Obalo is a consistently very good to excellent example of Rioja crianza. This is full and oaky up front, with tobacco, vanilla and briary black-fruit scents. A flush, voluminous palate is balanced and delivers earthy blackberry and chocolate flavors in front of a lively finish with a touch of buttery oak. Drink…— M.S.
This is a dark, flush specimen that’s smoky, savory and charred on the nose. In the mouth, it’s full and grabby, with staunch tannins and a toasty, lemony oak character driving blackberry, plum and cassis flavors. A finish with overriding burnt-toast notes is apropos.— M.S.
Starts out smelling charred and heavy, but with time the bouquet softens and shows aromas of smoky berry and fresh brewed coffee. Feels grippy and resiny, but healthy, with herb-infused flavors of blackberry, spice, clove and tobacco. Long, winding and oaky on the finish. Drink now through 2013.— M.S.
A charred, heavily smoked nose shades dark-fruit aromas. This is plump, juicy and solid on the palate, with roasted, toasty, oaky flavors of earthy plum and berry fruits. In addition, this carries a briny, saline quality. A medium-long finish is bold before dissipating.— M.S.
This is modern in style and well stocked for an affordable Rioja. It opens with aromas of gritty, roasted berry, plum and grilled beef that lead to a firm palate, with dark fruit, toast, mineral and chocolate flavors. It feels tight, warm and long on the finish.— M.S.
Dark and fully oaked Rioja with vanilla, mocha, char and black-fruit aromas. The body is good while the acidity is a bit high, and thus the flavors lean toward tart black cherry and zesty wild blackberry all with a robust amount of toast, spice and charred darkness.— M.S.
Dark, smoky, heavily oaked and resiny, with aromas of char, leather and burnt toast. The palate is big and forceful, with a lot of oak character and also snappy blackberry, plum and buttery flavors. Modern and creamy, with enough quality fruit to back things up.— M.S.