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2012 Bodegas Riojanas "Monte Real" Gran Reserva Rioja

SKU #1535981 93 points Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark This polished red shows focus and depth. Cherry and currant flavors are balanced by sanguine, mineral and anise notes. Firm, well-integrated tannins and balsamic acidity provide a balanced structure. Expressive and elegant. (TM) Inner quote mark (10/2020)

92 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark Balsamic berry fruit aromas are appropriate for a warm year like 2012. This is bullish and tannic, and definitely riper than most vintages of Monte Real gran reserva. Plum and prune flavors stay giant on a tannic finish. (MS) Inner quote mark (10/2020)

K&L Notes

Bodegas Riojanas is old school Rioja. It was founded in 1890 by the Artacho family who had been grape growers in the region long before then. They make traditionally styled Rioja, using Riojas classic ingredients, Tempranillo, American oak and time. Monte Real is one of the two prestige lines that the winery makes. Sourced from Tempranillo from the village of Cenicero. Located between the villages of Haro and Lorgrono this is Rioja Alta with its intensity and structure. The calling card of Monte Real is richness. The Gran Reserva has the poise that you would expect from a wine that has spent three years in oak and over 6 years in bottle along with the intensity, power and heartiness of a classic Monte Real.


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Price: $39.99

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Product Reviews:

By: Andrew Tobin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/29/2021 | Send Email
What is left to say at this point? I love Rioja, I always have, and I always will. Monte Real is one of the pillars of the region and is unconcerned about making modern, hip wine. They have been doing it forever and know exactly what they are about--making delicious, classic wine, and that is why we love them. It's not often we see vintage Rioja come through at this price, let alone a Gran Reserva, so that makes this a no-brainer, but it doesn't hurt that it is DELICIOUS! It's dark, dense, and dusty like the best of the region. The nose is brooding with notes of dark spice, dried fruit, and a savory undertone. The palate is even more expressive, opening with dark tart, dried cherries. The acid builds with the savory, salty center into darker, toastier notes of pepper, toasted oak, and dried purple flowers. It's a knockout bottle from a classic house, and you'll love it!

By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/29/2021 | Send Email
Hearty, rich, and toothsome (I love that word). There is nothing like the heady spice of a Gran Reserva Rioja and the complex interaction of fruit, oak, soil, and time that only comes from this special region. The fruit is all cherry, mostly tart dried cherry, but there is still a suggestion of fresh cherries at the end of the season. The oak is clean, spicy, and sweet. This is not an old library Rioja (which I love), but it does show the first hints of old, soft, worn-in leather with faint baking spices and a hint of mocha. There is a clean, dry earthiness, no funk, and an echo of minerality. That is just the nose! All of that is there on the rich palate, and that brings me back to "toothsome." This Gran Reserva has a chewy combination of sweet and savory flavors that caught me off guard. In the middle of all that fruit and spice, the tannins present themselves in such a way that you want to chew the wine, and I love when a wine surprises me like this. The wine has wonderful intensity. It is a mouthful of wine without being mouth filling, and it has a finish that goes on and on. It lingers with dried cherry, faint spice, and a hint of saltiness that makes you want to go back for more and more. This is a great wine now with a decant of at least thirty minutes or keep this in your cellar for another decade.

By: John Majeski | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/28/2021 | Send Email
Then it suddenly struck me, while watching the recently released nonstop mega-blockbuster King Kong vs. Godzilla (I won't give away the ending) and sipping this mega-delicious Gran Reserva... what unique flavor, in the arresting array of saddle leather, dried cherry, chewing tobacco and baking spice, continued to elude me? Well, our favorite Japanese saurian hurled a funny-colored rock that looked a lot like, like.... that's it, umeboshi, those preserved plums favorited throughout much of Asia for their pungent aroma and salt-sour piquancy. There you have it! Besides being a stunning, well-aged, mature Rioja that would embellish a rich paella or Moroccan tagine, it might just, along with thirsty approval from his buddy King Kong, save the world from evil, mechanized Godzillas. Oops, I gave away the ending.....

By: Chris DePaoli | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/16/2021 | Send Email
Elegant, sophisticated Rioja with game and berry, leather and spice notes floating on a dusty base that fades so pleasantly its hard to track. I've always loved the Monte Real's Reserva bottlings, and this Grand Reserva leverages that pedigree and fine origins wonderfully. Delicious.

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