Sunday, January 17, 2016

Lindes de Remelluri de San Vicente Rioja, 2011

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.

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