I had to keep my poker face on when I tasted this with my sales rep Drew Summers of Advintage Distributing last week. I honestly thought the 2016 Bodegas Ramirez de la Piscina Rioja Reserva would retail for at least $30. Boy, was I wrong, and that's a good thing!
If you want to experience traditional, authentic, and absolutely delicious Rioja at a great price, this is the wine you need in your glass tonight. It has garnered a number of great scores and reviews, and you are free to fact check me on that, but I'm 100% comfortable with my rating, which you can see below.
2016 Bodegas Ramirez de la Piscina Rioja Reserva |
The greatest Rioja Reserva value in the world. - 95 points - Yours Truly
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I have fond memories of this wine from my early days in Asheville. Back in 2003, this fine bottling could be had for $15, and it was one of our "splurge wines," as Lynn and I were just establishing ourselves and our careers. I was immediately taken with the wine's mesmerizing perfume and its poised and satisfying palate. Nearly 20 years later, I think I like this wine even a little bit more!
Composed entirely of Tempranillo from vines planted between 1932 and 1985, the wine saw extended aging before it was released. After fermentation completed, the wine spent 18 months in French and American oak, followed by 5 months in stainless steel for fining and settling purposes. It was then bottled and moved to the winery's cool, underground cellars and aged for another 18 months. That's a lot of TLC for a wine that comes to you at less than $25, and you can certainly smell and taste in the finished wine.
This wine is a prime example of old-school, traditionally made Rioja. That long aging allowed the old vine intensity to mesh perfectly with the extended oak treatment. I could honestly hang out with the bouquet of this wine all day. There's a lot of good stuff going on! Wonderful aromas of brown spices, vanilla, tobacco, cedar, and anise lead the way. With a few swirls of the glass, the fruit comes out to play, and this smells of spice and vanilla-accented cherry, blueberry, and plum.
Sounds good huh? Trust me, it gets even better on the palate. Ripe and juicy but with just the right levels of acidity and tannin to keep things in check, this has a very fine texture, and the finish is long and incredibly satisfying. I am still amazed that I can offer this sensational wine up to you all at less than $25.
I can't wait to pick up some provisions at La Bodega by Curate, and enjoy them with this superb Rioja. I recommend you do the same. One last note, I bought every bottle my distributor had in their NC warehouse. You know what to do next :)
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Table Wine Asheville