Bodegas Roda – Sela 2013

Rioja is a place that continuously confuses me. It’s easy to hate on it simply because there are so many cheap wines produced from under its DOC mark–that extra ‘C’ meaning Calidad or Quality. Unfortunately these are often all you see as Rioja at large is written up as a tremendous value–which it generally is–and yet people just want to buy the cheapest access point to this value. Thus the reason why so many menus all over Spain have oodles of Rioja wines, but usually just the bottom end.

Of course, now that I’ve said that, we come to this Sela from Bodegas Roda. It is both a young wine and from nearly 100% Tempranillo. It doesn’t get much more Rioja-ish than that. The difference is that it’s a craft wine produced from 15-30 year-old bush vines.

It is most definitely not some 2.50€ Rioja ‘Crianza’ that you’ll see in the supermarket chain, Lidl. The fact it doesn’t have an age classification is meaningless (actually the whole system of Crianza, Reserva, and Gran Reserva is meaningless) as this is a serious wine that punches way above its weight. While tasting it, I had to keep looking round the label to see if I’d missed something but no, it is what it is, a solid wine with excellent execution and while not a bargain in terms of overall Rioja, it’s still very well-priced for what sits behind that cork.

This bottle was provided as a review sample by the winery, albeit I’m admittedly a bit late in getting around to reviewing it. Sorry…

Sela 2013
Subtle forest fruits and red cherry notes, very delicate aromas with minor floral notes, and wild herbs. Nicely balanced on the palate with plenty of driving tannins and acidity to carry this wine for years to come.

98% Tempranillo, 2% Graciano 14% 16€
** Q