I am just back from our visit to Rioja and I will be working on a few pieces for the blog and pouring over images and video, and drinking some more Rioja.  Before we left we were drinking a bit of Rioja to get ourselves ready. We did not get a chance to visit Bodegas Riojanas, but they make amazing traditional Rioja.  I have had and reviewed one other wine from Bodegas Riojanas and have purchased a few more bottles recently from Frankly Wines.  Riojanas has quickly become one of my favorite Rioja producers. They offer a nice range of wines, and a huge range of wines, many of which can be found with very good bottle age for Reservas and Gran Reservas, and at decent prices.  The wines from Riojanas certainly represent a very high quality to value ratio.  While I cannot say that I know all the wines in their range, they seem to have about 40 different wines listed on their website, I have tried the Monte Real Gran Reserva 1998, and the Viña Albina Gran Reserva 1978.  There is also a review on the blog for the 2003 Monte Real Reserva from Bodegas Riojanas.  I am not totally sure what the difference is between the Monte Real line and the Viña Albina line of wines from Riojanas (different vineyards I would guess), but they are both old school style Rioja. And they are both very good.

Bodegas Riojanas Monte Real – Gran Reserva 1998

There are violet hues to this medium garnet colored Rioja.  On the nose there are notes of dark chocolate, cayenne pepper, liquorish, light toasty oak, and herbal notes.  The mouth feel is round and fairly lush with hints of pepper spice, cherry cola, and herbal notes lingering on the finish.  The wine can certainly be drunk now, and it is drinking well, but it certainly has at least 10-20 years more easily.   Very well made and a great value at $45 for a wine with 12 years bottle age.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED – GREAT VALUE

Bodegas Riojanas Viña Albina – Gran Reserva 1978

The color is medium garnet with chocolate hues.  The nose is classic old style Rioja with sour cherries, green peppers, eucalyptus, pepper, menthol, and cedar cigar box.   The mouth feel is rich and round with a nice bit of acidity.  The finish fills out as the wine opens up and notes of sour cherry fruit and light tannins linger.  Very classic stuff, that certainly does not taste it’s age.  Drinking very well now, and wouldn’t doubt it holding another 10 years.  That you can get a great bottle of wine with this much age for such a great price is simply amazing.  Approx. $65.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED – GREAT VALUE