Valsacro Dioro Seleccion Rioja 2001
Beer tends to predominate in my drinking patterns during hot weather, of which Vancouver has had plenty in the past few weeks. With a brief chilly evening, however, I took the opportunity to open a nice modern styled Rioja from a great vintage.
At 14% ABV this had a slightly hot but very complex nose with char, cocao, roasted nuts, cassis, black cherry and sage. I love when the aromas of a wine are as deep and layered as in this wonderful tempranillo – it provides the mind with limitless whimsy and makes drinking an end in itself rather than a means to one.
The palate was woody and had excellent tertiary flavours of chalk, stone and tar. Even with a little heat, the richness of the caramel and vanilla elements was greatly tempered by the much more dominant minerality. In the end, this is an herbal, stone-like savory wine that is far drier than the fruity nose suggests. While finishing with a little heat, I also appreciated the great balance of fruit, wood, dust and stone.
$? (I believe in the $50-$70 range) at BCLDB