Dark mineral, toasted French oak and black fruit carry the nose. This is a sturdy, nicely made high-end Rioja, but due to the heat of the year its range of flavors is narrow as it settles on baked plum and molasses. Medium long on the finish, with a lasting taste of chocolate.
An elegant Rioja made in a more traditional style. The nose is a little baked and raisiny, with additional aromas of caramel and leather. The palate is where this wine shines: the feel is elegant and smooth, while the cherry and raspberry flavors are subtle and a little bit tangy. Mature and sexy stuff; more classic than modern, but not 100% old-school.
This barrel-aged white Rioja is as close to Burgundy as you’re going to find in Spain. It has a lot of oak throughout, but with vanilla, spice, cinnamon and more it works. Apple, baked citrus and resin from the barrel make it complex and food-worthy, and if you were to serve this with grilled or baked fish you could leave the Montrachet for next time. Imported by…
At first it seems closed and drawn, but with time this serious Rioja unveils toasty raspberry and mineral-tinged cola and plum aromas and flavors. There’s natural snap to the wine courtesy of bright natural acidity, but also some beef and body that manifests itself in a controlled creaminess that houses herbal, chocolaty finishing notes.
Perfumed and a touch exotic for Rioja, with coconut and floral berry aromas. Definitely full and ripe in the mouth, with sweet flavors that go back and forth between baked and sugary and rich and rewarding. A sweet, mature wine at its core, with molasses and brown sugar.
89 Marqués de Murrieta 1995 Dalmau Reserva (Rioja); $75. Big and earthy, with very good texture, but a little sweeter than the Prado Lagar. Cherry fruit, rich mouthfeel, and a warm persistent finish. Hold for 2 to 4 years.
Also immature, but talking big, with the flavor and texture to back it up. Earth and smoky aromas, black-fruit flavors with spice and tobacco notes. Very suave mouthfeel. Good length, with expression. Needs 1 to 3 years.