Friday, May 6, 2011

Roda I Reserva 2001

A couple of weeks ago we opened a 1996 Roda I Reserva and truly loved the wine. You can read about that wine here.

Since that time my mind has been preoccupied with wondering about the 2001 version of this wine that was resting in the cellar.  Curiosity got the best of me and I opened one of the two bottles from that vintage.  I was more than impressed, I was overwhelmed.

We decanted the wine for half an hour.  The nose was still closed at that time but after a few more minutes and some serious swirling we got wonderfully ripe red and black fruit, dry dusty earth, herbs, some spice and some wonderful meaty aromas.  The first sip was remarkable.  It was full of tart, sweet cherries, blackberries, licorice, warm earthy spices and a distinct minerality.  Very full bodied wine but balanced by acidity and prominent tannin that wrapped around the tongue.  It might have been easier to check the length of the finish with an hourglass rather than a watch.

There were rib eye steaks from the grill, coated with a mixture of salt, pepper, pimenton, ancho chili powder, and a tiny bit of sugar.  Full flavored and rich, and a perfect foil for the wine.  There was nothing shy about either of them and the crust on the steak was more than delicious with the wine.   

The 2001 was definitely a younger wine, and it tasted that way.  It was much more full of itself and more forward.  The 1996 was elegant and very feminine.  The 2001 was more athletic - bigger muscles with  better tone and more definition in its framework.  It will be fun to see where this vintage goes over the next several years.

Impossible to choose a favorite between the two, and I certainly wouldn't want to choose anything other than more of each.  Both were wonderful bottles of wine.

Now, if I close my eyes I can here my lone bottle of the 2004 Roda 1 calling softly from the cellar.  But that wine will have to wait a few years.

$70 and 14.5% alcohol.

A personal note:  I finally made the decision that  it is time to stop working and start spending more time doing other things, like drinking wine and traveling.  May and June will henceforth be known as the months of drinking wonderful wines as I lead up to and then move beyond the May 27 retirement date. We'll go back to cheaper wines after that.

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