2003 Remelluri Rioja (Spain)
Spain has improved its wines by leaps and bounds in the last decade. Many of the new wines are in a New World style, with big fruit and soft tannins. Not so with the 2003 Remelluri Rioja, a decidedly Old World wine from this premier wine region. Big berry flavors are here, but leather and earthy notes dominate, with dry leaves, cranberry, and game flavors all in abundance. The finish is tight and tannic, with the rich cherry and berry fruit hiding underneath. The Remelluri needs time or food, or both! Open this wine an hour before dinner to let it open up, then serve it with grilled lamb, veal marsala, grilled pork loin, and spicy chorizo and rice.
The 2003 Remelluri is a traditional blend of 80 percent Tempranillo, 5 percent Graciano, 5 percent Mazuelo, and 10 percent Garnacha. Winemaker Ana Barron crafts this blend after the individual wines age in mainly French oak barrels for around one year. The Remelluri Rioja is $40.
In 1968, Jaime Rodriguez Salis purchased the Remelluri farm, completely renovating the vineyards and winemaking facilities. The 173 acres of vineyards sit at 2,100 feet above sea-level, the highest vineyards in the Rioja region. This accounts for the crisp acidity and strong tannins on the finish. Jaime’s son, Telmo, left the winery in 1994 to pursue his New World style interests on his own ” father Jaime would have none of it. Telmo produces lovely Spanish wines, just in a completely different style than Remelluri’s.
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