A Little Gay

Pretty sure this was a Last Bottle find, and it’s been sitting around for a few years… Dark staining ruby in the glass, brush-fire nose packed with rich fruit and barrel-mellowed splendor. Dusty, smoky, but not a bit dank, it packs a herbs de Provence and cherry-pie see-saw into the bouquet: ripe, rubenesque, gorgeous layers of sweet tobacco and buttered waffles. Last Bottle wines are almost always quite large, and while I am always screaming, “KNOW YOUR REVIEWER!” in this case a small distributer of hand-selected bottles also seems to have a *type*. Sticking your nose into this one and looking at the color, you KNOW you’re in for a quite a dessert.

I’m actually a bit surprised by the initial mouth-feel. Barbed with angry rasp, it IS fairly large, but the fruit is not nearly as chubby or oak-ridden as I expected. Streamlined and distinctly un-concentrated-feeling, the cherry runs a cranberry and pomegranate direction instead of thick maraschino syrup. The dry scrape of chalkiness and acid appear almost at the get-go, and the youthfulness of the wine is shocking. A bitter muddle of briar and citrus take over the middle, green and stemmy, flush with peppery nuances almost suggesting American oak.

It’s a brash stew, completely agreeable to me, but I suppose the argument could be made of off-balance. But it’s not so much lack of balance as it is a wine with another 30 years to go. The perfume of the nose tells a story, the fruit clamoring for attention all over the body repeat it, and the structure has no flaws which would protrude awkwardly in later years. It’s all there. It’s just a baby-baby. Rich and fruity; powerfully bolted down; perfect color and density; a wine I think vast majorities of wine-drinkers would find un-agreeable at this juncture. There’s nothing really *old-world* about it either–other than its un-dying emphasis on acid and tannin. It hasn’t even BEGUN to polish and honestly drinks very Bordeaux-like. A touch warmer around the edges, perhaps, but this Tempranillo is not backing down to Parkerization or the American sweet tooth. It’s a lithe, violent beast and I wish I had a case of these. I mean: yGay is one of the greatest bargains in the world and this HAS to be right behind it.

2015 MARQUES de MURRIETA Rioja Reserva 14.0

https://www.marquesdemurrieta.com/bodegas-rioja/en/

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