An exploration of wine

206. Baron de Ley, Rioja Gran Reserva, 1994

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Book 2 Wine 206

€14.50; 13%

Medium-light garnet core fading out to a distinctly brick rim. Didn’t decant this Gran Reserva, so bouquet development happened in the glass: from a tight redcurrant and dried cherry residual fruit, to the layer-by-layer addition of some leather notes, rosemary, cinnamon, toasty vanilla and a little cocoa. A light-to-medium weight palate, with some acidic structure, and Pinot Noir-like “silky tannin”. Medium intensity and medium length of flavour, focusing primarily around redcurrant fruit. Drinking well now. A day later – I guess after extended breathing – this really opened-up, bringing-in caramel and prune notes, and concentrating the dried fruit core. Also, the slightly warmer temperature added body and length. Upgrade score!

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