Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bodegas Riojanas -- Older Rioja from Spain

We recently attended a trade luncheon where we were able to "sample" a good number of Bodegas Riojanas wines, along with a few Rioja going back to 1978 and 1964. One word, incredible.

These two wines are as good as you can get for the price and quality of an older wine. Traditional Rioja can be amazing. And when you consider the sums fetched for older wine from Burgundy and Piemonte, or any other long-lived wine region, these are relative steals. These wines have style, finesse, vibrant fruit and all kinds of other-than-fruit qualities that make old wines special.

Bodegas Riojanas is an exceptional Rioja bodega making wines in a traditional style. The winery is most famous for their red wines, particularly their Viña Albina and Monte Real Gran Reservas.

2001 Riojanas Monte Real Gran Reserva $34.99
Monte Real is made from 80% Tempranillo, 15% Mazuelo and 5% Graciano grapes, all hand-harvested from vineyards in the village of Cenicero. 24-30 months ageing in Amerian oak barrels is followed by another three years ageing in bottle. This wine is smooth, supple and delicious. Filled with cherry and strawberry-like fruit with good spice and earthy qualities. A steal of a 10-year old wine.

1998 Riojanas Viña Albina Gran Reserva $43.99
(92 Points: International Wine Cellar) Medium red. Captivating aromas of redcurrant, candied cherry, rhubarb, vanilla bean, cured tobacco, cedar, mocha and dried flowers. An elegant, suave midweight with wonderfully sweet, mellow red fruit flavors and an array of exotic spice accents. The supple, persistent finish features lingering cherry and red berry flavors.

If you enjoy older wines, please try some before they go away, which will be fast!

In stock the week of July 12th 2011.