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For the discussion of Rioja

Roast lamb.

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Asked same re decanting and followed sound advice from @MattH For the discussion of Rioja - #753 by MattH

Showed well straight from bottle, note ambient temp was 27C. Well not straight from bottle, I did use a glass. Mine had slight bricking and little to no sediment as I recall.

Would be interested in your thoughts on longevity, found it difficult to assess as a novice, some acidity but unsure on robustness.

Which is my position!

Although I’ve had plenty of Rioja over the years, but none at this level of maturity. Decades of moons ago I had a wonderful Imperial G.R. all to myself, with steak & chips in a gastro-pub in S Wales.

Your classic ‘single bloke working-away, evening meal on expenses’ - do people still do that?

However… this time it shall be lamb. Or to be more exact, I have in the freezer a leg of local Pennine raised Soay Lamb (so a lot smaller, and more gamey)

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I bought a few of the Siglo bottles, as a cheap way to educate myself on older wines, and they arrived today.

I’m to much of a beginner to say anything meaningful about it - but I’ll only say I’d never had a wine so savoury.

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A nice meat paella with plenty of tomato and sweet smoked paprika is a really good match for Rioja…

…although, have you tried this…

…because that is amazing with any medium-bodied, high acid wine.

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Be better than that supermarket cvne you had a while back lol

I took a punt and got three. Arrived today and opened to have with a red pepper and celery quiche with Spanish paprika seasoning.

Colour - maroon with a hint of mahogany, but certainly not tired. A little opaque

Nose - not a lot, certainly not oaky, mainly plummy and just a hint of vanilla

Palate - smooth, not a huge amount of structure. Rose, pomegranate, quite fragrant… yes a bit of cedar I suppose. Medium bodied at the most. Is certainly on the Tondonia end of the spectrum. Defititnely not a “grand reserva in all but name”; the oaky elements are barely noticeable - for me a good thing as I don’t usually even like Reservas.

It’s nice, yes, but I don’t think lives up to Pierre’s OTT billing and I think £20 doesn’t make it a bargain tbh. Don’t buy into any FOMO on this one.


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I have never tested this, but have heard that it can be beneficial to give some wine a few days to recover from transport. Would be interested to know your opinion next time you try it as to whether a rested bottle makes any difference to your perception of it.

Some differences of opinion at the recent tasting about this one. I don’t have much experience of Rioja but this wasn’t what I was expecting. I did find it quite interesting though and wonder if any of you Rioja fans have tried it

https://www.thewinesociety.com/product/vinos-en-voz-baja-costumbres-rioja-2020

This is a wine myth, mentioned on here several times and even the subject of a MoW thesis.

There is no evidence that transporting wines causes a negative effect which leaving it to ‘rest’ cures. If another bottle is different then bottle variation is a more likely explanation.

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Not yet, was thinking about opening it this weekend, keen to find out if it’s worth getting a few more bottles. Will share thoughts when I open it

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I wonder if this is one which might need a little longer in bottle? I’m not suggesting that it is somehow a wine so wonderful it needs 25 years, but I do remember the early tasters of the Weinert 1994 Tonnel 111 not being too impressed on receipt, but really enjoying it a few years down the track (I enjoyed it this year, but didn’t taste it earlier). That too had undergone 20+ years barrel aging before bottling and the consensus seemed to be that it needed a bit more maturity in bottle afterwards, so perhaps this needs to shake off a little of the concrete. That, at least, is my hope.

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Definitely possible. I also think there is a chance that people expect every 2001 Rioja to be the most amazing Rioja of all time, yet it’s possible to get average wines from that vintage. I got excited when I saw it was available, nearly bought 6 and changed my mind to just 1 to try it.

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Yes I’m quoting myself. Nice to try something new but not sure I would rush back to get another bottle. However it makes me want to learn more about the Orientale region in rioja, I’ve ignored it for too long.

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It just the new name for Rioja Baja as they didn’t like the implications of “lower” ! A lot of generic rioja comes from here, such as the Baron de Ley brand. Even Faustino sneaks into Alavesa by being on the right side of the road… However we did find one truly excellent and great value small independent winery in Oriental; Paco Garcia in Murillo de Rio Leza https://www.bodegaspacogarcia.com and I’ve never seen their wares in the UK, and would be worth seeking out, or arranging a visit; which we did, if you’re in the area.

In fact they first identified and commercialised tempranillo blanco if my memory serves me right.


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I’m aware of that. I still haven’t ventured further than Logrono on my travels in rioja. Mainly stay and focus on Alta and Alavesa. Too many good bodegas I’m short driving distance of Haro and Logrono so not had any need to go further as yet.

One to explore perhaps next time we go to Rioja.

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Do you have a link to the thesis or a summary of the evidence? Must say, this surprises me, especially for older more delicate wines. A journey by your typical courier would certainly be likely to give the wine a good rattle.

I recall seeing a video about the effect of temperature storage on wine. Again this was counter intuitive but it claimed it made little or no difference, the wine left in the boot of a car on a scorching hot day tasted the same as a wine drawn from a cellar. Having had a number of bottles ruined (or so I thought) by the heatwave in 2018 (at least I think that was the year), this surprised me, albeit the author of the piece indicated his research was indicative rather than proven.

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https://www.mastersofwine.org/rp

See 2019 Tofterup.

In summary tasters could not detect a difference between transported wines and samples that had never left the winery.

Thanks for that. I had a quick scan. I noted that some other studies had found quality differences on wines subject to vibration although nobody appears to have done a specific transportation test as the author did. I remain unsure, I’m not sure I’d count this one test as definitive but perhaps it does suggest it is something we should not worry unduly about and its probable we would not spot the difference. It’s enough to persuade me to be more willing to crack open a bottle on delivery day, not leave it for a week or two as I currently do.

I note the study I mentioned about temperature effect on wine is also quoted in the text but that is also contradicted by other studies saying it did have an effect. I guess that’s science for you, always exploring, never 100% conclusive. I suppose it also reveals how little we understand what happens to a wine, chemically, when it matures into something better, beyond some broad based assumptions.

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There was a scientist (or doctor?) on the radio this morning explaining that coffee is positively good for you, orange juice bad. I can’t keep up.

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