All The Work of Aging Is Already Done
Here’s the good news: Bodegas Riojanas has done all the work for you, resting their 2004 Monte Real Rioja Gran Reserva for over a decade in barrel and in bottle, yielding a perfectly-aged, old-school Rioja that is ready to be popped open and enjoyed. Even better? Because Wine Access clients snapped up our last allocation of their 1998-release so quickly, the importer offered us the exclusive U.S. allocation of this classic Rioja, which comes from a 95-point growing season. According to Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, the blockbuster 2004 vintage is the best since 2005. The Wine Access judging panel, which includes our Master of Wine Matt Deller, Master Sommelier Sur Lucero, and Master of Wine Candidate Vanessa Conlin pinned 94 points on this 2004 Riojanas, declaring it ready for immediate drinking or fit for another decade in the cellar. We only have 40 cases, and they will go quickly.
We are always on the lookout for stellar wines from Spain’s marquee Rioja region — wines that combine the floral delicacy of Burgundy with the structure of Left Bank Bordeaux. Which is exactly what we found in Bodegas Riojanas.
The estate was founded in the heart of Rioja Alta in 1890, during the region’s glory years. In 2004, a slightly-cool August was followed by a steady, warm September, which allowed the Tempranillo to ripen perfectly: Decanter called 2004 a perfect 5 out of 5, and named Rioja Alta one of the best appellations of the vintage. After two years in American oak and a decade in bottle, the Riojanas teems with dried red fruit, citrus, and mahogany. It’s easy: Order, open, and enjoy.