You can taste the tradition in this red wine from a fifth-generation winery in Rioja, the oldest wine region of Spain. Aged for 18 months in American and French casks, the prominence of toasted oak on the nose and palate of the 2012 VALSERRANO Rioja Crianza is what transports you back to an age of post-colonial revolutionary Spain in the late 19th century. There is a distinctively aged character to the Rioja wine, which is 90% estate-grown Tempranillo and 10% Mazuelo (closest relation is Carignan). You can almost imagine walking through an ancient underground cellar and tasting this wine out of the cask. After decanting for one hour, subtle touches of masculine leather and spice combine with a strong current of dark berries and red berry jam in the middle, with the acidity of raspberry and dark cherries on top. Utterly distinctive for a value-priced bottle of wine—evocative of time passed and history relived. –J.M.