From: Rioja, Spain
Blend: 97% Tempranillo and 3% Graciano
Taste: These aromas stands out for its elegance, finesse, complexity and long duration. Its flavor is soft and round at the entrance with velvety and very pleasant sensations. Its tannic structure is elegant and very well constituted, its aftertaste standing out due to its great persistence. A first sip of the 2019 Crianza reveals a medley of ripe stone fruits harmonized with balsamic notes and a toasted undertone. Firm and supple tannins navigate your taste buds to a fruity finale that lingers long after the last sip. In comparison, the 2018 vintage presented a full-bodied Rioja with flavors of fresh blue and red berries, plum skin, black pepper, and whispers of vanilla. The 2017 variant showed off ripe berry, cassis, black plum, and raspberry, with a hint of pine or spruce adding an intriguing complexity.
Pairing: The 2019 Familia Montaña Rioja Crianza is a versatile companion to various dishes. It pairs beautifully with croquetas de jamón (check out the recipe below), meatballs (albondigas), and tomato-rich patatas bravas. Its acidity plays exquisitely against the cheesy, smoky flavors. Its profile also complements steak, lamb, or game and bean-based dishes like a Mexican-style chili or tomato-rich bean stew. Herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano, and slightly spicier ingredients like chili flakes, paprika, and black pepper harmonize with their earthy tones. However, try pairing it with herbs like lemongrass, cilantro, and mint for a refreshing contrast.
Recipe from Jonathan Andrade
Adapted by Christina Morales
About. The enchanting elixir of the 2019 Familia Montaña Rioja Crianza flows from the sun-kissed slopes of Rioja, Spain. A seamless blend of 97% Tempranillo and 3% Graciano, this wine boasts an impressive heritage steeped in viticultural tradition.
The lineage of the Montaña family's winemaking prowess can be traced back to the late 19th century, to the dawn of the modern Rioja wine industry. The Familia Montaña estate began with its first seed planting in 1886. It has since developed a rich tradition in the heart of Rioja Alta, the cobblestoned capital with a proud viticultural history. Román Montaña, in 1920, nurtured this seed into a flourishing vineyard, establishing the family business as an integral component of one of Rioja's grand old marques. His legacy is kept alive in the impressive medieval cellars situated underneath Haro, sections of which are still maintained by the Montaña family.
Oscar Montaña, Román's grandson, currently presides over the estate, guiding its 270 acres of prime vineyard locations across the Rioja Alta and Alavesa districts. The Montaña vineyards stand out with their impressive average vine age, dating back to the immediate post-phylloxera period and incorporating the rare, characterful Graciano grape.
The 2019 Familia Montaña Rioja Crianza finds its roots in the Torcalvo estate vineyard, a part of the family's holdings in D.O.C. Rioja. Here, vines planted in 1985 at a lofty 580 meters elevation breathe life into the grapes used for this delicious wine. These hand-harvested grapes, nurtured in clay-limestone soils, undergo fermentation in temperature-controlled stainless steel and concrete tanks. Following this, a meticulous aging process unfolds over 12 months in used French and American oak barrels, with an additional six months of bottle aging before release - a procedure honoring the Rioja Crianza tradition to the fullest.
The 2019 vintage in Rioja is worth a special mention. As reported in an October 2019 Harpers U.K. article by Lisa Riley, Rioja has declared 2019 as 'the' vintage, mirroring a pattern of lower yield but "maximum quality" observed across several European wine regions. The Consejo Regulador de Rioja DOCa confidently affirms that despite challenging weather conditions, the 2019 harvest bore "all the hallmarks of an extremely high-quality vintage," dubbing it 'the vintage' for the region. This robust foundation set the stage for creating the 2019 Familia Montaña Rioja Crianza.
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