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1998 La Rioja Alta 904 Rioja Gran Reserva (in magnum)
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ST
 93
WS
 90
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93 Points | International Wine Cellar , September/October 2012

Bright red with an amber rim.  Pungent, expansive scents of dried red fruits, potpourri, vanilla and pipe tobacco, with a spicy overtone.  The silky palate offers penetrating redcurrant and bitter cherry flavors sweetened by notes of vanilla and mocha.  Finishes smooth and long, with very soft tannins and lingering floral notes.  Ready to drink but there's very good depth here, suggesting (along with this wine's track record) that it will reward further patience.  I also had the chance to re-try the outstanding 2001 Vina Ardanza, which is aging at a snail's pace and really needs more time for the oak to fully integrate with its fruit.  Right now the vanilla character is dominating but there's obviously excellent material underneath it.

90 Points | Wine Spectator

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