I was given two bottles of the 2017 vintage of the Beronia Rioja Crianza, a 750ml and a 375ml size. It is the first vintage in which Beronia has bottled in the little guy, which the winery says is pandemically perfect for "single serve meet-ups with friends at a distance." The wine is 94% Tempranillo grapes, 5% Garnacha and 1% Mazuelo.
The 2017 vintage featured an April frost, a hot summer drought and August rainfall, resulting in high quality fruit which came in a low yield. Aging took place over 12 months in barrels made from American oak staves and French oak ends, then three months in the bottle. Alcohol tips the usual 14.5% abv and the wine retails for $15, $8 in the half-size bottle. They are imported to the US by Gonzalez Byass.
This Beronia Crianza - the name signifies its oak treatment - shows a dark ruby color in the glass. The nose displays black fruit and oak aromas like spices and vanilla. The palate offers a true Tempranillo experience, with plum, blackberry and a smattering of licorice. The tannins are firm and ready to take on a steak, but if you try the wine with ham or cheese you won’t be disappointed.