2005 Bodegas Bilbainas Viña Pomal Reserva Rioja
90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, Sep/Oct 10: "($24; 100% tempranillo) Bright red. High-pitched red berry and floral aromas, with notes of vanilla and baking spices adding complexity. A silky, understated midweight that offers sweet cherry-vanilla and rose pastille flavors and no rough edges. This seductive wine finishes with very good clarity and a touch of vanillin sweetness. It's balanced to age but is drinking well now." Undoubtedly an underrated, traditional Rioja, Viña Pomal is a bottling which has been made for 100 years. It comes from a single vineyard in Haro (in fact, the vineyard borders Lopez de Heredia's Viña Tondonia). Composed of 100% tempranillo, this classically styled Rioja is aged for 18 months in American oak followed by additional time in bottle. 2004 and 2005 were two very good consecutive vintages for Viña Pomal. The '05 shows a bit more heft and richness, but still with the fruit purity, spicy/savory intrigue and balanced acidity that would make this a delicious wine at table now and over the mid to long haul. Don't let the modest price fool you - this wine ages wonderfully!