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Rioja DOC Gran Reserva "Vina Albina", Bodegas Riojanas 1998


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From one of the oldest Rioja producers, Bodegas Riojanas started in 1890 in Rioja Alta. It is still run by members of the founding family. This is the flagship wine made from a selection of old vines in the estate's vineyards in Cenicero, Sonsierra, and Villalba de Rioja. It is notable for having a high percentage of Tempranillo, eighty percent, and the rest Graciano and Mazuelo. The grapes are harvested manually and brought to the winery in small boxes. In the gravity-flow winery, the grapes are vinified traditionally with long maceration. The wine is aged in old American oak barrels for 30 months and in bottle for another 36 months before release. 1998 is one of the most outstanding vintages for this venerable Gran Reserva. it is very drinkable now because of good ripeness and exceptional finesse. Well concentrated and structured it shows potential to improve for many more years.

"Medium red. Captivating aromas of redcurrant, candied cherry, rhubarb, vanilla bean, cured tobacco, cedar, mocha and dried flowers. An elegant, suave midweight with wonderfully sweet, mellow red fruit flavors and an array of exotic spice accents. The supple, persistent finish features lingering cherry and red berry flavors." 92/100 Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

"The Vina Albina gran reservas are very good. The Gran Albina 1998, with twenty percent Graciano and ten percent Mazuelo, is exceptionally good and has considerable aging potential." Julian Jeffs, The Wines of Spain