So who wants a Rioja that drinks like yGay, Faustino and Tondonia–WAY above standard Murrietta or Riscal or Campo Viejo–for half the price? Me does. Blisteringly young–only a year of bottle-age beyond the standard 18 mos–but showing the fruit and tight polish of a sublime, indefinitely-ageable Reserva. Nice medium ruby in the glass, with vague hints of amber at the rim. Nose of deep dark cherry, slight classic cellar-funk, weedy, smoky, and peppery, lavish plum and peach expressing proudly at all points.
Equally beautiful on the palate, dense maneuverings of rich berry reined back by pungent American oak and aching minerality. Dry and sharp throughout, crystalline kisses of tannin pumping through the late-entry, middle and forever finish. The value presented by Rioja is often hit-or-miss, and many can suffer fruit-deficiencies within a half-decade, but I’m willing to bet the bank on this ridiculous value. It has everything you’re looking for in a cellar-stash and nothing you don’t need. Stunningly classic and well-made.
2018 VINA MARICHALAR ‘Reserva’ Temp/GR 85/15 Rioja DOC Spain 13.5