Senorio Amezola DOC Rioja Reserva, Bodegas Amezola de la Mora, La Rioja, Spain, 2006
In Rioja DOC and DOCa (Ca = calificada = qualified) are synonymous; in Catalan Priorat, instead, DOQ is used (Q=qualificada).
The bodega is in the heart of Rioja Alta, at 600-750m, protected from northern winds by the Cantabrian Mountains, giving a cool climate with slow ripening and red fruit notes; calcareous clay soils. A traditional Riojan blend, with 85% tempranillo, 10% mazuelo (aka carignan) and 5% graciano.
This wine: fermentation in temperature-controlled stainless steel, then MLF to soften acidity, then oak aged in 40% French and 60% American oak for a total of 24 months; natural cork closure, 14% abv, £16 Wine Society (2013).
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, medium intensity garnet, showing tears.
Nose: clean on the nose, pronounced intensity, developing, with slightly high-toned aromas of peony, then dried rose bud, stewed red berries, dark plum jam, blackberry boiled sweets, warm dried fruits – currants and sultanas, liquorice, sweet rich warm tobacco, a rich warm beeswax note, and a whiff of vanilla.
Palate: a dry wine, with medium (+) acidity, smooth well-integrated fine-grained medium (-) tannins, medium (+) alcohol and a medium body, with a medium (+) intensity, a smooth texture, with flavours of black berry boiled sweets, red plum jam, stewed red plums, macerated red cherries and sweet rich preserved black cherries. A medium (+) length with a clean fresh macerated red berried finish with a smooth low-key grip.
Quality: a very good quality wine, just on the turn to a garnet hue, developing but heading towards fully developed; decent acidity and smooth fine-grained waning tannins match the alcohol and rich flavour intensity. A complex nose with lots of tertiary nuances, following through to a decent flavour concentration reflected in the decent but not outstanding length.
Readiness for drinking/potential for ageing: absolutely ready now, but has the structure and intensity, with a well-developed complexity, to suggest improvement with further cellaring over 2-3 years.