2005 Miguel Merino Reserva Rioja

SKU #1071082 92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright violet color. Sexy black raspberry, potpourri and incense aromas expand with air and pick up a vanilla nuance. At once dense and lively, offering sweet red and dark berry compote flavors with hints of mocha and spicecake. Vanilla and floral notes carry through the very long, sappy, gently tannic finish.  (9/2012)

89 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2005 Reserva has a licorice and leather-tinged bouquet with touches of bacon fat and hung game. The palate is medium-bodied with dry, leathery tannins and gamey fruit. It has a pleasing, savory, classic finish with hints of mocha and dark chocolate. Drink now-2018.  (8/2012)

K&L Notes

We are very pleased to be focusing our Spanish direct import program in Rioja, and most fortunate to have begun working with one of Rioja's most beloved vignerons, Miguel Merino. A longtime participant in the wine business, having sold wine for wine distributors in the States as well as working as an export manager, Miguel has found success every step of the way, and then decided that rather than retire, he wanted to fulfill his dream of owning vines and making wine. Based in the Rioja Alta town of Briones, Miguel Merino makes, as he likes to put it, an "updated classic" style of Rioja, all from his own two hectares of vines and several hectares of vineyards owned by a close friend. All the fruit is from sloped vineyards (Miguel is a fan of his slopes) within the cooler climate Rioja Alta town of Briones, which makes these wine a terrific showcase of the terroir (especially in a region where wines blended from various villages are more often the norm). Produced from vines planted in the 1960s, this is a perfect example of Miguel's "updated classic" description: garnet yet translucent color, deep, savory, meaty dark fruit and black cherry aromas and a very juicy palate of blackberry and black cherry fruit. Rich, and yet perfectly balanced. Drink now and for another decade plus.

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Price: $29.99
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Staff Image By: Jim Barr | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/30/2013 | Send Email
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What an amazingly wonderful wine that is a cross between old school Rioja and new worldish richness. Medium deep ruby in color (it’s still has that youthful appearance), the rich, lush bouquet offers tons of fruit with a vibrant anise to blackberry fruit tinge and a Burgundian game-like background note. Broad, viscous, silky, deeply flavored, and complex in the mouth, this Gem offers immediate drinkability, yet incredible structure and depth to allow it to be cellared another five to ten years. Rusty has informed me that this Gem will be one of our house reds for the next five to then years. 14.0% ABV
Drink from 2013 to 2023

Staff Image By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/28/2013 | Send Email
Last night Cinnamon and I had this rich bottle of Rioja with thick cut pork chops and rice pilaf spiked with some good sour cream. It was a great match, and this very rich, more modern style wine had an opulence that did not interfere with the food friendliness of the bottle. I only decanted it 15 minutes ahead since we both had just come home from work, and we were hustling to get food on the table. That little bit of time in the decanter was all the wine needed to taste great. The Miguel Merino has a very dark color for Rioja and a nose full of the vanilla that I always look for in wines from this region. It also has a lovely coffee or even mocha like flavor running through the ripe black fruit that is at its core. This wine manages to have great sweet primary fruit without getting exagerated and to show some flashy wood without being taken over by it. We loved it with the food and the bottle disappeared far too quickly!
Drink from 2013 to 2020

Staff Image By: Kyle Kurani | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/30/2011 | Send Email
I love the approach that Merino takes to his wines, a great mix of new world and traditional approaches. There is rich fruit to this wine, dark cherry, rich black berry, but also savory notes of leather and spice.

Staff Image By: Chiara Shannon | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/20/2011 | Send Email
It is so exciting to have direct imports from Rioja now! The wines of Rioja are among my favorites for the level of quality and complexity you get for the price, as compared to wines from the other classic regions of Europe, from young to mature. The 05 Reserva Rioja from Miguel Merino straddles the two "worlds" of Rioja styling, with a combination of classic Rioja aromatic complexity due to traditional vinification and ageing, with a richness and fullness on the the palate that is sure to resonate with folks more familiar with new world wines. It's all there: red fruit and spice, the influence of American oak, savory aromas and flavors. This is an elegant, first class Reserva.

Additional Information:



- A very important red grape varietal that's native to Northern Spain, grown across the north and central regions of the country. Low in acid and alcohol, with subtle strawberry, leather and tobacco notes, the grape responds well to oak aging and plays particularly well with others. Tempranillo is an important component, when combined with Garnacha, Mazuelo, Viura and Graciano, of Rioja, with the best examples coming for the cooler, higher-elevation regions like Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa. It is also grown in significant quantities in the Ribera del Duero where it is called Tinto Fino and Penèdes where it is called Ull de Llebre o Ojo de Llebre. Tempranillo hasn't gained a particularly strong foothold outside of Spain, achieving some success under the name Tinto Roriz in Portugal. There it is used as a component of Port and in the table wines of the Ribera del Duero and the Dão.


- With more land under vine than any other country in the world, Spain is the great sleeping wine giant. In recent years, a great deal of money and passion has been poured in the burgeoning Spanish wine industry, helping to improve quality among its vast array of wines from sparkling Cava to Sherry to Rioja Gran Reserva. The most important red-wine-producing regions are Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Navarra in the north and Priorat and Penedes in the northeast.


Alcohol Content (%): 14