My earliest memories of this wine is seeing these bottles lined up on the shelves and noticing how they stood out with their frosted bottles and gold wire meshing. They actually still look good amongst the rows of fairly nondescript labels on the shelves now and more importantly the stuff inside the bottles is generally very good.
This 2001 Gran Reserva is normally pretty pricey ranging from around £12 – £15 even as much as £19 in some shops but I picked up a few of these on a recent trip to Calais France where you could find it for between £8-£9, now that is a bargain for a quality wine from a great Spanish vintage. This particular bottle was voted best wine of the year 2013 by the Decanter experts and probably has something to do with the price it’s at now.
Is it worth the hefty price tag, for me, a resounding yes. Being a big fan of Rioja this is exactly what I’d be looking for, for a start it just looks traditionally spanish, conjures up images of sitting outside a sleepy bar, flamenco music playing in the background with a table full of tasty Tapas.
In the glass the colour reflects its age, a deep garnet with rusty-brown tinge around the edge. Full on aromas of dried cherries, plums, blackberries, cloves, tobacco, candle wax and Vanilla.
Straight from the bottle it tastes good, left to the air for a while to soften slightly it is even better. Elegant and silky smooth still retaining a freshness of fruit considering its age, with ripe rich blackberries and dark cherries. There is some spice, oak and tannins which are all beautifully balanced, vanilla is prominent giving it a slight sweetness and the finish is long and satisfying.
This is a taste of Spain in a bottle, fabulous Rioja from a well-respected producer.
Various between £12-£19