90 minute decant. Very deep ruby. Earth, soil, licorice, white pepper, most primary fruit has passed. Some subtle root vegetable, and ash. Super hot alcoholic burn. Full bodied. Medium acidity. Smooth yet firm tannins. Medium plus finish.
Compared to the Crianza earlier, to me, this is only marginally better. I craved leather and tobacco, but couldn't find it. No meat or barnyard funk. Moreover, the alcohol.puts it a bit out of balance.
In short, the nose on this wins, but the palate of the Pesquera wins. I'll give the nod + to the Prado Enea--past vintages have offered much more (leather, coffee, meat)
UPDATE: Listen, I can't do it. This wine is not better than the 2015 Alejandro Fernandez Tinto Pesquera Crianza. It's just not. I have both glasses in front of me. The former is hot and choppy, and latter is round and the secondary oak notes are balancing it perfectly.
Lesson learned: this is an example of how you can easily waste 30+ dollars.
Back down to 92 points. The other gets the bump to 92+. Thanks for listening!!!
Maybe @Antonio Galloni can chime in on this one?! — a day ago
Over the top garnacha from high altitude. Deep ruby, candied red fruit, lots of excess alcohol (16.5ABV, unreal). I would not call this "elegant" as the label says, more like "gaudy". Still, it has some interesting charred wood and spice. Residual sugar is present, and finish is long, yet immature.
90 points — 8 days ago
Mostly red fruits on the nose: cranberry, red cherry, with white pepper, licorice and a bit of cedar and soil. Medium ruby in color. Dry, medium + acidity, high alcohol, full bodied, palate of red to black fruit: blackberries emerge with vanilla bean. Medium tannins. Alcohol is a bit hot, but finish is long... albeit a little jammy for my taste. This is a very good wine that will get somewhat better over a couple of years.
93 points — 15 days ago
Deep ruby, stewed red fruits, white and black pepper, clove, herbaceous, some vegies. Medium + tannins, high alcohol, full bodied, medium acidity. Medium finish. Very nice. On to an older competitor...
Please read my subsequent notes in the Muga Prado Enea for more context.
@Antonio Galloni any thoughts?
92 points — a day ago
Deep ruby leaning garnet. Opens with a distinct and off-putting barnyard funk. Left to relax, red cherry emerges with charred wood, earth, and raw beef (although to be transparent, I was shaping and grilling fatty hamburgers). Aroma intensity is medium plus, and they are still developing as I detect chocolate starting to peek through. On the palate we have slightly less intense flavors of dried red fruit (cranberry and cherry), flint, are earth. Alcohol is a highish hot 14 ABV, medium acidity, medium plus bodied, medium plus tannins. The finish is medium (only)..I have had this several times. I am left wondering whether or not age will continue to deliver a benefit. Structurally, it should certainly stand up over time. Yet, much of the primary fruit has transformed already. So, buy 2. Drink 1 now, and age 1 for two more years, and see if your get leather and chocolate.
93 points — 10 days ago
As I ready myself for WSET Level 3 exam, I need to taste more vary my picks considerably. This is chenin blanc from South Africa. Beautiful pale gold, dry, medium alcohol and medium acidity. Ripe apple, peach, lemon, lime. Paired with baked cod. Quite the value at 10 bucks.
90+ points — 3 days ago
Upon opening I got slapped in the face with spoiled milk. With time it has subsided. Nose now is licorice, flint, wet leaves, clove, white pepper, very faint blueberry pie but it's waning. Drink 'em if you've got 'em. Out of balance a bit for me, tannins are sharp, bitterness on the finish. 0 for 2 tonight. And, after a closer look it's even a bit cloudy.
89 points — 8 days ago
I drink so much of this and rarely post a review with notes. This is our go-to regular Rioja. We are lucky that our local wine store gets a lot and sells it well below Total Wine's price.
Deep ruby. Red cherry, blackberry, vanilla, and earth on both nose and palate. Dry, medium acidity, medium + alcohol, full-bodied, medium + tannins. Can age or great now.
92+points — 19 days ago