Bodegas y Vinedos Artadi, Pagos Viejos, DOCa Rioja, Rioja Alavesa, La Rioja, Spain, 2010
Briefly, on Rioja, its sub-regions and wine styles (courtesy of the Wine Society).
This wine: lot No. L12208-PV (below back label), varietal tempranillo (aka in Spain – aragonez, cencibel, tinto fino, ull de llebre, and others), fermented in open-topped wooden vats, then aged for 15 months in French oak barrels – so a crianza, long (50mm) coated natural cork closure, with tartrate crystals adhering to the underside, 14.5% abv, Gauntleys, £48.32 (12/18)
Consumer tasting note: a mature pure tempranillo, modern style fruit driven Rioja, aged in French oak, full of stuffing and beautifully balanced despite the high(ish) alcohol. Showing rich aromas of black berries and fruits with warm black liquorice, black cherry liqueur, spicy, and a touch of red plum; full bodied, with velvety understated tannins supported by adequate acidity, with a profile of of warm black cherry, black currant boiled sweets, cedar, savoury and more black liquorice. Finishes long.
Drink now – RTD, and will keep for 2-5 years – Wait. No need to decant, but store upright for 48 hours before broaching.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity ruby, showing tears [tiny quantities of both soft sediment and tartrate crystals]
Nose: clean, pronounced intensity, fully developed, with aromas as they come, of a touch of farmyard, waxy, mixed black berry jam, spicy, warm black liquorice, black plum jam, black cherry, stewed red plum, a savoury edge, black cherry liqueur, old polished wood, a slight lactic nuance.
Palate: dry, medium acidity, velvety medium tannins, high alcohol, full body, medium (+) intensity, a silky texture, with flavours of black cherry, black currant boiled sweets, a very slight lactic nuance, a savoury edge, a hint of cedar, hints of black liquorice. A long length with a clean finish of black fruit boiled sweets, an edge black liquorice, and a touch savoury on the end.
Quality: very good, well balanced just sufficient acidity and velvety tannins with the high(ish) alcohol, which does not dominate; a strong intensity throughout, with slightly lesser concentration, showing a pretty much fully developed better than moderate complexity, with evidence of MLF (lactic), time in deftly used oak (cedar, old polished wood, spice), and in bottle (cedar, cooked fruits, farmyard, old polished wood, wax). Finishes long, at ~30s.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: drink now, unsuited to further ageing, but will keep for say 2-5 years – a sound acid-subdued tannin structure, pretty much fully developed, with plenty of intensity and concentration to hold up over a few years.