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2005 Lan Crianza 

Rioja, Spain / $15-$18 Retail

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A pleasant, easy-drinking wine, this bottling was produced primarily in the Old World style from 100 percent Tempranillo, Rioja's major grape. The medium-bodied wine aged for a year in a combination of American and French oak, and rested in the bottle for several more months before release. In the glass, subtle aromas of red and dark fruit, earth and leathery notes, cedar and vanilla precede soft flavors of black cherry and plum, nuances of black tea, spice and a touch of gravelly minerality. Smooth tannins are balanced by good acidity. Decant before serving. Enjoy it with tapas, olives, pizza, manchego cheese, roasted meats, poultry, sausage and spicy foods. Buy it at: Dorignac's and Acquistapace's Covington Supermarket. Drink it at: Herbsaint, Palace Cafe and The Delachaise. — Brenda Maitland


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