Campo Viejo, Gran Reserva, DOCa Rioja, La Rioja, Spain, 2009
This wine: The typical Riojan blend of tempranillo, graciano and mazuelo (aka carinena, samso, carignan …); released after 2 years minimum in oak and 3 years minimum in bottle; natural cork closure, 13.5% abv, widely available, ~£14 (2016)
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, medium intensity ruby, showing tears.
Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, developing, with aromas as they come, of red plum, toast, sweet spice, vanilla, cinnamon, creamy coconut, stewed red cherry, dried currants, a savoury note, black cherry, warm liquorice, sweet black currant.
Palate: a dry wine, medium (+) acidity, ripe and drying medium (+) tannins, medium (+) alcohol and a medium body, medium (+) intensity, with a sweetness of ripe black fruit in mid-palate, with flavours of red and black cherry, black currant, dried berries, dried herbs, liquorice and tobacco. A medium length with a liquorice-sweet tobacco, quite drying finish.
Quality: a good quality wine, drying tannins are a dominant feature, which upsets the balance somewhat; still, shows modest concentration of flavour, and interesting complexity with sweet spice and toast from oak ageing, and tertiary development with dried fruit and tobacco notes. But, a very modest length.
Readiness for drinking/potential for ageing: drink now, not suitable for further ageing – there is neither the concentration of flavour nor indicative length to suggest any benefit from further time in cellar, and I feel that the tannins no longer have the time to resolve.