This wine is a blend of 80 % Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha (Grenache), maturation taking place in American oak (averaging 4 years old) for 36 months, bottled in March 2004 and alcohol is 13.5%. The designation of Especial is reserve for these exceptional vintages; La Rioja Alta has only given this designation on two previous vintages, the 1964 and 1973.
This wine opened up with a very mature and sensuous bouquet of wild berries, dried strawberries, dark plums, soft leather, tobacco leaf, gentle wood spices, cinnamon and vanilla notes. On the mouthfeel, medium bodied with soft spicy seductive fruit flavours, balanced acidity and soft silky tannins. This Rioja finish is very smooth with a beautiful silky texture. This is one of the most elegant and attractive wines I have enjoyed in a while. When I cellar a bottle of wine, this is the result I am anticipating. However, I didn’t have to cellar this Rioja since it was already aged for me; at $36.95 it represented a great value. What else can I say? An absolute beauty. Score 93 points