2011 Bodegas Riojanas ‘Monte Real’ Gran Reserva
Made From: Tempranillo
Tastes Like: Dried Red Fruit, Tobacco, Leather, Spice
Bodegas Riojanas is not only one of the oldest wineries in Spain’s Rioja region, it’s also one of our all-time favorite producers. More than 130 years after their founding, they still produce traditional styles of Rioja with American oak aging, even as others shift to predominantly French oak. That means their wines show more flavors we typically associate with classic Rioja (and indeed, the Tempranillo grape), such as coconut and dill, on top of varietal cherry and leather. The medium-to-full bodied 2011, which was aged in American oak barrels for 30 months, is dense and broody, with aromas of blackberry, black cherry, and earth wafting out of the glass. Flavors of dried plums, tobacco, and oaky vanilla abound, finishing with long-lasting leathery notes. Ranked #85 in Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 Cellar Selections of 2019, this will age beautifully over the next decade or two. 93 Points, Wine Enthusiast; 93 Points, Tim Atkin.