Tempranillo, Graciano, Mazuelo
75cl * 13.5% ABV * Rioja, Spain
This superb wine is only made with the most exceptional vintages. Founded in 1890, La Rioja Alta combines traditional practices with modern winemaking. Only old vine fruit is used (naturally) for intensity and richness, which is then aged for over six years in top quality American oak barrels made in-house, in the estates iconic Vigier Hall, and only the best wines were bottled in September 2006. And then there's a further four years of bottle ageing before the wine is released. Only 24.955 numbered bottles were produced under this label.
The nose is very intense with a classic Rioja bouquet - spicy, balsamic, cured leather, cocoa, tobacco and vanilla notes set against a background of candied fruit. Elegant in the mouth, with good structure and balance, silky, creamy tannins and a lively acidity on the finish. Big, complex aftertaste which have only grown as the wine has aged in the bottle.
Pair with roasted suckling pig or daube of venison and desserts with chocolate. It is also perfect as a closer for a good meal.
Drinking Window: Now to 2035.
"The 1998 Gran Reserva 890...has impressive intensity on the nose with lifted dark cherry and briary notes. It has very fine delineation with aromas of licorice and orange rind. The palate is very well-balanced with fine tannins, crisp acidity and lively fresh citrus fresh fruit: small red cherries intermingling with orange zest, marmalade and cassis." 94 Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (August 2012)