91pts Wine Spectator
This red is dense and focused, with cherry, berry and vanilla flavors that emerge as the tannins give way, leading to a floral and spicy finish. Drink now through 2031
91pts Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The bottle I tasted of the 2016 Viña Real Crianza is a blend of 90% Tempranillo and 10% Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano from Rioja Alavesa that fermented destemmed in stainless steel with neutral yeasts and matured in French and American oak barrels for 13 to 14 months, during which time it was racked every five or six months. It's expressive, deliciously aromatic, floral and elegant, reflecting a cool year that delivered fresh wines that seem to be very approachable early on. 2016 is a pretty vintage, but this wine is not banal; it has depth and complexity that's remarkable for the price point. The palate is fresh and balanced, with fine tannins. 900,000 bottles produced. It's bottled in five lots. I tasted from the bottles filled in April 2019.
This wine shows shades of medium to deep shiny cherry colour on a purple background. To the nose, intense aromas of ripe fruits (blackberries, blackcurrants) stand out, complemented with subtle hints of oak. To the palate, it shows structured and round with a good integration of fruitiness and oakiness. The aftertaste is marked by very well balanced tannins as well as by persistent spicy, toasty and balsamic aromas. A long stay in bottle is the finishing touch to this Rioja Alavesa wine's character.