Sunday, February 08, 2009

Maturing Rioja

Wine doesn't have to be cellared a long time in order to "improve". In fact, most wine is made for immediate consumption and it's only the minority that needs long term cellaring in order to reach prime time. However, I am convinced that just laying a bottle down undisturbed in a cool, dark place for about 6 months does indeed improve it's character. For example, I had a bottle of the Baron de Ley, Reserva, Rioja, 2002 about 6 months ago and thought it a competent, good wine but nothing special. So it was a nice surprise that when opening another bottle recently I was met with a "wow" wine. Classic old style Spanish, it offers a cedar, vanilla and cinammon nose. Medium bodied, woody, creamy with smooooth tannins, stewed plums and a little toffee. Koko got a little smoked/cured Serrano "jamon" action on her palate. This stuff turns out to be a bargain at $20.
Another (pleasant) surprise was the Castellani, Sergio, Rosso Veronese 2000. This wine is made in the amarone style by drying the grapes in ventilated crates before fermenting, albeit for a shorter time than real amarone (only 2 months). This drying process raises the flavour profile as well as the alcohol content of the wine. Full bodied, dense, tannic and chewy with leather and mushrooms. A little hot on the finish. Good wine, a fair bit cheaper than amarone, worth the $22.
Cheers!!

4 Comments:

At 11:22 AM , Anonymous Michael said...

This is a great review. You can review your favorite wines on Snooth - http://www.snooth.com. It's a great wine site.

 
At 11:22 AM , Anonymous Michael said...

This is a great review. You can review your favorite wines on Snooth - http://www.snooth.com. It's a great wine site.

 
At 11:22 AM , Anonymous Michael said...

This is a great review. You can review your favorite wines on Snooth - http://www.snooth.com. It's a great wine site.

 
At 11:22 AM , Anonymous Michael said...

This is a great review. You can review your favorite wines on Snooth - http://www.snooth.com. It's a great wine site.

 

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