Other wines tasted: 2006 Puerta Vieja Blanco Rioja*. (Vintage Wines, Staten Island, NY)

2003 Bodegas Riojanas Puerta Vieja Crianza Rioja

($15) Medium red. Musky redcurrant and cherry on the nose, with complicating mocha, cedar and anise nuances. Silky in texture, showing an intriguing mix of red fruits and baking spices. Gentle tannins add structure. Tastes like an old-school Bordeaux, but with more sweetness and a suppler mouth feel. Lovely stuff, and a fantastic bargain.


2003 Bodegas Riojanas Monte Real Rioja Crianza

($20) Medium red. Exotically perfumed strawberry and raspberry aromas are complicated by tobacco and menthol. Peppery red fruit flavors are tightly wound and a touch dry. Riper plum and cherry preserve flavors build through the persistent but faintly dry and roasted finish. This is showing the vintage.


2003 Bodegas Riojanas Gran Albina Rioja

Light red. Minty redcurrant and strawberry aromas display suave, understated character. Mineral-accented red fruit flavors are complicated by floral pastilles, Middle Eastern spices and cured meat. There's plenty going on in this silky, elegant midweight. Finishes with impressive breath and cling. This would go wonderfully with a Moroccan lamb dish.

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