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It's an ill wind that blows nobody any good, says the proverb. I'm delighted to be able to quote it, having finally grasped what it means after years of pretending to: some things just take time!
Time is what makes the difference between a young Rioja and a Rioja crianza. The youngster gets no more than a year's oak aging, while crianza wines from the region are aged for two years, of which at least one year is spent in oak barrels to enrich the flavour and body of the wine.
Which brings me to the road accident, just yards from our bonded warehouse, that badly damaged a consignment of delicious, ready-to-drink Rioja of the two-years-aging kind. More than a few bottles are gone for good (whose great idea was it to put the stuff in glass containers?), but about ten cases escaped with only superficial damage to their labels: scrapes and scuffs and purplish splashes from their unlucky truck-mates.
We could have called in the customs officer to witness their destruction and allow us to reclaim the duty--or we could have decided to sell them. We went with plan B, so if you'd like a case of rather scruffy Rioja crianza from the estimable Bodegas Martínez Corta, and are happy to pay €108 for it instead of the usual €180, follow this link very, very, quickly. We have only ten cases to sell at this price.
Like all our mixed cases, this one will be delivered to your door at no further charge. But only if you're quick.