Bodegas Riojanas "Monte Real" Gran Reserva Rioja 1998
100% Tempranillo from their vineyards in Cenicero "El Monte" at 430 meters altitude, on calcareous clay soil with abundant pebbles and vines well over 40 years old. Aged in American oak barrels that have been seasoned for at least 4 years outside in nature to reduce the possibility for ridged tannins. Aged for 40 months in barrel, racked every 6 months and then allowed to rest underground in the cellar. On the nose are aromas of floral cherry, raspberry and aged wood - very elegant and mature. This wine is in regal condition, with smooth tannins and integrated acidity. Dried cherry, red plum, herbs and vanilla create a classic Rioja flavor profile. A supple, long finish puts this in perfect drinking shape, which doesn't mean it can't last another through 2025 or so. Really beautiful with roasted game, duck, pork shoulder, or beef stew.