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An old favorite to which I have a connection to via some Spanish friends. I have been drinking this wine for many years. The nose is textbook Reserva from Rioja, the Tempranillo jumping out at you. On the first taste I was taken back a bit by the thinness of the wine, but soon settled into enjoying the brooding dark berry meets tar flavors. I know it sounds weird, tar, but it really is a descriptor that works with aged, oaked Rioja. Good oak integration and some earthiness round out the profile.
In the glass , the wine actually looks a little thinner than normal, the ‘legs’ giving tale to the 14% dosage I am about to feel. There’s is a slight off-balance to this thing, I can only hope it will sort itself out after a few years in cellar. The tannins are impressive, if somewhat muted right now. The nagging alcohol is what is throwing me, if that were sorted out this thing would cruise. I might be a bit harsh here, but I think the thinness and off-balance cost this wine big in points and I have to go with 86. For $20 a bottle, it slips into 3 star territory for me. It’s a shame really, this wine has a good pedigree and I have never had a disappointing bottle. Perhaps I shall re-taste it in the near future.