A very nice Rioja, definitely worth the cost…
Name: Baron de Chirel Rioja Reserva 2008
Producer: Marqués de Riscal
Region/Country: Rioja, Spain
Grape Varietal(s): Unknown, although likely Trempranillo
Consumed: At home on one of the warmest Friday nights we’ve had in months
Recommended By: London Heathrow duty free store
Cost: About $112 CAD with the exchange rate
Bottle Presentation: Traditional, classic bottle. You could see this type of bottle at pretty much any place that sells wine.
Appearance: Dark ruby red, with a tiny tinge of orange on the edges
Nose: Grilled meat, plums, berries, spices
Taste: Tannic, sour cherries, terroir, leather, tobacco
Finish: Tannic, bitter, leather, terroir, and some alcohol
Overall impression: It paired superbly with grilled peppercorn steak, garlic potatoes, and grilled parmesan-covered asparagus. Different notes emerged depending on the specific pairing. For example, it tasted of sour cherries with the potatoes, it became rounder and tasted of berries and leather with the asparagus, and leather, terroir, and plums emerged with the steak. Impressive (and enjoyable), to say the least. As a final thought, you could probably cellar this Rioja for at least another 5 years.
Rating (from 70 to 100): 91
Value: 3.5/5 It’s on the expensive side, but well worth the price, and I plan to pick up another bottle the next time I fly through London.