Number three in the lineup at the 16th virtual wine tasting was this stunning Spaniard. Dark purple and 75% opaque, it had a complex nose of cigar box, buttered popcorn, black pepper, roasted nuts, blackberry coulis, dill, vanilla and an earthiness. Juicy tannins hit right off the bat with blackberry, oak, vanilla, blueberry and Maduro. Great acidity made for a gorgeous mouthfeel and the wine showed a touch of earthy dust, which I look forward to in Riojas. This was one of the standouts since we started the Virtual Wine Tasting Company. I gave it 20 points and on a technical scale- 94 points. For $30, its worth stashing a few of this 5 star gem away and drink till 2030 with grilled meats. Salut….
I love Tempranillo, especially Rioja. It has an earthiness to it and it matures beautifully. This particular one is a Reserva, which means it has already spent 3 years aging, with at least one of which must be in Oak. This particular bottle is 5 years old and has a rich purple color and is fully opaque. On the nose it has gorgeous blackberry notes, black plum and a blue curaçao hint. It is very complex and enticing. The palate is delicious folks- those fruit flavors I got on the nose are present but I also get a strong push of blueberry licorice. I am surprised by the lack of the usual cedar, tobacco or big time oak notes. The wood integration is very deft and allows the purity of fruit to shine through. The tannins are sublime- a hint dry but not obtrusive, balanced to perfection by some really lithe acidity. This wine has a really nice mid palate with layers of black and blue fruit intermingling. The finish is a touch on the dry side but it will pair beautifully with my Striploin roast, a non-fatty cut that will let the fruit of this wine take center stage. I am very impressed with this bottle and think it will cellar very well. The drinking window is open now and will remain so till 2030 at the least, hopefully with some tertiary flavor development along the way. 94 points from me jibes with the pros on this gem that can be had for $40. Stock up I say on this 5 star wine. Salut….
This Tempranillo blend is 10 years old but still showing youth in the glass- inky purple and opaque. The nose is classic Rioja with leather, bramble, blackberry and singed alder. I love that combo. The palate is showing just a touch of age with tertiary nuances popping up. Black currants, juicy acidity and medium strength tannins all greet me. The leather, alder and dried bramble notes are also present. The mid palate has a vanilla component as well as coffee bean. Black licorice hits me on the back end where the finish is a touch dry and long. Black cherry, blackberry and tertiary flavors are persistent, as is the juicy acidity and tannic grip. This wine was a steal at $12. It is still young and should drink nicely till 2027. I am pairing it with grilled Hanger steak, air fried potatoes and steamed asparagus. 90 points and 5 stars. Salut….
A dull shade of purple belying the age of this Tempranillo blend. It’s about 75% opaque. The nose is a bit subdued- I’m really having to swirl the glass. I finally get steeped plum, bramble and a hint of oak. The palate is a little thin but I get some blueberry and plum notes alongside anise and that dusty note I like in Riojas. The mid palate is quite acidic and juicy, but I also sense a touch of heat. The finish is rather plain with black and blue fruits, really tart acidity and a token dash of tannins. I’m not overly impressed by this $20 wine, might be in a dumb phase. For now it gets 86 points. 2 stars. Salut….
This Tempranillo is inky and opaque in the glass. The nose gives me black berries, iodine, espresso bean and earthy bramble. The palate is textbook Rioja- dusty, earthy, black fruit driven, smoky and delicious. The tannins of this 9 year old wine are well integrated but the acidity is what I’m really enjoying. Jaw dripping and long. The mid palate continues the black fruit theme and I pick up some oaky notes. The finish is quite dry from the remnants of tannins that are holding this wine together and will allow it to cellar for another 5 years. Yummy stuff that I am pairing with Middle Eastern Goat stew. 90 points from me and at $15 per bottle it gets 5 stars. Salut….
Semi opaque in the glass with a nice shade of purple. The nose is smoky with black berries, plum and chocolate powder. There’s also a touch of funky Rioja dirt in there. The palate is as hoped- rich, complex and satisfying. Black fruit, tar, licorice and ripe tannins all caress the mouth. The mid palate just builds more on the flavor profile. The finish is delightful- semi dry from the well integrated tannins, juicy from a touch of acidity and brimming with flavors of ripe blackberry, espresso, cacao and that telltale dusty Rioja component. This Tempranillo is drinking beautifully now and will go till 2028. 92 points and 5 stars for this steal at $10. Salut….
I don’t recall ever having a pure Graciano, it’s normally used as a blending grape. In the glass it is a pale shade of purple and is fully opaque. On the nose I get charred plums, black berries and a stewed fruit note. The palate is interesting with brooding dark fruits, oak and a vanilla bean note. The tannic structure is very well ingrained in this 9 year old bottle. They are present but not foreboding. The black fruits show up on the mid palate with a touch of bitterness, there is a green note too. On the finish is where I get some nice acidity to go with the oaky fruit compote. There is a nice dryness on the back end from the tannins. The wine is a pleasure to drink but that midpalate greeness has me concerned. This will drink well till 2025 and pair nicely with pasta, roasted chicken and certainly grilled steak. I’m going 89 points and 3 stars for the $12 price point. Salut….
It’s a very bright, shimmery purple in the glass with thin legs showing off the potent 14.5% kick. The nose is classic Rioja- dark plums, bramble, well integrated oak and currants of the black kind. The palate is very smooth, with delicious black fruit components, leather, well ingrained tannins and a touch of acidity. The earthiness of the wine is somewhat subdued, making way for the concentration of black currants, blackberries and mouth coating tannins. The mid palate is really full bodied with black fruits galore, dry mouthfeel from the beautiful tannins and just enough acidity to make my jaw water. The finish is longish and really dry. Iodine and plum reduction come to mind. Oak is ever present and the tannins go on forever. This is a well made wine built for the long haul and some serious, juicy steaks. Drink till 2035. 92 points and for $40, 5 stars. Read all about the 2010 vintage here. Salut….
Bright purple in the glass, semi opaque. The nose is lovely, warm and chock full of dark berry fruits, charcoal and bramble. On the palate I get a really smooth intro to the blackberries, Ribena and earthy notes that allow some oak to mingle. There is a certain rustic twist to this wine. On the mid palate I start to get tertiary flavors of leather and bramble, that earthiness I love in aged Riojas. The wine is quite juicy at this point, the acidity making its presence known. Lithe tannins crop up and the whole mouthfeel is really nice. The finish is a touch dry, acidic and medium in length. The black fruits really present alongside that charred oaky wood note. 91 points, drink till 2027 with steaks, grilled goat. At $30, it’s a 4 star effort that I really enjoyed. Salut….
I have had many bottles of the Marques De Riscal, of whom a friend’s father was on the Board many moons ago. I think of my visit to Spain every time I see the twisted wire around bottles of this Tempranillo.
In the glass it is a reddish shade, pretty opaque and showing off wide legs down the edges. The nose is gorgeous- tar, black plum, earthy spice and bramble. On the palate it is rich, unctuous and very fruit forward with blackberry jam, plum reduction, spice box and cedar. It is delicious. There is a very nice acidic component that carries me to the maid palate where those classic Rioja flavors of creosote come to the forefront. There is a spiciness on the back end that I really enjoy. The back end is long, with a crescendo of tannins peaking at the tail end. It’s a really nice, dry yet tart finish with some definite wood influence. The mouthfeel begs for the Strip Roast I am cooking on the smoker. This wine is drinking beautifully and will cellar well till 2027. 92 points and 5 stars for this $20 stunner. Salut….