Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Rioja Gran Reserva

The first true highlight of the year has come and gone, and with a little willpower I made it last two days.

That highlight was a Ramirez de la Piscina Rioja Gran Reserva from the 2001 vintage.  Amazing stuff.

The wine is 100% Tempranillo from 30+ year old vines.  After fermentation it spends two years in wood and then ages for three more years after bottling before its release. 

The first night was with a grilled, prime strip steak.  I decanted half the bottle two hours before dinner and vacuumed the remainder of the wine.  There were strong aromas of earth and herbs and spice sitting on top of a base of ripe fruit.  Super pleasant.  It was medium red color with a bit of orange at the rim.  Warm and wonderful taste of spiced fruit and earth and a sense of elegance and maturity.  The finish was lengthy.  With the steak the earthiness was pronounced and strong.  A great meal and it was very difficult to not drink the second half of the bottle.

The next night there was a plain, oven roasted chicken with carrots and onions and saffron rice.  On this night the earthiness of the saffron brought the fruit to the front of this wine.  The dryness of the wine matched well with the juiciness of the chicken, the wine cleaning the palate after the richness of the chicken coated the mouth.  It is impossible to pick a favorite meal with this wine since it was brilliant with both meals.  I hope this is an omen for a great year.  One more bottle in the cellar.

2001 Ramirez de la Piscina, Rioja Gran Reserva.  14% alcohol and $39.

No comments: