Urbina, Gran Reserva Especial, DOCa Rioja, Spain, 1994
Rioja Alta – so decent acidity, a blend of 95% tempranillo, with mazuelo and graciano. Mandatory 24 months ageing in oak barrels – 12 in new, 12 in 3-5 year old, and over 5 years in bottle before release. Natural cork closure, 13% abv, Weavers, £29
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity tawny, showing tears.
Nose: clean on the nose, of medium (+) intensity, fully developed, with slightly lifted aromas of dried red fruits – red cherry and red currant, a deep note of peony, prunes, vanilla, a low-key whiff of wood, and with a little time showing lightly high-toned notes of raisins and currants, and sweet tobacco.
Palate: a dry wine, medium (+) acidity, medium drying tannins, medium alcohol and a medium body, medium intensity, with flavours of stewed over-ripe red berries, floral peony, dried berries, and with a little time, sultanas and currants. A long length with a slight bitterness on a dried berry finish.
Quality: a very good quality wine, fully developed with a tawny-brown hue and dominant tertiary notes, that is about to fall off its peak, with moderately drying tannins which together with the acidity, is just a little out of harmony with alcohol, and with a light bitterness on the finish, which detracts. Nevertheless this is a wine showing rich and interesting complexity, with good concentration of flavour reflected in the long length.
Readiness for drinking/potential for ageing: this wine is for drinking now, and is not suitable for further ageing.