Tiffany's Wine and Spirits in Kalamazoo, MI chose this as their "wine of the year" and it has also received notable praise from national critics.
As I was getting interested in wine in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Rioja was one of my early lovers. I had many fine bottles of Rioja Vega, Paternini, Olarra, Domecq Domaine and Ramon Bilbao. I opened a couple of these dusty bottles last summer and was not disappointed. Times have changed, though, and this Rioja is made in a bolder style, more like New World Cabernet or Super Tuscan wines.
Deep and dark. What jumps out at me first are strong scents of vanilla; to me, this means American oak, although the estate says it was aged 10 months in French oak. (Maybe it was a broad grained French oak). This vanilla, American oak character was a hallmark of the old Riojas, but Lindes de Remelluri is much more tannic than anything I tasted from the early 1980s. This is certainly not a wimpy Temperanillo but one ready to come out punching. Black fruit, coconut, dark chocolate and coffee on the palate. Right now, this wine is not for me, but I would like to see how the oak integrates with the fruit as the years go by.