As promised, here are my first tasting notes from La Rioja Wine Seminar at the Astor Center. In the 2nd hour they served up a group of nine Classic red wines from Spain, namely Reservas and Gran Reservas. According the governing traditions the Reservas must spend (at least) 1 year in oak barrels and 2 years in bottle; Gran Reservas spend (at least) 2 years in barrels and 3 years in bottle.
This one was one of my favorite wines of the day. The Monte Real GR blend is 80% Tempranillo, 15% Mazuelo and 5% Graciano, aged in American oak casks for 24 to 30 months and in bottle for 36 months. On the nose are beautiful bright cherries with aromatic spices and ripe summer fruits, while on the palate waves of dark fruit make for an excellent balance a and lush, long finish. I did a search and PJ Wine Co. has it listed retail at $26.99. This, I believe, is an amazing value.