2004 Miguel Merino Gran Reserva Rioja
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2004 Grand Reserva is Tempranillo blended with 4% Graciano from three vineyards, two planted in 1931 and a third, 'La Loma,' planted in 1946 near Briones. It is matured for 26 months in Allier and American barrels. It has a very harmonious bouquet with dark plum, singed leather, sous-bois and game that is very well-defined and classic in style. The palate is medium-bodied with elegant, fine tannins matched with well-judged acidity, the finish is a little dry and savory with hints of cocoa on the long aftertaste. This is an excellent Gran Reserva. Drink now-2020.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright ruby-red. Highly aromatic nose shows a distinctly oaky quality, with ripe cherry, vanilla and coconut scents complicated by an exotic flourish of cocoa powder and anise. Deep bitter cherry and dark chocolate flavors gain sweetness in the glass, picking up a raspberry preserve quality. Impressively concentrated, lively wine with a sweet, supple, long finish.
We are very pleased to be focusing on 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 along 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 2 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). This Gran Reserva is from some of their oldest Tempranillo and Graciano vines, planted in 1931 and 1946. It is elegant, generous and a precociously delicious treat for now, or over the next 15 years. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish wine buyer)