Historical Rioja from 1982 back to 1928


  1. La Rioja Alta 1982 Gran Reserva 904
    Open, very approachable and creamy wine.
    Relatively light-weight with distinctive oxidative character and fine acidity. Beautiful filligree, yet dark sweetness, fruit in rum, leather, some road tar, raisins and dried herbs. Lacking midpalate density and length.
    Still nice but- typical for the vintage- poorly structured and to be consumed now.
  2. Contino 1981 Reserva
    Distinct 1981 Rioja, solid structured, youthful and very present wine. Aromatically on the dark side with dark chocolate, tar, pencil lead and blackberries. Freshly-cut herbs join in. Precise freshness, complexity and depth show on palate. Harmonious, yet exciting with good length and grip.
    Strong with great future potential, but beautiful to drink.
  3. Cartoixa Scala Dei 1975 Priorat
    A pirat from Priorat sneaked in with brilliant darkness, density and robustness.
    Black fruits, hot asphalt, some iron and dried herbs. Solid structured with vital tannins and wild acidity.
    Lacking sophistication and harmony- more bone than flesh. Still cool!
  4. Marqués de Riscal 1968 Reserva
    Elegant, velvety and nicely matured wine of meaty sweetness and red fruits. Harmoniously packed with present acidity and fine tannins. Definitely not a perfect bottle, still nice, but a little short and easy.IMG_0191
  5. CVNE 1970 Corona Blanco
    Restraint aromatics of honey, little sweetness, fine herbs and hay. Filligree residual sweetness and intriguing freshness in a silky textured package of tropical fruit and a entertaining play of sweet and tart.
    Vital, easy-drinking and refreshing. Pretty nice!
  6. Paternina 1964 Monte Haro Blanco
    Concentrated, sweet and juicy wine of tropical fruit, banana, honey, cheese and resin. Distinct traces of petrol and firn. Fresh, beautiful and complex.
  7. CVNE 1964 4° Ano Blanco
    Fresh, light-weight and perfectly balanced wine with present cedary oak. Focused, fresh and delicate sweetness comes with fine herbs. While light as feather, this wine shows perfect density, complexity and presence. Great!
  8. Federico Paternina 1964 Blanco Seco
    Unfortunately this wine suffered TCA.
  9. Glorioso 1955 Reserva Especial
    Another one flawed :/IMG_0164
  10. Berberana 1952 Cosecha Especial
    Quiet, elegant and mature nose of cherries, plums, sweet vanilla, oak, licorice and leather. Some black tea, herbs and mushroom. Beautiful and fascinating to drink with intriguing depth, mild acidity and integrated tannins.
    Delicious and exciting with good length, persistence and potential.
  11. Berberana 1952 Gran Reserva
    Berberana´s Gran Reserva shows more rustic and robust than the Cosecha Especial. Black and dark fruit, tobacco, exotic spices, wood and tea leaf. Matured, but very much alive; flavor- and structure-wise.
    Medium-bodied, harmonious with nice sweetness.
  12. Martinez Lacuesta 1928 Reserva Especial
    Corked as well :/IMG_0176
  13. Federico Paternina 1928 Gran Reserva
    All´s well that ends well. Very healthy, youthful and vibrant wine with delicate, excellent freshness and present, yet fine and dancing acidity. Grip, darkness and drive with aromatics of fresh and dried herbs, little fruit in rum, road tar and pencil lead. More than memorable wine that seems to be ignoring its actual age.


Tasting Note: Cvne 2004 Rioja Imperial Gran Reserva


1. Introduction:
CVNE (Compañia Vinícola del Norte de España) was founded in Rioja in 1879 and was one of the wineries defining the classic Rioja style. Today it is still among Rioja´s best producers with high quality wines across the board of their product range.
As some producers started to adopt more modern winemaking techniques resulting in richer, less elegant wines and others stuck persistently with the traditional Rioja style, Cvne found a middle course between innovation and tradition with little changes in vineyard management and winemaking, without losing their distinct character.
The 2004 Rioja Imperial Gran Reserva is Wine Spectator´s “Wine of the Year 2014”.
Our bottle and cork are flawless. 13,5% alc.

2. Appearance:
Deep ruby/ purple.
Vital, dense and shining in the glass.

3. Nose:
Dark, Ripe Berries, Cherries and little Plum. Jammy.
Some Herbs and Violets. Earthy characters, Pencils Shavings and Mineral Notes.
Present Oak.
Fresh and dense aromatics!

4. Taste:
Fresh and fruit-driven on the palate with a mix of Dark, Ripe Fruit (mostly Plum & Cherry).
Herbs, Licorice and Tobacco. Some exotic spices.
Vital acidity with decent, but grippy tannins.
Finishes long, fresh and harmonious with Fruit and Mild Spiciness.
Firmly structured and present, but very silky and elegant!

5. Opinion:
Dominated by fresh and beautiful fruit characters, this wine is perfectly balanced and very enjoyable. It is approachable now, but has the substance for long term aging.
Depth, concentration and complexity in an elegant combination!


Tasting Note: Marqués De Murrieta 2005 Gran Reserva, Rioja


1. Introduction:
After tasting a memorable 1942 Castillo Ygay recently, Marqués De Murrieta attracted my interest.
The Marqués De Murrieta Gran Reserva is sourced from the 300 hectars (741 acre) of the Ygay Estate vineyards that surround the winery located in the southern part of Rioja Alta.
The wine is a traditional Rioja blend of Tempranillo (in 2005: 84%), Granacha Tinta (13%) and Mazuelo (3%) aged for 22 months in American Oak Barrels.
Bottle and cork are flawless. 14% alc.

2. Appearance:
Dark velvet.
Vital, dense and bright!

3. Nose:
A lot of Dark, Ripe Fruits. Light Fruit in Rum.
Herbs and Dark Chocolate come with Floral and Perfumy Aromatics.
Interesting Mineral Freshness.
Inviting, soft and elegant!

4. Taste:
Dark Berries and Cherries.
More characteristic Minerality and Freshness in a beautiful play of Fruit, Oak and Soft Tannins.
Dense and harmonious with power and depth.
Finishes long with tons of Fruit, little Coolness and decent Peppery Spicyness.

5. Opinion:
Powerful aromas and flavors come with finesse and accessibility.
Harmonious elegance with nice complexity.
A great, fruit-driven wine with distinct minerality to drink now or to keep for another 5 to 10 years.

The legendary 1942 Castillo Ygay