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Miguel Merino

Ctra. Logroño, 16, 26330 Briones, La Rioja, Spain

Let's Meet Bodegas Miguel Merino

In his previous life, gregarious proprietor Miguel Merino was a successful importer of Spanish wines in the United States. In this career he learned the ins and outs of the wine industry and got a good read on the American palate. He had always wanted to work with his own wines. Read on…

He set up shop in the medieval hilltop village of Briones, population 827, located about 35 km (22 mi) northeast of Logroño between the Cantabria and Demanda mountain ranges. By 1994 he produced his first vintage. He now harvests grapes from vines between 84 and 17 years old. Miguel once remarked to me, quite purposefully, that he preferred his wines not appear in supermarket or outlet chains, but rather in places where his wines and their story can be told. He harvests by hand, stirs the lees himself and promotes quality over quantity making a mere 2,900 cases per year.

The Romans, then the Moors and now the Riojanos have always dedicated this sliver of Rioja Alta to the finer wines, the reservas, because of the backbone that the soils provide. Miguel makes a new-style Rioja, a twist on the classic. Instead of all American oak, he'll employ staves of American oak and tops of French oak within the same barrel. It produces wines with fruit, structure and balance, without the overwhelming oak that so marks Spanish reds, and especially Riojas.


Viticulture / Vinification

Harvest is done by hand in small crates Selection table is used on all grapes Grapes are destemmed and only naturally-occurring yeasts are used After alcoholic fermentation, second, malolactic occurs spontaneously at 19°C in-barrel Miguel handles batonnage of all wines Specializes in modern Rioja style: ageing for between 10 to 25 months in oak barrels with staves from American and tops from France, giving toast of coconut and vanilla.