by Andrew Chalk
Following our article last week about the Rioja quality classification we got to taste one of the most famous examples from Rioja Alta. Made from a typical tempranillo-centric blend of 87% tempranillo, 6% graciano, 5% mazuelo, and 2% garnacha the wine is aged in a combination of new and used American oak for 16 months. Grand fromage professional wine tasters score it between 91 and 95 points out of 100. That would be from very good to ‘classic’. The price reaffirms what we said in the previous article - top-tier Rioja is one of the bargains of the wine world.
My brief notes are below but the real takeaway is that this wine is highly recommended. I would drink now with lamb or pork. or put away for 5 years to mellow even more.
Appearance: Opaque ruby core receding to translucent rim;
Nose: Vanilla, dill, green tea from the American oak.
Palate: Lively acidity, chewy tannins, well-defined red fruit (cranberry, strawberry). Long fruity flavor waves fill the mouth and hang around alluringly.