The 2005 Sierra Cantabria Crianza rises to the top of my charts in the continuous search for world class wines in the sub $20 range. I stumbled across this Rioja last night on a restaurant list for $38 a bottle. A quick check shows it can be bought for mid teens at retail.
It is a 100% Tempranillo that is bottled unfiltered. My tasting note reflects a rich and round attack with medium tannins, ending up with an impressive 30+ second finish. There is dominant sweet blackberry and pepper spice on the nose with a hint of coffee in the background. The wine has power coupled with really impressive balance.
This is one to find. I absolutely loved it for its complexity, richness, pleasing mouthfeel, giving nose, and amazing finish. Let me know what you think!