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2013 Palacios Remondo “La Montesa” Rioja Crianza

2013 Palacios Remondo “La Montesa” Rioja Crianza

Costco has been getting some pretty solid Spanish wines lately. We recently reviewed the 2012 Condado de Haza Ribera del Duero and 2011 Orben Rioja, both of which received high ratings from Wine Spectator as well as our editor(s). I should also mention the 2012 Cune Rioja Reserva, which recently sold out at many Costco locations (we reviewed the 2010 Crianza while the 2010 Gran Reserva placed 22nd on the Wine Spectator Top 100 List). The 2013 vintage of “La Montesa” Rioja Crianza arrived at select clubs last week, just in time to fly under the radar of the Wine Spectator Top 100 List craze. It was number 52 on the list.

If you weren’t already aware, Rioja is classified based on how long it is aged in oak barrels and in the bottle. A wine with “Rioja” and nothing else is the youngest, aged less than one year in oak. “Crianza” is aged for at least one year in oak plus one year in the bottle. “Reservas” must spend at least one year in oak then two years in bottles, and finally “Gran Reservas” have been aged at least two years in oak with an additional three years in their bottles. You may not always see the classification listed on the front label, so be sure to check the neck and back of the bottle for a stamp when you see “Rioja” on the front.

The 2013 “La Montesa” Rioja Crianza is a gleaming ruby red hue and somewhat translucent. The nose brings dried cherries, blood orange, and new leather. On the palate, the juice has tart fruit flavors like red plums and ripe strawberry that are well-balanced with acidity and easy to drink. The finish is clean but lingering enough as can be expected from a young Rioja. This is a fantastic food wine, but a pleasure to drink on its own as well. I am surprised at the 14.5% alcohol content because it is very well integrated into the overall structure of the wine.

At $12.99 a bottle, I definitely think this will be a “sleeper wine.” It will sit in the wooden bins or stacked along the aisles for a couple of weeks until members buy it, try it, and realize what a great value it is. It will then quickly sell out. Personally, I plan to hoard a few bottles. I also plan to pick up a couple of the 2012 vintage which has already been in stock for some time and received a 90 point Wine Spectator rating. This vintage is in a Bordeaux-shaped bottle while the 2013 is in a Burgundy (Chardonnay/Pinot Noir) bottle.

Rating: 91
Purchased In: Cumming, GA
14.5% ABV


Tuesday 24th of January 2017

I found 6 bottles of the 2010 Cune Rioja Gran Reserva ($24.99) at my Costco today. Amazingly enough, I had just finished the Spanish wine section of your book "Around the Wine World in 40 Pages" last night and so was well informed on the differences between crianza, reserva, and gran reserva labels. Needless to say, I grabbed all 6 bottles without hesitation. I checked your CostcoWineBlog pages later to see if your had covered this particular Rioja (you did somewhat!) to make sure I made the right move (I did!). Thanks for your simply-written, informative, guide book which I enjoyed reading a lot.


Tuesday 24th of January 2017

I'm on the lookout for those Cune bottles at Costco so lucky you finding some. That wine made Wine Spectators Top 100 list this year too so I'm anxious to try it. And thanks for your kind remarks on the book. I'm glad you enjoyed reading it.


Wednesday 18th of January 2017

Thank you for responding Jos. I liked this wine because of the lighter body. It is a young rioja and I did not let it breathe much before drinking. This is why we say our reviews and ratings are somewhat subjective- people have different personal preferences. Thank you for sharing your opinion!


Saturday 14th of January 2017

I'm normally in alignment with your reviews. I have to say this Rioja is a huge disappointment. I found it to be very thin and light. Maybe I haven't let it breath enough but having lived in Spain I know that a good Rioja typically doesn't need a lot of time to breath and at this price point, at least for Costco, I did expect something better.

Wally Dennis

Tuesday 10th of January 2017

I have been buying this wine (different vintages) for several years at Costco and in that time have never seen them run out of it. They might get down to a few bottles, but are restocked the next time I visit.

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