Lot 93 Rioja Tempranillo 2004
Notes: Holy cow--you've never smelled a wine like this. It's like dessert on the nose with huge notes of toasty vanilla oak, chocolate, cigar smoke, and molten licorice. The wine soars across your palate with immense complexity, mingling chocolate, earth, and licorice gumdrops. It's massively structured, intense and concentrated with big, grainy tannins that are perfectly melded to a mineral component, cigar smoke, toffee, and earthy fruit. The finish goes on and on for 2 to 3 minutes with excellent focus and concentration. Magnificent. Cameron Confidential: Another gem from winemaker John. I remember initially tasting the wine with COO Doug and him commenting, "Best Spanish wine I've ever tasted." I have to agree. In fact, I think it is one of the best wines we have ever offered--if not the best! The producer is a co-op with more than 450 hectares of fruit in production, and this wine is the best they have to offer. It has tremendous class and purity and has been rewarded with numerous best-of-show and gold medals across Europe. The wine is made only in exceptional vintages and has not been produced since the 2000 vintage. This Tempranillo has my highest recommendation.
Editorial Reviews for Lot 93 Rioja Tempranillo
When I first tried this the aromatics were dominated by sweet oaky notes though there was a layered character to the wine that slowly revealed itself. Once one got past the baking spices there were notes of earth, tar, coffee and smoke perched above a bed of slightly jammy raspberry fruit. Gentle top notes of sassafras, mint, and sweet coffee eased up out of the glass. With several hours in the decanter this settled down into a more classic, integrated array of vanilla and pepper tinged raspberry fruits. As with the nose there was a fair difference from my initial impression here and the results with several hours decanting. Initially this was a tough wine with an extracted feel to the copious austere tannins adding a bitter edge to the deep core of slatey, black cherry fruit. While the tannins did not have adequate time to resolve in the decanter, the wine fleshed out wonderfully with slightly medicinal black cherry fruit joined by notes of tobacco, vanilla and a wonderful hint of bitter almond on the long finish. Absolutely engaging and a pleasure to drink if you prefer an old world style this is an unusually powerful Rioja Crianza that has the potential to age well for a decade easily yet offers compelling drinking today. Very well balanced, classically structured wine. 92pts
Delicious. Toast, chocolate, and tobacco on the nose. Smells rich but not overly ripe. Palate is very large with lots of interesting high and low notes. This could probably age a bit longer, but it is really good right now. Cries out for a nice grilled steak strip steak with charred ends.