To my undeveloped appreciation for wine, I consider Rioja to be a less-peppery version of Shiraz. It has some of the big flavor without the spice, which works well for me. And it is smooth like a Pinot Noir, which makes for easy drinking, but it has a little more body. I have really taken a shine to Rioja, and I've had some great bottles from 2001 specifically.
For lack of a better description, a Crianza is the least complex of Riojas, so be wary. This bottle, however, was quite good. I have had a few Crianzas, 2001 even, and this was the best. And even 7 years later it is very drinkable. I think you'll have a hard time finding the 2001 in stores, but if you do I hope you enjoy it like I did.