Bodegas Muriel, Rioja Crianza (Spain) “Fincas de la Villa” 2019

($16, Quintessential Wines):  The wines of Rioja have been labeled traditionally by the amount of aging they receive prior to release.  By law, a Crianza must receive at least one year of barrel age followed by a year of bottle age before release.  In practice, a Crianza of has enough substance that two years of aging benefits it.  This lively one delivers a darker fruit profile with subtle and alluring smoky elements.  Suave tannins lend support without intruding.  It conveys more complexity and minerality than you would expect at the price.  Don’t miss it.
92 Michael Apstein Feb 14, 2023