Excellent. Nose of red fruits, leather and spices. The profile is outstanding, bright acidic underpinnings carry and soft but round tannins enclose a lengthy profile that starts bright and darkens before slowly trailing off.
As I taste this wine, two oenological aphorisms come to mind: 1) "There are no great wines, only great bottles"; and 2) "The best wines don't come from the best vintages".
This bottle illustrates both. 2002 was a difficult vintage in Rioja, but I could only call this bottle EXCEPTIONAL. I'm honestly tasting flavors I've never encountered in wine before (and they're all good!). If LdH could figure out how to make every bottle taste like this one, they'd command Pingus prices.
This is all the more puzzling (or perhaps not) because the last bottle of 2002 LdH Rioja Reserva Viña Tondonia wasn't like this at all, pretty tight and austere. And this one isn't huge or highly extracted, not at all; just.....exotic, a wild profusion of delicate, vaguely citrusy flavors, combined with sherry-ish oxidized notes, all in perfect harmony.
I wish I'd waited for company to open this one up. I might never find a bottle of Rioja like this again.
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