Arinzano 2008 La Casona: Built for the cellar but very enjoyable now!

Hello Friends,

Today’s Quick Sip is Arinzano’s 2008 La Casona, a blend of 75% Tempranillo and 25% Merlot. I was introduced to this fine producer through the good folks at Wine Studio, your source for grassroots brand marketing and beverage education. The Arinzano estate is located in northeast Spain, at the crossroads of Rioja Alavesa and Navarra. The historic estate plays host to structures dating back to the 16th century. In 2007, Arinzano became the first site in northeast Spain to receive Vino de Pago status. This is Spain’s top-tier wine designation, above D.O.Ca, given to estates and vineyards that show site-specific growing conditions that impart unique characteristics into a wine. Additionally, all wines must be grown, produced and bottled on property and meet quality standards.

It is worth noting that this wine was bottle aged for nearly 8 years and released in 2015. And it is important to understand that a winery holding a wine back for this long is the exception rather than the rule. Arinzano made the decision to bottle age the wine for the consumer; holding it back until it was deemed ready to drink. Extended time in bottle helps integrate flavors, develop complexities, and soften any youthful tannins, among other beneficial things.

Of Arinzano’s three red wines --Hacienda and Gran Vino being the other two – winemaker Diego Ribbert says “La Casona is an expression of our terroir: good body and concentration from Tempranillo; and Merlot for red fruit character.” I can tell you that the La Casona is drinking nicely right now. And this is a great opportunity to enjoy a wine with some age on it at a price point that is reasonable for a wine of this quality and character. For further information and where you can find this wine, please check out my tasting notes below.

Arinzano 2008 La Casona

Arinzano 2008 La Casona (SRP $39): La Casona is a blend of 75% Tempranillo and 25% Merlot. This wine pours a brilliant, medium-dark ruby color. It is full-bodied and deeply flavorful, marked by energy and freshness. There are enticing aromas of blackberry, black cherry, sweet exotic spices, forest floor, and cedar dust. On the palate, lifted flavors mirror the aromas, supported by dusty tannins and a firm spine of acidity that really holds this wine together nicely. It ends with notable grip on the medium-long, finish. Winemaker Diego Ribbert recommends pairing this wine with barbecue fare; and I couldn’t agree more. This wine has a good bit of life left, so enjoy a few bottles now and consider some for your cellar. I do suggest letting this wine breathe for at least 30 minutes in your favorite decanter before serving. Approximately 1,100 cases of this wine were produced. Region: Navarra, Spain. Other info: ABV 14%, maturation 14 months in French oak barrels – 40% new, 60% second use, natural cork enclosure. Click here to find this wine.