Hermanos Pecina Crianza
Founded in 1992 in the heart of Rioja Alta, the wines of Bodega Hermanos Pecina are renowned by the few in the know as excellent value for money. Regularly scoring 90+ points in Robert Parker and Tim Atkin’s reviews it truly is a hidden gem of a Rioja. The blend changes with every vintage but is normally around 95% Tempranillo with a little bit of Garnacha thrown in for balance. The wine is fermented with natural wild yeast, perhaps accounting for the intensity of flavour, before being aged in used American Oak for two years (twice the legal minimum required) and a further 18 months in bottle before release. The wine has a cherry-red colour with an orange tinge to the rim. From the first sniff you know this is Rioja, it has classic ripe red fruit, vanilla, toast and because of the age complex baked, dried fruit, leather and tobacco. On the palate we have much of the same, incredible complexity, especially considering this is a crianza, with smooth ripe tannins, a full body and well-handled ageing. The wine is perfect for drinking now and doesn’t require any laying down.
It’s worth noting this wine is bottled unfiltered and unfined so do not be surprised by the presence of sediment. If you can decant it then it’s probably worth it, but just to remove the sediment it doesn’t require ‘airing’.
Food Pairing – lamb is a sure-fire winner here. Cover it in rosemary and garlic and you’ll have a match made in heaven.