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Rioja Gran Reserva times two

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Rioja Gran Reserva 2009, Imperial, C.V.N.E. ($51.50, 12203796)
Tempranillo (85%), Graciano (10%) and Mazuelo (aka Carignan, 5%) from vines averaging more than 20 years old in Villalba and Haro in Rioja Alta. Manually harvested. The grapes were destemmed and cold macerated prior to cool alcoholic fermentation in oak vats and malolactic fermentation in barrels and cement vats. Matured 36 months in American and French oak barrels and 48 months in the bottle. 13.5% ABV. Quebec agent: LBV International.
Plum, old wood, black tea, cherry tart, a whiff of alcohol. Smooth, satiny and balanced, the fruit ripe and pure, the firm, gritty tannins beginning to relax, the acidity providing welcome freshness. Incipient layers bring smoke, black fruit and minerals to mind and hint at depth to come. Long, sandalwood finish. Young but approachable now, better integrated and more refulgent in five to 10 years. (Buy again? Sure.)

Rioja Gran Reserva 2005, 904, La Rioja Alta ($72.50, 12407810)
Tempranillo (90%) and Graciano (10%) from vines over 40 years old in Briñas, Labastida and Villalba. Alcoholic fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks. Matured 48 months in four-year-old American oak barrels (made in-house), with racking every six months. Bottled in November 2010. Reducing sugar: 2.0 g/l. 12.5% ABV. Quebec agent: Vinicolor.
“Like Christmas cake,” said one taster upon smelling the nose. I wrote: macerated cherry, leather, tobacco, pencil lead, sawed cedar, background coconut and vanilla. Medium- to full-bodied. Still youthful and vibrant though the tannins are mostly resolved. Great depth of flavour, including plummy fruit, inky minerals, animale, smoke and well-integrated oak. Very long woody/savoury finish. Balanced, elegant and, more importantly, delicious. Enjoyable now but probably not peaking for another 10 years and capable of aging longer. Special. (Buy again? Budget permitting, yes.)

MWG April 14th tasting: flight 6 of 6

Written by carswell

August 4, 2016 at 12:07

One Response

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  1. Very nice write up! I love the Cune and for VERY special occasions will get a Gran Reserva, which are pretty pricy here in the US. Or …I will drink a local wine. Check out our California wine country blog: Follow us if you like what you see.


    August 15, 2016 at 12:41

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