Gregory Dal Piaz

Location: New York, NY

You know who I am.

Rioja Reserva

3. Ontañón Tempranillo Blend Rioja Reserva (2004)

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Average price: $23.99 from 16 stores
This is playing coy right now with the nose alternating between being a bit dumb and effusively pouring forth herb-, earth- and ash-accented black fruits wrapped in well measured oak. Super polished on entry, this has a lovely earthy and lightly leathery tinge to the early cherry fruit of the palate. The wine gains light herb and spice notes on the mid-palate. Invisible tannins offer sufficient support to allow this to fill the mouth yet the zesty acidity keeps it lively and fresh. The fruit turns redder in the mouth with hints of red apple peels and strawberries on the back end that come with sandy soil tones and a hint of minerality. The finish is classic Rioja: cherry and vanilla, bright with a light astringency, and long but not heavy. This is rather refined Rioja. 91pts
 
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