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This wine is Bodegas Altanza's Lealtanza Reserva Rioja now re-branded as Altanza Rioja.
Rioja is one of the two Spanish wine regions with the highest qualification level, DoCa, the other region being Priorat. There is so much Rioja on the UK market and much of it over-priced, over-oaked and rather characterless in style. This is not such a wine; it comes from a new breed of producers combining modern technologies and traditional methods to get the best out of the Tempranillo grape. Read more about changes in Rioja.
Bodegas Altanza do not blend Tempranillo with other grapes in this Altanza Reserva - it is a relatively rare 100% Tempranillo - and they age the wine in French rather than American oak as they believe it produces a more elegant wine and does not mask the fruit aromas. This is great value for a top quality, classic-style Rioja. Despite 18 months in oak barrels and three months in oak vats (note - 12 months in oak and a minimum 36 months total ageing is required for Reserva status up to the 2019 vintage), the fruit is not overpowered by intense vanilla like some Riojas; instead it is really fruit-driven with subtle sweet spices. On the nose, raspberries, blackberries, ripe plums, cloves and white pepper and the complex palate includes sweet black fruit - cherries, blackberries - plus raspberries, plums, sweet spices and a subtle hint of chocolate and leather. The tannins are really smooth; the wine has a lovely, velvety texture and a long, slightly sweet finish, characteristic of Rioja.
Recommended to drink with game, duck, goose, steak and other red meats, paella - or on its own. This wine would benefit from being allowed to breathe for an hour before consumption
91 points JamesSuckling.com 2018
"A round and soft red with berry and chocolate character, medium body and a flavorful finish. Delicious and inviting red."
Great value for what in terms of aromas and taste is a classic Rioja - complex, sweet black fruit, raspberries, plums, chocolate, leather and spice with a lovely, velvety texture