Rioja Gran Reserva Top Picks

A showcase of the 2001 vintage


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Rioja Gran Reserva Top Picks 2001 Rioja Gran Reservas are in the marketplace today and they deserve your attention. These great wines, a product of a difficult growing season that saw torrid heat waves, torrential rains, all followed up by a perfect, consistently warm and sunny harvest season, come from relatively small crops of intensely flavored and structured grapes.

The wines, the Gran Reservas in particular, are marked by rich yet ripe tannins, intense yet elegant fruit, and a fullness that Rioja rarely achieves. Part of that fullness could simply be due to the few potential weaknesses of the vintage: high alcohol and lower acids.

The ripeness of 2001 and the enduring warmth of the harvest season did allow for much of Rioja to enjoy a level of maturity that is exceptional. Though great, that maturity can be accompanied by elevated sugar levels, which yield higher alcohol wines and lower acids and can impact a wine’s ageing potential. This can leave it a bit flaccid after a few years, even though it appears appealingly lush in its youth.

From what I can taste, most producers managed to avoid these pitfalls. The following wines are simply exceptional and deserving of a place in every wine lover’s cellar.

Photo courtesy Alex Porta i Tallant via Flickr/CC

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