Traditional Rioja, in particular Gran Reserva, which tends to be matured for many years, is characterized by strong oak flavours. I visited La Rioja Alta, one of Rioja's leading wineries last year and tasted this wine. With more time on my hands at home, I was interested how I would view the 2010 La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 now.
The colour is a bright, yet intense ruby. On the nose, red fruited aromas, cherry and raspberry, dominate. There are also secondary notes, such as tobacco and cocoa. This is a complex bouquet.
The same fruits hit the palate upfront. It is a lively wine, even though the fruit flavours are of dried fruit.Then there are earthy notes, mushroom, and vanilla from the oak barrels. The wine has good acidity with soft, fine grained tannins.
Overall, I have slightly mixed feelings about this wine. It is complex, and the fruit still shines through. When I say shines through, there is an oaky cover, which detracts from the otherwise interesting and still fresh flavours.