Bodegas David Moreno Rioja
wine pixies

Bodegas David Moreno Rioja

When David Moreno was a young teenager, his family, though it had a winemaking tradition going back to 1912, moved from its small agricultural village in La Rioja to the big city of Barcelona in order to seek greater financial stability. David trained as a technical engineer and in 1981 decided to reverse the pilgrimage, setting up to make wine back in La Rioja. The winery is open for tours in La Rioja, but also maintains a retail shop in Barcelona.

I was able to taste three of the David Moreno Rioja wines at the recent Spanish Wine Cellar & Pantry show in New York City. Each of the wines blended well with the superb seafood products, cheeses and incomparable Serrano ham that kept tempting me between the wine tables. I tasted three wines, each a Rioja DOC.

The David Moreno Crianza 2005 is 85% Tempranillo and 15% Garnacha, aged eight months in American oak and six months in French, with an additional three month minimum bottle aging. The wine brings a nice red fruit nose, solid raspberry with a touch of strawberry, some cedar wood notes, a bit of nutmeg spice. The wine is dry and medium bodied, showing a good integration of wood and fruit, moderate acidity, mid-strength but fairly fined grained tannins, and very satisfying drying tannins with fruit hints and a slight woody edge on an excellent finish.

The David Moreno Reserva 2004 is 90% Tempranillo and 10% Garnacha, aged 18 months in American oak and 6 months in French. These wines then sit patiently for one to three years in bottle before being released. Well used wood and spice stimulate the nose at first contact, with a little brambly raspberry the predominant fruit note, and also a little rose and violet to add a floral edge. In the mouth the wine is medium bodied plus, dry, with a range of solid red fruit: raspberry, dried cherry, red plum. Acidity is adequate. I enjoyed the tannins in this one as I enjoyed the tannins in the Crianza; they do not shout, but they are certainly persistent.

The David Moreno Vobiscum 2004 is 90% Tempranillo and 10% Garnacha, aged nine months in French oak, partially new. The wine profits from old vine (50 year old) low yield grapes. Vobiscum means “with you all.” I loved this wine; it is soft, unctuous, velvety, very well balanced, with a ripe array of black fruit and especially enjoyable notes of savory roasted chocolate laced with vanilla.

Verdict: Excellent artisanal Riojas.

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Rioja may well be the flagship red wine of Spain, but the region is hardly resting on its laurels.

food writer Elliot Essman James Beard Foundation Journalism Award
James Beard Award Nominee Elliot Essman

food writer Elliot Essman James Beard Foundation Journalism Award

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