Terrific Rioja Reserva in great shape tonight. Nose an appealing blend of primary and secondary characteristics, with plummy and macerated cherries bound in earth and leather, with faint tendrils of vanilla and cinnamon one presumes from the oak. Tending toward the silky at this point relative to texture, it's attenuated but not thin, showing breed and elegance. Tannins are very smooth and if not the most refined, at least provide a graceful exit. Just 13%. Baby come back.
Consumed at Bazaar Restaurant (Jose Andres place). Wonderful strong aromas of cherry, flowers and meatiness. Smells like a great Barolo. Great combo of sweet and smoky fruit in the mouth. Somewhat high in acid, but not overly so.
Tasting Group Dinner - Spain (Solera, Minneapolis): Interesting note of melted chocolate on the nose. On the palate, this is an elegant, classic, complete Rioja, with lovely mid-weight cherry/raspberry fruit, complex earthy flavors, and dusty minerals. Great balance. Smooth, supple texture. Excellent stuff that seems to be in its optimal drinking window.
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