Monday 1 September 2014

Long Time No See - Two Bottles Of Rioja

When I started drnking wine more seriously for 20+ years, Rioja was frequently poured, both at home and at tastings. No more. Not for the latest 10 or so years.

When browsing through my first two notebooks, from 1991/92, I found lots of Rioja´s:
1987 Marques de Riscal Reserva
1983 Conde de Valdemar Reserva
1985 Vina Herminia Reserva
1985 Marquis de Arienzo Reserva
1981 Vina Ardanza Reserva
1985 Monte Real Reserva
1985 Imperial Reserva
1970 Vina Pomal Gran Reserva
1978 Marques de Caceres Gran Reserva
1982 Marques de Arienzo Gran Reserva
1976, 1982 Reserva 904 Gran Reserva
1985 Martinez Bujanda Gran Reserva
1964 Monte Real Gran Reserva

If I look through my two latest notebooks, how many bottles of Rioja? None.
And now, two bottles in two days!

2004 Marqués de Arienzo Gran Reserva, Bodegas de los Herederos del Marqués de Riscal
An open, soft, nice nose with notes of raspberries, sweet licorice, oak vanilla and....wait for it...dill. The tell tale of old school Rioja, the scent associated with the American oak treatment. And one of the reasons I gave up Rioja for many years. It is not that much, but it is there. Some smoke also. Good but lacks a bit of character.
The taste is medium bodied and dry with notes of dried raspberries, Christmas spices, earth and some oak vanilla. The taste is nice until the end, when the dry wood tannins dominate the mouth. Needs food. Fairly nice but not my cup of tea.
81p   (tasted 2014/08)

2008 Marqués de Riscal Reserva, Bodegas de los Herederos del Marqués de Riscal
The four year younger Rerserva is fresher and more delicate. The nose is young, fruity and medium deep with notes of red currants and cherries with some smoke, vanilla pod and tobacco leaves. Very good.
The taste is cool, lively and medium bodied with notes of red cherries dusted with vanilla powder, tobacco, earth and smoke. A fine warmth in the medium long finish. This is drinking very well.
87p   (tasted 2010/08)

Another interesting reflection when looking through these first two notebooks, is how many great bottles I used to drink! :-) And these bottles, see below, was bought by myself and friends on a student loan economy, which goes to show how prices on these wines have gone through the roof the last 10-15 years...
And it also reflects how Bordeaux focused my drinking was then :-)

1981, 1989 La Mission Haut Brion
1970, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1985 Margaux
1970, 1981, 1983 Mouton-Rothschild
1970, 1981, 1983 Lafite-Rothschild
1970, 1978, 1982, 1985 Latour
1970 Petrus
1986, 1985, 1983 & 1977 Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
1981, 1983, 1985, 1986 d´Yquem
1983, 1985, 1988 Tignanello
1989 Echezeaux, DRC
1976, 1983, 1985 La Tache, DRC
1969 Richebourg, DRC
1981 Romanee-Conti, DRC
1949, 1989 Musigny VV, Comtes de Vogue
1985 Chambertin Clod de Beze, Rosseau
1990 Gevrey-Chamberton Clos St-Jacques, Rosseau
1989 Clos de la Roche, Dujac
1990 Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche, Drouhin
1978, 1980, 1984 Ridge Monte Bello
1937, 1949, 1955, 1964, 1966, 1970, 1982, 1989 Montrose
1928 Palmer
1959, 1961 Calon Segur
1961 Pichon-Baron
1972, 1975, 1978, 1983 Musar
1970, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1989 Cheval-Blanc
1982, 1985, 1989 Haut Brion

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