An exploration of wine

648. Bodegas Las Orcas, Decenio Rioja Reserva, 1999

795 0
Book 4 Wine 648

£12.50; 13.5%

1st bottle was a bit grubby, with dead fruit and grating tannins. The 2nd fortunately proved that this was simply corked. In fact, this is a decent quality, mid-range Rioja, in a broadly classical style, with a couple of years of life in it. Medium-to-deep garnet, with a broad garnet rim. Pronounced, ‘powdery’ coffee and cocoa nose initially, with vanilla touches, and somewhat vegetal blackcurrant and red cherry fruit. Over time, sweet cherry fruit emerges more strongly – with some meaty hints too. Medium-bodied, with medium+ acidity, and medium-firm, slightly chalky tannins giving structure to the medium+ intensity palate. Juicy red cherry and oak notes, with a slight coal-smoke bitterness at the medium length finish. Pretty good.

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