1981 Viña Real Gran Reserva Rioja (Previously $325)
Altogether appealing. Complex and rich in flavor, with ripe, chocolaty, plummy flavors accented by anise and smoke. Firmly tannic, but smooth- textured, and the finish lingers...
Vina Real is one of the three wineries that make up the Cune family of Rioja producers. The Viña Real label has existed since the 1920's, producing wines showcasing the character of Rioja Alavesa. However, it gained its own winery, an impressive feat of modern architecture designed by French architect Philippe Mazieres, in 2004 when the facility was designed and built exclusively for the production of Viña Real wines. The best fruit from the best Alavesa plots are selected for the Gran Reserva. According to tradition, initial fermentation takes place in a neutral vessal with frequent skin contact, finishing with malolactic fermentation is carried out in French and American oak barrels. It is then transferred to first to ask for the required extended aging, and then to bottle. Gran Reservas from top vintages can age decades.