Conde de la Salceda Rioja Reserva 2001
I have been developing a taste for Rioja lately, but I like a style that walks the line between the new and the old world. Sometimes I find classic Rioja a bit too reserved and out of balance, but some other examples have really sored. I think what makes a good Rioja special is its ability to combine quality fruit with savory characteristics without going too far in either direction. This particular wine was a gift from a good friend.
On the nose I found big red berries – mainly raspberry – and earth. The palate was very juicy with chocolate, cherry and raspberry. The mid-palate and finish brought in earthy notes and a nice mineral core. While not complex, this was a well made and tightly balanced tempranillo, somewhat like an acrobat walking the tight rope: it carries a heavy burden of fruit down a thin wire of earth, minerals and acid. My only complaint is a tinge of mustiness on the palate that may be the result of very slight cork taint. Otherwise, this was very well made.