The first wine from Spain on the blog and then immediatly a classic. We drink the Gran Reserva 904 from 2010 made by the La Rioja Alta winery located in the Rioja region. The wine consists mainly of Tempranillo with some Graciano. Despite its years on the bottle, the wine is still a real youngster, so we tasted it over three days. And, spoilers, although the wine can certainly be in the cellar for many more years, you can have a lot of fun right now.
Immediately after the wine has been opened it is enormously dense in the nose. Red fruits, blueberries and an intense but soft mouthfeel. After the first sip, some smoke and wood comes into the nose. Very complex, very dense, but still quite closed. In the mouth there are cherries, fresh fruit mixed with some boiled down berries. Just as the wine in the glass opens up when sipped with air, I suspect that a night in the fridge will help it open up even more.
That is exactly what happened. The fruit has lost nothing, quite the contrary actually, it gained a lot of aroma. The blueberries are now very intense and clear. Like when you hold your nose in a bowl of fresh berries at a market stall. I have never had blueberries so clearly and distinctly in any wine before. This enormous aroma paired with the wood in the nose and the very soft, velvety tannin structure on the palate is a real pleasure. The wine does not feel old at all, but very fresh. You will be able to enjoy it for a very long time, I think. The better half has herbs like rosemary or thyme in the nose, with vanilla in addition. There is no edge, everything is round and soft and extremely full on the palate. It’s tough not drinking it right away, but we allow it an additional night in the fridge.
The blueberry moves into the background, the cherry is now more intense. More wood in the nose, tree bark, vanilla. On the tongue a fresh acidity. This is deep, complex and always velvety soft. This is one of the best red wines I have ever drunk. It is really a lot of fun and I hope to try it sometime with at least 10 years of age more.