1994 Condado de Haza Ribera del Duero Spain. I purchased this wine in the spring of 1997, on the strength of this ad: Bertelli. $10.99. From Alejandro Fernandez, the maker of the famed Pesquera, this wine is lovely! It was recently faced-off against older and far pricier Spanish wines and guess what - that's right, this was our favorite. If this 'baby Pesquera' can deliver this much flavor and personality, we can't wait for big brother! From what is shaping up to be a spectacular Rioja vintage, this is one great buy! On the cost-to-pleasure meter, and this one's definitely a top contender for wine-of-the-year!"
Parker added some details: "This winery, owned by Pesquera's Alejandro Fernandez, is doing whole cluster fermentation and aging the wines for 15 months in American oak barrels. The 100% Tempranillo vineyard was planted by Fernandez in the 1980s on a south-facing slope. The first two vintages of this wine to be shipped internationally, 1994 and 1995, are extraordinarily impressive."
It is amazing how well this little wine has developed -- my first notes eight years ago complained about lack of aroma, harsh tannins, good fruit but lack of balance. Here's what eight years in a cold cellar can do.
Deep red color, deep hue, no bricking at all; complex aromas of earth, chocolate, tobacco and fruit, complex flavors of fruit, spice, earth and chocolate; medium mouth feel, good tannins, smooth and in great balance with a bit of acidity, long lingering finish with many grace notes -- spice, chocolate, fruit. Threw a small deposit. 4*.