Marqués de Riscal 2004 Rioja Reserva ($28.99)
Clear, dark ruby, with crimson glints against the light. Cherries, almost a maraschino character in the aroma, backed by subtle spice with an earthy whiff of older oak barrels. Bright and ripe on the palate, red-cherry fruit laced up with an acidic zing; tannins aren't overly evident, but show up as a soft astringency in the tart, long finish. A Rioja meant for aging, it will surely gain complexity with years in the cellar; but its bright fruit and easy tannins make it quite accessible now, particularly with rare red meat on the table. US Importer: Shaw-Ross International Importers, Miramar, Fla. (Jan 24, 2009)

FOOD MATCH: Pan-seared, medium-rare local natural grass-fed rib eye from Indiana's Fiedler Farm.



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