Jan 31, 2012

2001 Baron de Ley Gran Reserva (Rioja)

Quickly - name how many mature wines can you find in your local Alko wine shop for 23 Eur or less? Indeed, not many, and they are mostly Spanish Grand Reservas. And here is a treat, a 2001 Baron de Ley Gran Reserva, made of grapes grown in a good vintage, however with surprising resemblance to a semi-mature wine from another, more famous wine area...

A friend of mine tipped that the wine gives you the impression of a a left bank bordeaux - what, say that again? Oh just try it. The nose gives you leather, cedar, ripe plum, strawberry, spices and barnyard notes, evolving to even coca-cola after long decanting. The cedar notes would place this one up in the north in Saint Estephe, however the plum is more of a merlot character (which also cultivated on the left bank, however cabernet sauvignon dominates there), and the barnyard is trademark of tempranillo. After all, it is a tempranillo-meets-bordeaux style of wine.

Ok, a tempranillo from a good vintage, thus opulent fruit was the expectation. And the wine delivers just that, the palate is full of sweet fruit (cherry) mixed with cedar as well as vanillin, obviously from the long barrel maturation. A long, pleasant aftertaste which turns to dried raisins and cherry after long decanting. With plenty of structure, this one is completely in balance and should age well for at least the next 10 years. Full bodied however with integrated tannins. Be patient with this one after opening the bottle, a long decanting will reward you.

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