2005 Bodegas Altanza Capitoso Rioja

($15) Medium red. Spicy red berries, cherry and raw meat on the nose. Sweet, vaguely jammy raspberry and cherry flavors betray no rough edges and show a silky texture. Clean and fresh on the close, where the vivid red fruit flavors echo. Really tasty.


2004 Bodegas Altanza Lealtanza Rioja Crianza

($20) Dark purple. Licorice-accented cherry and blackcurrant aromas offer good depth and precision, with complicating underbrush and tobacco notes. Bitter cherry and black tea flavors are focused but betray a dry tone. Gains sweetness on the finish but seems a tad stern right now. Is it young or just hard?


2001 Bodegas Altanza Lealtanza Reserva Seleccion Especial Rioja

($34) Dark ruby. Smoky cherry, plum preserve and blackcurrant aromas are suavely enhanced by vanillin oak and baking spices. Broad and deep in dark fruit flavor but surprisingly elegant thanks to fine-grained tannins and fresh acidity. Sweet tobacco and candied licorice build on the long, sappy finish. Pretty tasty now but I'd hold off on opening one of these for at least a few years.


2001 Bodegas Altanza Seleccion Especial Reserva Rioja

($50) Deep ruby. Ripe red and dark berry aromas are given an exotic twist by sweet vanilla, mocha and sandalwood. Strong oak notes mark the lush dark berry and kirsch flavors and add a slight bitterness, not to mention tannic structure. With air the fruit builds, beating up on the oak pretty well and carrying nicely through the long, spicy finish. Impressively persistent and juicy stuff, with head-turning depths of lush, concentrated fruit.


2001 Bodegas Altanza Lealtanza Miro Reserva Rioja

($95) Ruby-red. Sexy oak spice-accented cherry, blueberry and candied plum on the nose, with a wallop of vanilla. Quite sweet in the mouth, with powerful dark berry liqueur, vanilla and mocha flavors on a plush, velvety frame. The lush, creamy finish repeats the dark berry notes and carries impressively, coating the entire palate. Emphatically modern and loaded with immediate appeal, but not for traditionalists, even if the fruit and oak are in fine balance. (Quality Wines of Spain, New York, NY)

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