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The outstanding 2001 vintage has imbued the 2001Breton Loriñon Tinto Crianza with everything it needs to succeed in life, including a deep ruby robe, an amplifying aroma, supreme extract, and the requisite balance to live a long healthy life. In short, both extract and subtlety play off each other, and this is just the youthful beginning for this marvelous Rioja. The wine’s amplifying nose offers a smorgasbord of tantalizing aromas: cassis, plum, chestnut, pipe tobacco, spice, and of course vanilla and sweet oak. In the mouth, the Loriñno Crianza is both silky and rich, and just packed with all kinds of flavors. Typical of great Rioja, each subsequent sip of the 2001 Loriñon Crianza reveals more of the warmth and latent goodness for which Rioja is famous, but patience is required. The magic of Rioja unfolds slowly and reveals itself over time, especially in the company of good food, so we suggest you not be in a hurry to consume this wine or you may miss the best that this Crianza has to offer. For optimum enjoyment, allow the Loriñon Crianza to breath for at least half an hour, preferably in a decanter, before savoring it at cool temperature (64º - 68°F).
A coterie of food and wine critics and more than a few self proclaimed connoisseurs have extolled the virtues of beef in the company of Rioja, and, indeed, steaks and filets provide excellent accompaniments to the 2001Breton Loriñon Crianza. However, lamb and pork dishes are other traditional favorites in Rioja that we, also, believe merit serious consideration. But why stop here? One of the tasting panel’s perennial favorites with the Loriñon Crianza is a simple rotisserie roasted chicken, basted with Mediterranean herbs, butter, olive oil, and garlic. This simple but flavorful dish allows the Crianza to shine unencumbered. Several meatless pasta dishes also rank high on our list. Penne pasta, served with a heady white bean sauce, made with plenty of onion, garlic, red pepper, celery, and grated hard cheese highlights perfectly the fresh and elegant side of the 2001 Breton Loriñon Crianza.
Bodegas Breton is a small world-renowned estate in the Rioja Alta, the most beautiful and prestigious of Rioja’s wine regions. Founded in 1983, Bodegas Breton is a partnership that includes the famous 100-acre Viña Loriñon property, which lies at the heart of the Rioja along the south bank of the Ebro River, just outside the city of Logrono. Bodegas Breton also includes the legendary Dominio de Conté site, whose average vineyard age is the oldest in the Rioja. Both Breton vineyards specialize in the cultivation of the indigenous Rioja varietals: Tempranillo, Mazuelo, Graciano, and Garnacha for the estate’s red Rioja and Viura and Malvasia for the estate’s white wines. Here, winemaking is very much in the traditional Rioja style – only Spanish grape varieties are utilized and the emphasis is on Crianza and Reserva style wines (meaning extended barrel aging and pronounced wood flavors) that have come to define not only Breton’s own traditional bent but Rioja’s distinctive flavor profile as well.
In spite of its youthful origin, Breton takes a very time-honored approach to its wines. The philosophy and overriding objectives of this estate are twofold: the preservation of the elegant, balanced “Rioja Alta” style and the longevity for which traditional Rioja is legendary. Moreover, since its premier release, Bodegas Breton has consistently sought to increase extract in its wines to complement the racy, impressive acidic structure that is routinely obtained from the estate’s mature, low yielding vineyards. The outstanding 2001 vintage is further testimony to Breton’s continuing achievement in this regard, as this vintage has supplied supreme elegance as well as formidable extract to the estate’s wines, especially the 2001 Loriñon Crianza.
Like most Rioja estates, Bodegas Breton produces both red and white Rioja. In fact, some years ago this estate began pioneering the production of barrel-fermented dry white wine from 100% Viura. The Loriñon Blanco “Barrel Fermented” Rioja is a firm, richly-textured and perfumed wine that improves with age. Furthermore, a more traditional white Crianza, aged twelve months in oak, is also fashioned by Breton. Yet, despite Breton’s success with white Rioja, the bodega’s red Rioja wines remain the estate’s specialties. In particular, the Loriñon Tinto Crianza remains the critics’ choice as Rioja’s most serious Crianza. This special wine spends 15-18 months in seasoned American oak barrels, before it is allowed to rest an additional year in bottle before release. In addition, Breton crafts a luxury offering, the rare Dominio de Conté Reserva, which is produced only in the finest vintages. The latter serves as a reminder of the great age worthiness and depth of Rioja – attributes that first made this region and its wines legendary in the 19th century.
Bodegas Breton’s 2001 Loriñon Crianza has a way with cheese as well as beef, and this is the kind of two timing we really enjoy. Hard and semi- soft cheeses provide especially fine pairings. Spanish Mahon and Manchego are two clear standouts, but Danish Harvarti and an authentic aged Dutch Gouda offer equally compelling reasons to open a bottle of the 2001 Loriñon Crianza. For other great cheese selections, checkout out In Pursuit of Cheese at www.cheesemonthclub.com and enjoy!
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