91/100! I guess I’ll have to go find this one and try it as well!

Izadi Bodegas makes five different types of wines: four reds, and one white.  The reds are Crianza, Reserva, Selección, and Expresión. The white wine they make is called Izadi Blanco (white), and it is made from two varieties: Viura, a typical white grape from the region, and Malvasia.

The wine we are tasting today is the Crianza 2006 made from 100% tempranillo grapes. Alcoholic fermentation was done in stainless steel vats and later aged for 14 months in American oak barrels.

2006 Izadi Crianza
Bodega: Izadi of Grupo Artevino

D.O./Zone: DOCa Rioja, Rioja Alavesa- Villabuena de Alava
Country: Spain- España
Type of wine: Tinto con crianza- Red with aging in barrel
Alcohol (vol): 13.5%
Price: 8 Euros (Spain), USD $12-15 approx.
Varietals: Tempranillo 100%
Color: Ruby Purple
Nose: Licorice, vanilla, berries, tobacco and leather
Mouth: Licorice, prunes, tobacco, some red berry taste. Easy to drink, it’s a modern and medium-bodied well-balanced and elegant, with a long persistence on the tongue.
Elaboration: Aged 14 months in American oak barrel
Recommended with meat dishes and served at 16-18 degrees C (60.8-64.4 degrees F)

Enjoy!  If you’d like to see more or would like me to taste a particular wine, please email me at sacreddropseeker@gmail.com or leave a comment below.  Thanks for joining us today!