Monday, January 16, 2012

Marqués de Riscal Rioja Reserva 2005

In the Glass: Bright cherry red with good depth.

On the Nose: Strong aromas of sour cherry, spices, oak and earthy hints. This wine should be decanted for at least an hour before serving.

On the Palate: Mouth filling flavors of black cherry and other dark fruits offset by tobacco, cedar and toasted oak. Smooth and long finish with good fruit and oaky nuances. Solid tannins assure that this wine will improve over the next 5 years and age well over the next 15-20 years.

Style: Austere and elegant.A classic rioja reserva!

Rating: 92/100. Both Robert Parker's Wine Advocate and Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar rate this a 90, but I think it is a bit better than that.

Price Range: $14.00-$18.00. Widely available at wine shops as well as most upscale grocery chains.

Comments: If you want to know what a classic Spanish red rioja wine should taste like, this is it! This winery is considered one of the greatest wineries in the Rioja region. In 1858 Herederos de Marqués de Riscal became the first winery in the Rioja to produce wines following the Bordeaux method. This 2005 is hand picked using only the best grapes of the vintage made from 90% Tempranillo with a 10% blending of Mazuelo & Graciano, and aged in American oak barrels for 2 years before bottling for a year before release, thereby softening the tannins a bit. It is already showing the promise of being a spectacular vintage and, at this price, you should buy as much as you can. It will not last at these prices! Pairs well with all beef dishes as well as salmon and shellfish. I love to sip it with the classic spanish accompaniments: chorizo sausage and manchego cheese.

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