An exploration of wine

348. Bodegas Montecillo, Rioja Gran Reserva, 1996

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Book 2 Wine 348

€15.70; 13%

A very pleasant way to say goodbye to my 1-month flatmate, Lucy. Having said that, it definitely improved over days, suggesting that, as a rule, Gran Reservas should be decanted for at least an hour before reaching their best. Medium-depth garnet, with a wide garnet-to-brick rim. On the nose, an astringent, ‘varnished’ tone dominated, but over time (after a day-or-so), became MUCH more agreeable, expressive, and complex. Earthy, cocoa, ‘good’ compost, and a hint of dark fruit (?prune?), and possibly some blood. Juicy, fresh, black-fruit palate, with gentle background tannin. Good length. Montecillo came good again (in the end)!

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