|Grapes||Tempranillo, Mazuelo, Graciano|
2005 is the 115th vintage for this esteemed estate in Rioja - and they have made a belting Gran Reserva to mark the occasion. Released at the end of last year (2015 - the 125th Anniversary!) it's arrival has rightfully been very well received by wine-lovers and journalists alike.
Incredible complexity is gained by the very long, strict regime of ageing that the wine undergoes - with 4 years in old American Oak barrels and then a further 6 years at the estate in bottle - allowing this to be labelled 'Gran Reserva.'
As Luis Guttierez, Robert Parker's 'man on the ground' in Spain, explains 'This is usually my favorite wine from La Rioja Alta and 2005 is one of its best showings, going back to the quality of the vintages of the 1950's and 60's.'
This is a true bargain for wine lovers, delicious drinking delivered with pedigree and grace.
*Case Price: Mix any 12 bottles of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits or Fortified to get the 'case price discount' for each bottle. Free mainland delivery for all orders over £100.
The 2005 Gran Reserva 904 is a superb blend of Tempranillo from the villages of Briñas, Labastida and Villalba with 10% Graciano from Briones and Rodezno. The grapes were destemmed and crushed and fermented in stainless steel for 18 days at 25 C. Malolactic fermentation was spontaneous and lasted 38 days. These wines are marked by a long aging in used American oak barrels following the most strict Riojan tradition; four years during which time the wine was manually racked eight times. This is usually my favorite wine from La Rioja Alta and 2005 is one of its best showings, going back to the quality of the vintages of the 1950s and 60s. The nose is very balsamic with notes of camphor, hints of mint, leather and hung game wrapped around a core of cherries in liqueur. Together it is balanced, subtle, truly elegant and classical. The palate is only medium-bodied but with great concentration of flavors that are very tasty, mineral, almost salty and framed by ultra-fine tannins and smashing balance. A great classic. This wine will be released in October 2015, a full ten years after the vintage. At this quality level this is a bargain. 150,000 bottles produced.
La Rioja Alta celebrates its 125th anniversary in 2015. Last year, I only tasted three wines from La Rioja Alta and I tasted six this time. The quality is as good as ever, with superb wines from the almost-perfect 2005 vintage coming into the market. Great Rioja, as traditional as it gets, in good quantity and moderate (and often plain great) prices.
96 Luis Gutierrez, The Wine Advocate (Apr 2015)
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