Newest Review: ... me £5.49 from Morrisons as it was on offer but usually this wine can range from £5-£12 depending on its age. To me, I can't tell the differ... more
Great legs and really fruity!
Campo Viejo Rioja Crianza
Member Name: JohnGroom
Campo Viejo Rioja Crianza
Advantages: Tastes very fruity with woodland undertones.
Disadvantages: Not as nice as a Gran Reserva but much cheaper.
I was bought a present of a bottle of Campo Viejo Rioja Gran Reserva 1999 around 5 years ago from Spain and have been looking for it ever since. Obviously, it mustn't last that long! Since then I have bought a couple of bottles of Campo Viejo Reserva whenever I have seen it... one to drink and one for the wine rack...but that never seems to work somehow. I previously bought two from Oddbins on the high street a couple of years ago but I drank them both and they were delicious.
Last week I saw some Campo Viejo Rioja Crianza 2002 in Tesco's at £5.99 a bottle and, as I had never tried this one, I again bought two. After drinking one last night I decided to write a review on it, so this is the review of the second bottle as I don't remember the first.
The bottle is made of green glass. It has a label on it telling me that it is a Rioja from Campo Viejo and it's a Crianza from 2002. It is made from the Tempranillo Grape, Garnacha Grape & Manuelo Grape. It has been aged for 12 months in oak casks and 6 further in the bottle. It is supposed to be a wine of medium structure, velvety and elegant with fruity aromas and hints of wood. It is an ideal accompaniment with red and white meat, roasts and cheeses. It should be served at 17- 18°C
To open the bottle, the golden, yellowy foil around the top of the bottle has to be cut around the neck. I use the sharp point of the corkscrew to do this then discard the foil cap leaving the rest of the foil around the neck of the bottle to catch any drips.
I then place the corkscrew into the centre of the cork, screw it in quite some way and slowly pull the cork out with an upward motion. I place my little finger in the neck of the bottle and screw it around to make sure there is no gunge there. I take a large wine glass and fill it to almost halfway with the red liquid that looks more dark pink as I pour it. Filling the glass to only halfway, from what I've been told, allows the wine to breathe.
Ok...now to taste. I lift the glass and swirl the liquid around. I notice that it has 'good legs' - the liquid clings to the upper part of the glass slightly, before running down into the base of the glass, where the rest of the wine awaits.
I then dive in with my nose...
1st smell - it smells strong, slightly raspberryish.
(My eyes sting slightly ... must be the fumes.)
2nd smell - A very slight vanilla or cinnamon smell in amongst the raspberry or is that cherry?
(Hmmm, a deceiving little number.)
I slosh it round in the glass again and it splashes on the keyboard...hang on (uses finger to clean keyboard...this is a review after all)....a sip.
I hold the wine in my mouth and slosh it around ...I can actually taste the wood!!
(I wish I hadn't seen that bit about 'wood' when I wrote it - I feel as though I'm cheating!)
I swallow slowly. A very dry sensation and a raspberry(ish) taste at the back of the throat. Definitely woody! However, I've never actually tasted oak on it's own before!
I'm quaffing in a leisurely manner....I wonder if I should have used a spitoon? Nah, wine's for drinking.
(It's tasting a bit better now, actually...quite smooth in fact!)
2nd half glass (It's quite scientific this wine tasting lark.)
Right...it's still got legs and it smells like a very alcoholic raspberry jelly!
5th swig...slosh it round...through the teeth...back and forth...tongue's gone numb!
Swallow, woooh...ooooh, cheeks are numb on the inside! Very woody taste and wow!...involuntary shaking of the head and actual shivers up my spine!
(This is like a religious experience!)
I'm enjoying writing this review and this wine is lovely...very warming and fruity...definitely strawberry now and not too many woodland flavours.
Next half glass...getting very warm and more fruity by the swig.
(I'm really enjoying these wine reviews ...I must do more...I just hope it helps people, as most of my friends just buy a cheap plonk and drink it. I at least attempt to cook with it as well....oh...just remembered a recipe... try this :-
Riojan Mince & Rice
A small amount of Olive Oil - doesn't have to be Extra Virgin & you could use Crisp 'n Dry instead
1/2 lb (250g ) Lean Minced Beef or Lean Steak Mince
2 small onions finely chopped
(rather than 1 large one as the small ones have more flavour)
2 crushed Cloves of Garlic (if you wish)
2 tomatoes - de-seeded
1 tbs of tomato ketchup
1 large wine glass of Rioja
Seasoning - Salt & Pepper
1/2 lb (250g ) Long Grain Rice
1 Beef Stock Cube
Put a little oil in a frying pan and gently fry the finely chopped onion & garlic, add the finely chopped de-seeded tomato and then the mince with the tomato sauce added.
Turn the mixture over and over laboriously for about 3 mins with a spatula until the mince is browned.
Add a pinch of salt and pepper then tip it all into a warmed casserole dish. Pile it up round the sides of the dish with a spoon and place the uncooked rice in the middle.
(Check the instructions on the packet of long-grained rice as some varieties have to be washed thoroughly in cold water before cooking)
Dissolve the beef stock cube in 2 cupfuls of boiling water and add this to the casserole dish.
Add the large wine glass of Rioja.
Cover the dish with a lid or tinfoil & place it in a pre-heated oven
(180°C - 350°F - Gas Mark 4) for 20 minutes or so.
(I've even done this on Gas Mark 2 for an hour or so...it really depends on how much of a rush you're in...longer, slower cooking is best as far as I'm concerned...it brings out more of the flavours!)
Allow the dish to stand for 5 minutes with the lid off to allow the steam to evaporate if the rice hasn't absorbed all the liquid.
A nice touch is a swirl of Cream (or Elmlea if you're on a low-fat diet!) and a sprig of parsley or some freshly-cut Coriander (if you like it!)
Serves 4 (or 2 if your greedy!) & brilliant with Healthy Chips as an accompaniment!
To sum up:
The bottle is made of green glass. It has a label on it telling me that it is a Rioja... I know Rioja is a brand of wine that comes from Rioja. Campo Viejo is probably the vineyard it comes from. I know that a Crianza is two years old, with at least six months spent in an oak cask. Reservas are three years old with at least one year spent in an oak cask and Gran Reservas are five years old with two years spent in an oak cask and three in the bottle!
I've had Tignanelli before, (now there is a wine...200 quid a bottle in an Italian restaurant...£37 in Harvey Nicks...wish I'd bought two) and that is just the Tempranillo grape, I think. (I must check that!) In other words a bit like a Bell's whisky is made from lots of other whiskies so this wine is blended from Tempranillo, Garnacha & Manuelo Grapes which were probably harvested in 2002.
So, 12 months in an oak barrel....that's 2003...then 6 months in the bottle that's 2003 or 2004 depending on when the bottle was filled up or the grapes were harvested. It's 2006 now, so I reckon this wine is about, probably, oooh, 18 months or 12 months old, unless the grapes were left to get a bit of frost on before they were harvested, I think that makes them juicier or something, which I think seems not all that old really for a 2002 wine. So it's quite a young and fruity little wine with woodland undertones up to now.It is supposed to be a wine of medium structure...I'd say medium sharpish at first then mellowing out into a mellow taste.
Velvety...yup...I'll go with that...it's a bit velvety.
Elegant with fruity aromas and hints of wood...definitely!
It is an ideal accompaniment with red and white meat...yup, I'd agree with that, though I've no food handy. Roasts...I'm starving now...hmmmm...yes and cheeses...definitely a well-matured Brie or even a little Stilton! or even...Cheese & Onion Crisps, Quavers...anything cheesy in fact. It should be served at 17- 18°C...well, wouldn't you know it...I don't have a thermometer handy. (I Must buy one for my next review then I'll be able to do a proper job of it!)
This wine is very quaffable and it's getting late and I'm going to bed. Try this wine it is really, really nice. Great for drinking on your own or sharing with friends.
Thank you for reading...if you got this far... and I hope you found this review helpful. Search this wine out where e'er thee go for it is extremely quaffable and it is called Campo Viejo Rioja Crianza 2002...don't forget buy two...one for drinking and one for the wine rack.
Tip = for degree sign ( ° ) - hold down Alt Key and type 0176 on numeric keypad!
© John Groom 2006
Summary: Wine for one...to be drunk alone...in the dark!
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