January 2010 Wine Focus: Rioja

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Re: January 2010 Wine Focus: Rioja

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:53 am

Thanks for sharing Tim. As always, your focus is top drawer!!

(One of the Grill owners is coming back from the Alps with some Jura wines!!!).
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Re: January 2010 Wine Focus: Rioja

Postby Gert Claes » Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:47 pm

Unfortunately, the Imperial Reserva 94 I had a few years ago was pretty disappointing - I had expected so much more of it. I still have a bottle left, I can only hope...
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Re: January 2010 Wine Focus: Rioja

Postby R Cabrera » Sun Jan 17, 2010 7:28 am

TN: 1989 Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Reserva Blanco

BYOB’d with dinner at Wild Edibles, our little neighborhood gem that is a seafood store and a restaurant, this wine showed notes of wood and slight sulfur on the nose. Some wax and resin, with subdued acidity on the attack, very dry but with that deft touch of fruit. I love the balance and that slight lemony finish. This is one wine that’s always tough for me to describe, but always ending up as very satisfying. Confection spice notes developed with time in the glass. A-
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Re: January 2010 Wine Focus: Rioja Heredad de Baroja

Postby JC (NC) » Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:05 pm

WTN: Comparing the 2001 vintages of Heredad de Baroja Reserva and Heredad de Baroja Gran Reserva. The Heredad de Baroja Reserva (2001) was opened 01/14/10 and the Gran Reserva 01/16/10. Imported by Turner Wine Imports, Morrisville, NC. These were purchased from Carolina Wine Company before its bankruptcy.

The Reserva was listed as 13% alcohol by volume and was encased in a thin gold wire "cage."
Very dark and opaque. Nice nose with leafy, brambly berries. Attractive fruit flavors coat the palate. Pleasant edge of tartness (not really sour.) Delicious and easily quaffable. Most likely modern in style. Nice with Canadian bacon and baked potated topped with broccoli and cheese. So enjoyable (to my palate.) Held up well for three evenings, recorked and refrigerated.

Heredad de Baroja Gran Reserva (2001)

Listed as 14% abv. 7500 bottles. Darker on the rim than the Reserva. In comparison to the Reserva, a touch more underlying oak with soft, fuzzy tannins. I think at this stage anyway, I prefer the Reserva. That's not to say that the Gran Reserva is faulty. It is still a good wine and may evolve in a good way with 2 or 3 more years but didn't give me the pleasure of the Reserva.
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Re: January 2010 Wine Focus: Rioja

Postby Bruce K » Thu Jan 21, 2010 11:40 am

Bodegas Riojanas 1998 Rioja Reserva Viña Albina, $18
Wow, this is good. Incredibly smooth, mellow, harmonious Rioja with cherry, spice, earth and vanilla aromas and flavors along with a touch of flowers on the nose, all in perfect balance. Nicely structured with good acidity and some tannins, providing evidence that at 11 years of age, it’s in no danger of going over the hill. Outstanding match with black bean stew and rice. Over the next two nights, it remains terrific. One of the best Riojas I’ve ever had.
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Re: January 2010 Wine Focus: Rioja

Postby David M. Bueker » Thu Jan 21, 2010 11:44 am

Very nice note Bruce. I have a bottle of '99 Riojanas ready to go next week for the final push on Rioja month.
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Re: January 2010 Wine Focus: Rioja

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:57 pm

Bodegas Riojanas in my mind is a go-to set up, if you can find it!!
Great TN, Bruce.
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Re: January 2010 Wine Focus: Rioja

Postby Tim York » Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:03 pm

Rioja Gran Reserva Tempranillo 1995 – Sierra Cantabria, Eguren – Alc. 13%. The Eguren family is very versatile in its wines. It makes excellent modern style Riojas like El Bosque, Collección Privada and San Vicente but also makes a very creditable more traditionally styled range of which this Gran Reserva is an example. The nose was at first very subdued but with fine sweet cherry and faint hints of vanilla peeping through; sniffing the near empty bottle's heeltaps a couple of hours later, the nose has become rounder, more expressive and complex with added touches of white flowers, mint with the vanilla almost disappeared. The palate was medium bodied, harmonious and quite long with some residual sweet fruit, touches of spice and forest floor and enough acidity and tannic grip for palate support; not great but highly enjoyable; 16/20+. (The cork was leaky with level down to the top of the shoulders; a sounder bottle might have been more vigorous.)
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Re: January 2010 Wine Focus: Rioja

Postby David M. Bueker » Fri Jan 22, 2010 4:33 pm

The 1968 Riojanas Grand Reserva last night was wonderful - still youthfull in its fruit, but very, very complex.
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Dilli Vanilli

Postby Oswaldo Costa » Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:14 am

1997 La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 13.0%
I'm not a dill fan and have been moving away from oak, especially American, but there's an exception to every rule, and this is it. Oodles of telltale dill vanilla, mellow and smoky, bypass reason and make a beeline to the hypothalamus. On sipping, first sensation is an involuntary urge to smile. Caramba! Delicious fruit, keen acidity, in exquisite balance. Well integrated tannins humming softly in the background. It's slim yet muscular, with the poise of a highly trained dancer. How can something so powerful be so light on its feet? It wags a finger at former colonies and says “children, this is how it’s done.”
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Re: Dilli Vanilli

Postby Tim York » Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:46 am

Oswaldo Costa wrote:1997 La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 13.0%


Lovely WTN, Oswaldo; it makes me want to go out and buy; sadly I don't know who stocks La Rioja Alta in Belgium.

At this very moment, there is a discussion on the UK Wine-Pages under the heading Rioja "renaissance" where 1997 is described as a "weak vintage" and the 904 as lacking in substance or words to that effect :!: :?:
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Re: Dilli Vanilli

Postby Oswaldo Costa » Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:27 pm

Tim York wrote:At this very moment, there is a discussion on the UK Wine-Pages under the heading Rioja "renaissance" where 1997 is described as a "weak vintage" and the 904 as lacking in substance or words to that effect :!: :?:


Go figure! Haven't tried this wine in other vintages to compare, but the wines would have to be pretty stupendous to make this insubstantial by comparison. I could see it having more extraction, but part of what was charming about it was power without density.
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Re: Dilli Vanilli

Postby R Cabrera » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:34 pm

Oswaldo Costa wrote:1997 La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 13.0%
I'm not a dill fan and have been moving away from oak, especially American, but there's an exception to every rule, and this is it. Oodles of telltale dill vanilla, mellow and smoky, bypass reason and make a beeline to the hypothalamus. On sipping, first sensation is an involuntary urge to smile. Caramba! Delicious fruit, keen acidity, in exquisite balance. Well integrated tannins humming softly in the background. It's slim yet muscular, with the poise of a highly trained dancer. How can something so powerful be so light on its feet? It wags a finger at former colonies and says “children, this is how it’s done.”
Miro-Joan-Painting-Spanish.jpg

Joan Miró, Spanish Dancer, 1927


La Rioja Alta GRs, having had the good opportunity to sample since the mid 80's vintages, have been a personal favorite. I have not had any 1997, but thanks to you notes, will look out for good deals on it.

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Re: January 2010 Wine Focus: Rioja

Postby Oswaldo Costa » Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:09 am

Let us know how it compares to other vintages, Ramon. I found mine at Chambers at a price that didn't seem absurd, and can vouch for the good condition of the batch there.
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Re: January 2010 Wine Focus: Rioja

Postby R Cabrera » Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:04 pm

I bought a couple of very good '85 904s at excellent closeout price at Chambers about 3 months ago. Wines were in good shape. I'll check out their website.
Perhaps, pending your next availability in NYC, we can gather some interests from the folks and do a Spanish or sub-region (Rioja? Ribera DD? or both?) tasting dinner. Just le me know.

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Re: January 2010 Wine Focus: Rioja

Postby Matt Richman » Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:15 pm

Sorry to have joined this thread so late.

I'm surprised there hasn't been more talk of Muga. I'm a big fan. Here's a note about one of their recent releases:

Muga Reserva 2005
Firm and dense with dark, meaty fruit, earthy tar, sweet tannins, and a hint of flowers. This needs several years to mellow out, but I think this will be a very nice wine with one foot in the modern and one foot in the traditional style.
B
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Re: January 2010 Wine Focus: Rioja

Postby Matt Richman » Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:18 pm

Here are my notes from a Lopez de Heredia tasting from 2007

* 1989 R. López de Heredia Rioja Reserva Viña Tondonia - Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
Smooth, caramel, round & soft with a medium acidic finish.
B

* 1981 R. López de Heredia Rioja Gran Reserva Viña Bosconia - Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
Soft, light & sweet. Light bodied with dense black core. Delicate, aromatic. Like an old Barolo.
A-

* 1981 R. López de Heredia Rioja Gran Reserva Viña Tondonia - Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
Light bodied with an acidic tight finish. A bit simpler than the Bosconia.
B/B+

* 1985 R. López de Heredia Rioja Gran Reserva Viña Tondonia - Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
Sweet with an acidic slice. Black tar with floral notes.
B

* 1987 R. López de Heredia Rioja Gran Reserva Viña Tondonia - Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
Bright acidity with soft floral aromatics. Cherry. Not as dark as the 1985. Light, soft with dark tannins.
B+

* 1976 R. López de Heredia Rioja Gran Reserva Viña Bosconia - Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
Floral & soft. Delicate. Light core.
B/B+

* 1978 R. López de Heredia Rioja Gran Reserva Viña Bosconia - Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
Sweet cherry with some acidity. A bit on the simple side. Resolved.
B

* 1976 R. López de Heredia Rioja Gran Reserva Viña Tondonia - Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
Smooth and soft with a dark tar interior. Fairly complex, more than the Bosconia.
B+

* 1970 R. López de Heredia Rioja Gran Reserva Viña Tondonia - Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
Soft, floral with an acidic bite. Tar and coffee center.
B/B+

* 1973 R. López de Heredia Rioja Gran Reserva Viña Tondonia - Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
Deep, complex, soft. Less light floral but more complex than others. Beautiful with dark tar and sweet cherry. Very Barolo-like.
A-
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Re: January 2010 Wine Focus: Rioja

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:51 am

WTN: `03 Marques de Riscal Reserva.

Purchased last year for $26 Cdn. Very much a so-so vintage so no big expectations.
Opened/decanted for an hour, no sediment, good natural cork, L-1427-M.

Color is a light garnet, just a hint of faint bricking on the rim.
Nose initially showed oak with little fruit but with air found some cherry, dried herbs and tea. "Claret-like"from across the table. Not too expressive, same on day 2.
Initial entry thoughts were dry,softish tannins, smooth edge on a short finish. Tad disappointing but not a complete disaster! Blackberry as it opened after a further 2 hrs but that`s it.
On day 2, hint of sweetness on finish, tobacco on nose. Still has some puckery tannins but not much change.
Roll out the `04 eh.
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Re: January 2010 Wine Focus: Rioja

Postby Tim York » Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:41 am

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:WTN: `03 Marques de Riscal Reserva.



Doesn't sound very exciting, Bob. I'll think that you'll find the 04 better when it arrives in Alberta.

P.S. Flicking through the archive, Rogov seems to prefer the 03.
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Re: January 2010 Wine Focus: Rioja

Postby R Cabrera » Thu Jan 28, 2010 12:06 pm

Matt Richman wrote: * 1981 R. López de Heredia Rioja Gran Reserva Viña Bosconia - Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
Soft, light & sweet. Light bodied with dense black core. Delicate, aromatic. Like an old Barolo.
A-


Thanks. I opened a bottle of the 1981 Bosconia GR last month and my notes are almost a carbon copy of yours. I jumped on a good closeout deal for store's the last couple of bottles sometime in November. I'm holding on to the remaining bottle and which I hope would be as good as the first one.
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Re: January 2010 Wine Focus: Rioja

Postby Matt Richman » Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:34 pm

Ramon-

That was the bargain of the tasting. I bought 2 bottles and still have one. The last one I drank about a year ago and it was magnificent.
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Re: January 2010 Wine Focus: Rioja

Postby Victor de la Serna » Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:37 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:WTN: `03 Marques de Riscal Reserva.

Marqués de Riscal Reserva: average production, 450,000 cases a year; average price in the United States, $13.

López de Heredia Viña Tondonia Tinto Gran Reserva: average production, 1,700 cases a year; average price in the United States, $100.

Just to put some perspective here...
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Re: January 2010 Wine Focus: Rioja

Postby Oswaldo Costa » Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:28 pm

R Cabrera wrote:I bought a couple of very good '85 904s at excellent closeout price at Chambers about 3 months ago. Wines were in good shape. I'll check out their website.
Perhaps, pending your next availability in NYC, we can gather some interests from the folks and do a Spanish or sub-region (Rioja? Ribera DD? or both?) tasting dinner. Just le me know.

Ramon



Would love that. My next trip (February) is looking tight but perhaps in March.
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Re: January 2010 Wine Focus: Rioja

Postby JC (NC) » Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:43 pm

My final two contributions for the January focus:

2005 Muga Reserva (Matt Richman already posted on this)
13.5% alcohol I paid $28.99 plus tax at The Wine Merchant, Raleigh. Opaque dark purple with ruby rim. Plummy and blackberry aromas and flavors. Drinking pretty smoothly at this young age although Matt says a few more years would help mellow it. I'd like to purchase another bottle of this and also of the Muga Seleccion Especial which I had earlier this month to taste them side by side and see which I like better.

2004 Merus 4 Tempranillo Edicion Limitada, Rioja 9000 bottles Produced and bottled by Lar de Paula. Imported by Turner Wine Imports, Morrisville, NC 14.5% abv
Deep crimson in some lighting; more purple in other lighting. Blackberry and cassis flavors following a dark fruit/floral nose. Strong mid-palate; slight pucker on the finish. Juicy, yes, but also some layers and complexity. Probably in a modern style. More expensive the the Lar de Paula Old Vines I reported on earlier, but also higher quality. I had the first pour with a chunk of Gouda cheese and it wasn't a great match. The next evening I had a couple glasses without food and enjoyed it that way. It might be suitable for pairing with steak or even a nice hamburger but I've been eating fish, chicken and meatless meals lately so haven't tried it with beef. For me this truly is a wine that invites more and more mouthfuls. I'm pretty sure this was purchased from Carolina Wine Company and I will have to look for another source since they are out of business. I would rate this in the 90's.
Last edited by JC (NC) on Fri Jan 29, 2010 5:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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