La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 2005 (4.8/5)
'Je suis un gars ben ordinaire...', I'm a pretty ordinary guy, Robert Charlebois was singing in 1970.
How wine has changed so much in just 40 years. How much hype, how much noise, how many excesses, how much confusion.
So? What Charlebois has to do with this wine?
Well, in such an era of excesses, an era full of false extra-ordinariness, this wine is one of the humblest and greatest examples of what a Fine Wine really is. Even more. It's an example of pretty extraordinary wine for pretty ordinary people.
Deeply rooted in its Terroir, Standard-bearer of its long traditions, Complex, Pure and Balanced, therefore Extremely Drinkable, Persistent in the mouth and Longevous in the cellar, Sublime for all senses and (last but not least) featuring a price tag that remains honestly down to earth. If you are thinking to a special fine wine to seriously enjoy and share with your family and friends this Christmas, then I won't spend any time/money elsewhere. Are not so many the wines of such a stature that you will be able to buy for a couple of tenners.
It appears med+ ruby/garnet with good tears. On the nose it's clean offering, with med+ intensity, developed and sensual notes of plums and macerated cherries, forest floor and pine needles, haematic/iron hints, leather and unsmoked tobacco leaves, baking spices. On the palate is dry, with med+ acidity, medium (very silky) tannins, medium alcohol, medium+ body with good concentration and a very savoury yet smooth mid palate and Medium+ finish. I found it more balanced and elegant than the 2004 vintage). Unbeatable food companion.
Outstanding quality, Premium Price but excellent value for money: you will find it at £20-£36 on the UK market. I've got it at the lowest end of this range, practically a bargain. Drink Now or in the next two decades or more. 90% Tempranillo (Briñas, Labastida and Villalba) and 10% Graciano (Briones and Rodezno), Rioja Alta, Spain.