Rioja Gran Reserva, Bodega Montecillo 2009
This historic Rioja producer, whose original winery was first established in Fuenmayor in 1874 by the Navajas family, was recently completely rejuvenated and is now owned by the Osborne family (best known for their sherries and massive black bull hoardings by the Spanish roadside). Winemaker Mercedes Garcia Ruperez has made huge improvements in both vineyard and cellar and these are now textbook examples of traditional style Rioja made with modern techniques. The Gran Reserva is 100% Tempranillo, aged for a minimum of five years in both oak casks (a combination of American and French oak) and then in bottle: elegant and complex, with sleek fruit and notes of forest floor, dried fruits, leather and vanilla, rounded off with fine, supple tannins. Very stylish and exceptional value.
Rioja Alta, Spain