Wraysbury Dinner (Home): Mid ruby, reasonably bright. My third bottle of this in eighteen months, and from a stunning bottle initially, the second was a little less composed, and this one a step further down whilst still being a very good mature Rioja, it lacked the pizzazz of that first bottle. A touch of coffee, less of the orange peel than one might have expected. Still reasonably plush fruit, but just lacking that little something. Can't argue with bottle variation after 40 years though! ***1/2
Proper wine. Fully mature. Classic orange peel. A faint waft of coffee grounds and earl grey. The lifted scent of bergamot flowers. Very smooth and elegant. Sensual and silky. Vestiges of sweet fruit but very much back in the chorus and not a soloist. Lovely, but lacks depth and density of fruit cf previous bottle of this. ****
Tasted alongside it's stablemates, the Vina Real and Imperial from CVNE Stiffest competition provided by the Vina Real but this debut vintage from Contino gave no ground to its more historic sibling. Lovely colour, deeper and redder than either of the other 73's. Classic old Rioja nose of orange peel, rose petals and camphor. Richer fruit on the palate (a Contino characteristic in my experience) Beautifully evolved on the palate but not tiring in any way, this has years ahead of it. Gorgeous wine.
My 40th at The Ledbury (The Ledbury, London): Drunk alongside the 73 CVNE Vina Real and Imperial GRs. Denser fried, more coffee cream and a good whiff of bergamot alongside the orangepeel on the nose. Closer to the VR than the Imperial in that on palate as well as nose it has a classic orange peel old Rioja profile, but the fruit is a little lusher and the nose slightly less aromatically lifted and ethereal. Gorgeous wine. Long, complex and complete. A little more stuffing than the VR though onhe night I think I prefer that for its nose and filigree quality. I suspect however that I'd change my mind several times over the course of an evening with these two bottles. *****
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