Rioja Reserva 2015
This nectar is a blend of Tempranillo (94%), Garnacha (called Graciano at these latitudes, 4%) and Mazuelo (2%) from Rioja region. According to Spanish law, Reserva wines have to age at least 36 months, whose 12 months in oak. This wine slept 20 months in mixed oak barrels of American staves and French tops. Gnerally the American oak gives notes of vanilla and coconut, while the French one gives spices. After this period, it aged other 18 months in bottle. Salud!
In the glass the wine has a brilliant ruby colour. The intensity is medium. It is clear with no traces of deposits.
The aromas intensity is pronounced. Immediately the nostrils are overwhelming by a blaze of ripe black cherry and blackberry. There are also quite persistent note of liquorice and black pepper. The vanilla dominates the secondaries, but there is even a hint of coffee and cedar. The fine leather is the predominant tertiary aroma.
In the mouth, the wine is dry with a high level of acidity. The tannins are medium plus, but incredibly silky. The alcohol is high (i.e. 14.5%), enough to warm up your palate without burning. The black fruits are riper almost cooked. But notes of liquorice, bramble and spices keep the aromatic palette quite vibrant. The secondaries aromas remember the vanilla, a delicate clove, charred wood and smoke. As tertiaries, we still taste the leather but also earthy notes. The intensity is pronounced and the lasting is long.
This nectar ticks all the boxes. I particularly enjoyed the richness of the black fruits and spices, including a long lasting liquorice. It is perfect to wash down a Sunday lunch, less so to support yourself during a session with the psychoanalyst. The tertiaries are still developing.
Final vote: 90
Price: £15.99 at Waitrose.com