Gregory Dal Piaz

Location: New York, NY

Top 10 Rioja Wines of 2011

1. La Rioja Alta Tempranillo Blend Rioja Viña Ardanza Reserva Especial (2001)

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Average price: $34.00 from 3 stores
Light and elegant on the nose. Vanilla oak topped layers of leather, medicinal, minty, chalky and teriyaki dried beef elements accent a bright core of wild cherry. Smooth and rich in the mouth, this is powerful yet not that large. The berry fruit, both fresh and dried, is accented by earth and spice notes. A fine bitter cherry element drives the moderately long finish. This is brilliant, layered, structured, faceted and transparent. It’s about as good as it gets. 94pts
 
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