Dinner with Ray and Marianne (Pine Close): Too young, but this was absolutely lovely. The nose was a classic Rioja blend of sweet American oak, hints of dill, a touch of earth, and then lovely wafts of dried cherries and wild berries dancing alongside drifts of dried flowers and smoky spice. Really, really pretty. It was every bit as good in the palate. Full, juicy, complete, this was an absolute blast, with lovely gobs of dark cherries and dried berries framed by chewy acidity and lovely silken tannins, and then nice drifts of spice and smoke and earth, all wrapped up into a beautifully integrated package. I loved the elegance and jewel-like clarity of the wine. With time, some earth and meat tones just crept around the edges and the tannins seemed to stiffen up a little. Absolutely delicious even now, but this should be amazing in 10-15 years.
Medium/deep ruby/garnet core, pale garnet/mahogany rim. Nose a touch reticent at first, opening to reveal youthful, pure blackcurrant fruit, vanilla, tobacco, touch of soil. Medium bodied on the palate with soft, velvety tannins, dark fruit, tobacco, vanilla - quite youthful in profile, lovely vibrant acidity carries an extended, harmonious finish. Drinking well, albeit with a young flavour profile and absolutely no need to hurry.
Felt more modern than I expected. It is quite massive at first, and it needs loooong decanting, at least 3 hours, before it starts to open up. Will give my next bottle more time Before I start to explore it!
The wine was medium to dark garnet in colour and offered red fruit, cherry, dill, coffee, cocoa, coconut, spices, vanilla and cinnamon on the nose. On the palate the wine showed red fruit, cherry, fresh herbs, dill, coffee, cocoa, coconut, sweet vanilla, cinnamon and clove, with medium-level acidity, medium-level tannin (fine but present) and superb length. The medium-bodied wine was balanced (despite tons of American oak), with good complexity, but while I acknowledge and value the quality of this wine I still prefer the juicier 2004 and 2005 Gran Reserva 904, which to me provide even more drinking pleasure - at a third of the price.
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