Sierra Cantabria is one of several wineries owned by the Eguren family in the Rioja district of Spain.
This specific winery produces only red wines. All of their wines, with the exception of Reserva Unica, are 100% Tempranillo.
I have had many of the Sierra Cantabria line over the years, the Crianza, the Reserva, the Gran Reserva, but I had never seen the Reserva Unica.
I came across it at Wine Sellers, a local beverage store. Intrigued by the fact I had never seen, nor sampled, this product from the brand, I decided to give it a try.
I was glad I did.
Sierra Cantabria Reserva Unica 2007 was 97% Tempranillo and 3% Graciano.
The wine was aged in French and American oak for 24 months and has a listed ABV of 14.5% (relatively high for a Rioja).
The nose was full of cherry, plum, and black fruit.
Taking a sip, I found a great complexity of flavors working in unison. Red and black fruit, with cherry emphasized. There was also spice, cinnamon, and vanilla. The vanilla was very mild.
The overall oak in this wine was much tamer than a typical Rioja. I’m unsure if the Graciano reduced it, or if it was a result of the winemaking process (the winery website has no factsheet on this wine. They do not even list the wine in their product lineup! It’s a rogue wine!). This is a Rioja for people who say they don’t like Riojas.
The finish was very pleasant. Medium, carried by soft tannins and a touch of vanilla and spice.
This wine paired great with a balsamic dressed rocket salad and a Greek Corfiote fish main course. It would compliment any roasted, or grilled, meat or poultry well. Heavy spice might dampen the wine too much.
The 2007 Sierra Cantabria Reserva Unica cost me $27. It carries great value for a Rioja in that price range.
My bottle was number 4921 of 17000. Please try a bottle and let me know what you think (and your number!).