Wine review: Campo Viejo Rioja Crianza 2005

Spanish wine remains a fine value, despite the fluctuation of the dollar, and the Campo Viejo is an excellent example of why.

It’s a red wine made with tempranillo from the Rijoa region of Spain. Crianza is the basic wine in the three tiers of Rioja. The middle level is reserva and the best is gran reserva; winemakers must follow specific guidelines for the wines to attain those levels.

So why the Campo Viejo? It has been $10 for as long as I can remember; it’s widely available, from grocery stores to wine shops; and it’s consistently made. (The label is owned by the very large Pernod Ricard group). The 2005 tastes more modern than I remember, which means more cherry fruit. But it’s still Rioja, which means it’s tart, a bit tannic (though soft tannins) and occupies that that in-between ground between red and white wine foods.

Drink this with everything from roast chicken to burgers to – yes – tapas and paella.



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