Classic vs. Modern Rioja Masterclass w/ Pomeroy MW

The Wine Sellar and Brassiere

Tasted July 15, 2021 by R2-D2 with 69 views

Flight 1 (4 notes)

Red
2008 R. López de Heredia Rioja Reserva Viña Tondonia Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
92 points
This older, classic style of Rioja needs a bit of air before captivating your senses with the wonderful aromas of bottle bouquet. Basically, where all the mature aromas come together as an integrated, complex, melded experience. In this case, prunes, cooked plum, mushroom, dried cherry, forest floor, truffle, leather, and iron ooze from the glass. Aged in large old wooden vats for 6 years and aged another 4 years in bottle before release gives the wine a dry, oxidative style on the palate in the form of puckery cherry fruit, smoked meat, and salted nuts. Fine-grained tannins and balanced acidity provide structure for mid-term if not a solid decade of cellar time. A good, not great example of a classic Rioja.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2011 La Rioja Alta Rioja Gran Reserva 904 Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
94 points
Ruby colored with garnet highlights, this classic style of Rioja shows a complex nose of caramel, cherry licorice, mint, dried herbs, cocoa, and a whiff of brett. The wine spends a whopping 72 days macerating to extract every ounce of tannin from the grapes, which come across as very grippy in the mouth. It's accompanied by vibrant red fruits, cinnamon, savory earth, and a long finish. I found it to be powerful and elegant at the same time.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Bodegas Muga Rioja Torre Muga Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
93 points
An impressive modern-styled Rioja that is as deep in color as it is in intensity. 18 months of new French Oak aging imparts a heavy dose of spice and espresso on top of the thick black fruits, herbal, and earthy flavors. Concentrated, chewy tannins are bit much right now. So, no reason to drink this any time soon.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Bodegas Roda Rioja Roda Reserva Spain, La Rioja, Rioja
90 points
Modern-styled, deeper ruby-colored Rioja that would easily be confused with any ripe Paso Robles wine. Aromas of baking spices and ripe berries give way to a sweet, confected berry palate that oozes with chocolate and vanilla extract. Surprisingly, this was aged in a mix of new and old French barrels rather than American barrels. Tannins were noticeably softer than the other Rioja wines presented to the class. Good wine, but nothing distinguishable that says "Rioja".
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