Gregory Dal Piaz

Location: New York, NY

Top Rioja Reserva Wines

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Lopez de Heredia Vina Cubillo Crianza (2005)
Comments: 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
Average price: $24.99 from 57 stores
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2 Vina Palaciega Rioja Reserva (2006)
Comments: 2006 Vina Palaciega Rioja Reserva 13% This smells tarry and oaky with fairly aggressive wood spice early on. Some aromatic root tones and a hint of licorice accent the red currant and raspberry fruit. Very fresh and bright on entry, this has brilliant red and black raspberry fruit in the mouth, all supported by integrated and not obvious wood spice notes, a streak of vanilla and some anise seed elements. The acidity is bright and juicy, keeping the fruit fresh and lightening the medium bodied palate feel. The fruit takes on a bit more cherry character on the back end. The tannins show a great fine edge of astringency before receding and leaving the finish with a lingering wild cherry and vanilla two-step that gains some beefy and lightly toasted spice accents. This is just a touch simple, but is super fresh, juicy and balanced. 89pts
Average price: $16.00 from 1 store
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3 Muga Reserva Rioja Unfiltered (2007)
Previously available for $29.99
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4 Bodegas Martínez Bujanda Rioja Conde de Valdemar Reserva (2005)
Average price: $29.95 from 15 stores
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5 Rioja Reserva Valenciso (2005)
Previously available for $43.99
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