I haven't had a good Rioja in a while. I like them, but the old style, with its heavy-handed use of American oak, always leaves me wondering what the heck to eat with it. This one is very good, but it shows the heavy oak.
Very dark, surprisingly youthful color: very dark ruby violet. Intense concentrated cherry extract fruit on the nose, but it's in neck-and-neck competition with intensely -- almost resiny -- oakiness. Youthful-tasting as well, with bring, penetrating flavors of dark cherry, liquid graphite, and some intense oakiness. Full-bodied, and with a nice freshness in the finish, this wine still has some youthfully tight, fine-grained tannin. This will age slowly and nicely for at least another 5 years. B+ if you are an admirer of this style. Was $12.99 from WTSO.com, making it an excellent value. Imported by Classic Wines, Stamford, CT.