La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 2009
Bright, deep cherry-red in color, with a light brick rim. Intense, elegant, and complex aromas, with outstanding balsamic, vanilla, coconut, chocolate, and truffle wrapped around a core of candied fruit. Well balanced in the mouth, with elegant acidity and fine, silky, enveloping tannins. A long and complex finish, with hints of roasted coffee, spices, and candied fruit. A wine that continues to evolve and develop even more finesse and elegance in bottle during the passage of time.
The bodega was formed in 1890 as a partnership of five quality-conscious growers keen to exploit the export potential for well-made, 'modern' Rioja. At this time, French vineyards were ravaged by phylloxera, and connoisseurs were having to look elsewhere for supplies of fine wine. Rioja, with its excellent climate and soils, had already attracted attention, and experiments with Bordeaux-style vinification and barrique-aging were proving very successful. The region's only real disadvantage was its remoteness, cut off from the lucrative markets to the north by the same mountains that ensured its favorable climate.