If there were one winery in all of Rioja that I would point to that would express what is happening in Rioja right now—old school meets new school; age-driven meets terroir-driven style—that would be Bodega Miguel Merino. It was founded in the village of Briones in the mid-90s by Miguel Merino Senior. He had spent two decades working in the Rioja export business and followed his dream of establishing his own winery in the village where he thought the best Riojas came from—in the sub-appellation of Rioja Alta on the southern side of the Ebro River, not too far from Haro and San Vicente de la Sonsierra. The vineyards that surround the village are planted in some of the most exciting soils of the region: gravelly alluvial, poor limestone, and some very sandy sites.
-- K&L Wines