Monday, October 29, 2012

Monte Real Gran Reserva 1998, Bodegas Riojanas DOCa Rioja Spain

According to the governing traditions the Reservas from Rioja 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.

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. I first sampled this in 2008 at the Astor Center's Rioja Wine Seminar where my notes are as follows:

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 and a 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.

Here are my notes on the same wine 4 years later at the "Spain's Great Match/WineFoodDesign" held in the Metropolitan Center in NYC this past week. 

Pale ruby colors in the glass with burnt orange around the rim, mild spices, white pepper, subdued, ripe cherry, smooth, mild wood, very smooth finish. Presently the SRP is $55.

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