Other wines tasted: 2001 Urbina Seleccion Especial Rioja*. (Vinamericas Selections Miami Beach, FL)

2001 Pedro Benito Urbina Crianza Rioja

($20) Fading red. Impressively complex bouquet of strawberry, redcurrant, plum, underbrush and dried rose. Light-bodied, ripe red berry and cherry flavors show a dusty quality but gain sweetness with air. There are no apparent tannins, which allows the mature red fruit flavors to fully expand. Elegant, understated and ready to drink. This would be fantastic with a piece of braised lamb or a salty Spanish sheep's milk cheese. (Unfortunately, the 2001 Seleccion Especial was too marked by oak for me to recommend it. A longer-aged version of it will be released as a Gran Reserva some day; perhaps by then the wood will be better integrated.)

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