BB Review: Rioja Reserva 2013 Viña Eguía

 
 

READY FOR SOME RIOJA?!

This second wine in our Rioja round is an economical entry-level Reserva. Does it have an entry-level taste? Let's find out! 

 
 
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THE WINE

BOTTLE: Rioja Reserva 2013 Viña Eguía - Spain

WHERE WE BOUGHT IT & PRICE: £9.99 (£7.99 in a mix six) from Majestic

ABV & TECH SPECS: 100% Tempranillo and 13.5% ABV

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ABOUT THIS RIOJA: Bodegas Eguía is a winery founded in El Ciego, a town with a long winemaking tradition. In the Rioja Alavesa, there are two very different climates, the Mediterranean and the continental Atlantic. Temperatures are mild through the Sierra de Cantabria, which acts as a natural barrier against cold winds coming from the north. This offering from the bodega is their Reserva bottling, a 100% Tempranillo wine aged for 24 months in French and American oak.

AGEING RIOJA: Rioja Wines are classified through their period of ageing, which is the time spent in barrel and bottle before it is released. As the wine ages, it evolves and acquires new aromas and flavours. Rioja wines are aged in 225 litre oak casks producing a slow evolutionary process of micro-oxygenation.

  • Young wines – you may see Joven or simply Rioja on the label. They are usually wines in their first or second year which preserve their fresh, fruity, primary characteristics.  
  • Crianza wines - Wines which are at least in their third year, having spent a minimum of one year in barrel. For white wines, the minimum cask-ageing period is 6 months.
  • Reserva wines - Selected wines of the best vintages with an excellent potential that have been aged for a minimum of 3 years, with at least one year in barrel and at least 6 months in bottle. For white wines, the minimum ageing period is 2 years, with at least 6 months in casks.
  • Gran Reserva wines - Selected wines from exceptional vintages with a minimum ageing period of 60 months: at least 2 years in oak casks and 2 years in the bottle. For white wines, the minimum ageing period is 4 years, with at least one year in casks.
 
 
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THE VERDICT 

CARO: A Rioja Reserva is always one of my easy go-to bottles: a people-pleaser packed with value for money. However, there are occasions where my choice fails to impress my taste buds. And this was one of those occasions. Why? I generally found this wine too aggressive to my liking - in fact, I could feel the start of a headache creeping up just by smelling it. Yes, it did give off some rich spicy fruit but, overall, this bottle’s vibe was more on the in-your-face boozy, almost like a sherry. Not to the taste of this BB, who’d rather taste all the smooth-as-fuck spices. A big MEH for me.

ANGELA: A classic ruby Rioja hue with aromas of strawberry, clove and liquorice. Let's be honest, this is an entry level Rioja Reserva and expecting your socks knocked off probably won’t happen, but the flavours of red berry and spices are well balanced, even if they do slightly dissipate on the finish. 

I wouldn’t save this for a fancy dinner, but if I had a large crowd to keep fed and watered, a few bottles of this knocking around wouldn’t be a bad thing.

KATE: This wine smells like the back of a winter wardrobe in which, for some confounding reason, half a jam sandwich and a cardboard packet of raisins are slowly moulding, some moth-balls are keeping the moths at bay (is that what moth balls do?) and sweet-smelling tobacco still clings to cashmere scarves. Going on the smell alone, I felt like I was going to really like this wine but I hate to say that I didn't care for it at all. Whilst it offers an immediate hit of cran-raspberry with a port-like finish, I found that taste fell rather flat and then immediately fucked off, probably to the back of aforementioned wardrobe, after drinking it. It's the kind of wine that makes you pucker your lips and shiver as it goes down, but at least it has the decency to not linger around and remind you of how unpleasant it is for long. No thanks! 

 
 

WOULD WE HAVE ANOTHER GLASS? We're gonna take a pass on this one.