Top Rioja Reserva Wines

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2005 Ramon Bilbao Rioja Reserva 13.5%

This is quite fruity and intensely aromatic, with a fair amount of oak. Sweet vanilla, subdued stemminess, red cherry and currant fruit with a peppery top note fill the glass. This is slightly volatile on the nose, but only to the point of boosting the aromatics. Smooth on entry, this shows some rather extracted, dry tannins, but there’s fine buffering material in the form of rich, slightly chewy dark fruit that’s a bit gamy. Mostly cherry toned with some black raspberry notes and a bit of spice, the fruit rises on the mid-palate and becomes more perfumed and expressive on the back end. The moderately long finish shows a fine interplay of wood, spice, sweetness and mouthwatering fruit. The fruit wins out on the finale. 91pts

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  • Snooth User: EMark
    Hand of Snooth
    847804 8,230

    I really enjoy these comparative articles, but I'm going comment on something. ABV's are consistently highlighted in the headers of these reviews. I know that I'm in the minority on this, but I find no use for that information at all. What would be helpful, however, is knowing the suggested price. This may be difficult, because Snooth readers live around the world, and, so, are not particularly expert with US currency. My reason for making this recommendation is completely selfish. Cost is a factor in my buying decisions.

    Nov 09, 2011 at 1:14 PM


  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,748

    Thanks for the kind word Mark.

    We used to include the mean US price for these wines, we can start doing that again easily enough. I agree that ABV is really not very important but people asked for it and it's easy to find, though some producers seem intent on making the ABV print as small as possible, so I just add it to the wine name.

    By the way, since we're talking about Spain and cost, I tasted some 2001 Gran Reservas last night that i will not be writing up until Monday. Rioja Alta's Vina Ardanza and CVNE's Vina Real are both sub $30 bottles that are superb. Worth every penny and blows the doors off of almost all the world's wines for value, if you like the style of Rioja of course.

    Nov 09, 2011 at 1:30 PM


  • Snooth User: EMark
    Hand of Snooth
    847804 8,230

    I've been traveling the last few days and am not on-line very much. I do look forward, though, to the report on the Gran Reservas. No doubt that Spanish wines are just about the best values around.

    Nov 10, 2011 at 5:36 PM


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