Issue 243 End of June 2019, The Wine Advocate | 28th Jun 2019 | Luis Gutiérrez
The bottle I tasted of the 2016 Viña Real Crianza is a blend of 90% Tempranillo and 10% Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano from Rioja Alavesa that fermented destemmed in stainless steel with neutral yeasts and matured in French and American oak barrels for 13 to 14 months, during which time it was racked every five or six months. It's expressive, deliciously aromatic, floral and elegant, reflecting a cool year that delivered fresh wines that seem to be very approachable early on. 2016 is a pretty vintage, but this wine is not banal; it has depth and complexity that's remarkable for the price point. The palate is fresh and balanced, with fine tannins.