Our regular group got together to taste Spanish tempranillo wines. Little experience with this grape, or Spain for that matter, but found it very interesting with some nice wines.
<b>1998 Marques de Riscal, Gran Reserva, Rioja</b> - soft, somewhat muted and disappearing fruit and showing acid on the palate. Interesting but going down hill. 16 1/2
<b>1995 Rioja Alta Gran Reserva, Rioja</b> - Nice nose, typical temranillo palate, integrated but oak still rumbling in the background. Imagine this was quite oaky when younger. Fun to drink 17 1/2
<b>1996 condo de Haza, Ribera del Duero</b> - dark in color, med bodied, seemed balnced with nice fruit and soft sense of oak with a good dose of poop on the nose. 18-
<b>1996 Montecello Gran Reserva, Rioja</b> - Subtle sweet fruit and a very long finish. A very pleasant wine and still available locally for $22. 18+
<b>1996 Prado Enea Gran Reserva Muga, Rioja</b> - Light in color, lavendar on the nose, excellent fruit, soft and balanced. WOTN for most 18 1/2
<b>2001 Jarrante, Rioja</b> - Quite balanced with nice fruit. Noted few details but it was in the top three wines and quite nice. 18 +
<b>2003 Artadi Vinas de Gain, Rioja</b> - tight, tannic and unyielding. Lighter bodied than the color would indicate but probably just way too young and will show better in a few years. 17 1/2
<b>2003 Emilio Moro, Ribera del Duero</b> - huge tannic finish, very dark fruit, too young to show much but like the Artadi will probably open up in a few years. 17 1/2
The '96 vintage appeared to be quite nice based on our sampling. The '03 wines were way too young and needed several more years. Based on my limited experience it appears that 5-10 years is a good age point for drinking most Spanish tempranillo but will yield to others with more knowledge. Was pleasantly surprised that oak was not as dominate as I would have expected as this was why I gave up drinking many Spanish wines 10+ years ago.