1989 Remelluri Gran Reserva Rioja Spain. 13% alcohol. Imported by Tempranillo Imports, Mamaroneck, NY.
Soon after I got interested in wine, I read somewhere that buying three bottles of a particular wine, and then comparing them over time was a good approach. It's actually been quite interesting comparing Janet's and my individual reactions to the various trios. Here's a typical set of three notes, and the Parker review that encouraged me to buy the trio in the first place:
6/22/97 1989 Remelluri Gran Reserva Rioja Spain. Bertelli. $39.00. Janet: "Smells horrible. [Refused to taste it.]" Strong fruit aroma with herb overtones; medium red color; good fruit taste with mild tannins; fifteen second finish. 4*.
7/17/97 1989 Remelluri Gran Reserva Rioja Spain. Janet: "Very good." Excellent red color; limited aroma with elements of hickory nuts, spices, fruit and herbs; excellent mouth feel; complex taste of smoke, spices, chocolate, fruit and herbs; 30 second finish. 5*.
6/28/06 1989 Remelluri Gran Reserva Rioja Spain. Janet: "What a pretty aroma. This is very nice, isn't it." Pretty red color, medium hue, lovely aroma of fruit, spice, herbs, bit of earth, mushrooms; excellent fruit tastes earth, tobacco, herbs and chocolate; medium mouth feel; beautiful balance of mild tannins and a hint of acidity; light oakiness; long, long finish -- the entire package improved in the glass for over two hours. A very satisfying wine. 5*.
Parker 93. Only 250 cases of the 1989 Rioja Gran Reserva have been released. The last vintage that Remelluri declared a Gran Reserva was 1985. The 1989 exhibits an opaque garnet color, and a huge, provocative fragrance of hickory smoke, barbecue spices, chocolate, jammy black fruits, truffles, and herbs. The bouquet's immense complexity is followed by a wine of extraordinary power, richness, and body. Imagine a top Brunello di Montalcino aged in 100% new oak given an injection of steroids, and readers might have an image of just how rich and boldly-styled this Rioja has turned out. The wine boasts remarkable length, an unctuous texture, and plenty of tannin lurking beneath the layers of creamy, sweet (from ripeness, not sugar) fruit. Already stunning, this wine should drink well for a decade. This relatively young winery is one of the showcase producers for the newer style of Spanish reds - earlier bottling, small barrique aging, and an unmanipulated, artisanal style. I enjoyed Remelluri's debut releases, and the recent offerings have taken the intensity level to greater heights as the estate's vineyards have matured.