2004 Bodegas Fernandez "Escudo de Plata" Gran Reserva Jumilla
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Faded red. Complex, intriguing bouquet of dried red fruits, botanical herbs, spicecake and a touch of vanilla, with a sexy floral overtone. A sweet, sappy midweight that offers silky raspberry and cherry flavors and no rough edges. Finishes with lingering sweetness and an echo of dried flowers. This was raised in large, used American oak barrels for 48 months.
Produced from old vine Monastrell grown in the chalky soils of Jumilla, this is one delicious, traditionally made number. A serious wine, it shows intense yet light on its feet darker fruit, with a hint of sweetly fragrant candied orange peel and cinnamon, both of which bring to mind a Spanish take on Bandol, yet the long ageing in old American oak suggests old school Rioja as well. Enjoy Pradeaux? Tondonia? You get the picture. This is far and away the most intriguing and serious bottle of old school, fully mature Spanish red wine that we've come across in quite some time.