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Wednesday, March 02, 2011

2003 Campo Viejo Rioja Gran Reserva

I few weeks back I reviewed the Campo Viejo Rioja Reserva and thought it was really nice wine for the price. Now It's time to see if the "Gran Reserva" (which should be the prize of the bodega) is at least as good as the reserva.

This wine is composed of 85% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano, and 5% Mazuelo. It was aged in barrel for 24 months and then it was held back in-bottle before release another 36 months. These five years of aging before release meet the minimum requirements set forth by the wine laws in Spain. Some of Rioja's Gran Reservas can be held for 8+ years before release.

I suppose it's important to note the color of a wine now that it is approaching 8 years in age . The wine still has a pretty deep ruby hue with only slight red brick tones just creeping in on the edges of the glass. It's quite a bit more youthful looking than I would have expected.

On the nose I get classic Rioja aromas of leather that combine with cherry syrup, cranberry, dried wild- flowers, and a touch of freshly cut wood. The nose is actually quite shut down at this point in time and perhaps could use a decanter to help make it open up and express itself more.

On the palate the wine shows great concentration and full-bodied flavors of ripened and stewed black cherry, dark chocolate, black currant, and hints of cedar and spice. The finish is big and chewy and cries out for a pot roast or osso buco!

This wine is amazingly priced at under $20. It's a whole hell of a lot more than what I was expecting and to be honest won't be the last bottle I purchase. I can't get over the concentration and the big, dense, and dark fruit flavors the wine throws down on the mid-palate and the finish. 90+ points

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