1998 Bodegas Riojanas Monte Real Gran Reserva Rioja
* Editors’ Choice * Floral cherry, raspberry and aged wood aromas are elegant and mature. This Rioja is in regal condition, with smooth tannins and integrated acidity. Dried cherry, red plum, herbs and vanilla create a classic Rioja flavor profile. A supple, long finish puts this in perfect drinking shape, which doesn’t mean it can’t last another through 2025 or so.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Dark red with a pale rim. Pungent, spicy nose shows pure cherry, redcurrant and plum complemented by succulent herbs, vanillin oak spice and a hint of dried flowers. Supple, lush and deep, with sweet red fruit flavors framed by gentle tannins. Fleshy and sweet on the back end, with impressive concentration and focus. This should age well.
Based right in the middle of Rioja Alta, in the village of Cenicero, Bodegas Riojanas is one of the region's centenarian bodegas, a winery with a rich history that continues to uphold their high standards for traditionally made Gran Reserva wine. Monte Real shows the chalky terroir of Cenicero as expressed by Tempranillo, Mazuelo and Graciano grapes. 24-30 months ageing in Amerian oak barrels is followed by another three years ageing in bottle.. It is all pure, focused red fruits, with some lovely earth and aromatic complexity as well. Drink now or hold for another 5 or so years. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish wine buyer)