What’s better than a chocolate chip cookie?  A chocolate chip cookie with a sprinkle of sea salt on top!  I don’t know why but that came into my mind when I tried the 2001 Ramirez de la Piscina Gran Reserva.  I guess it’s to do with that thing in great traditional Rioja’s when they get to that really sweet spot where they are balancing the fruit and spice of youth with the savory complexity of age.  The 2001 Ramirez de al Piscina Gran Reserva certainly fits that bill.  The sad thing is, Ramirez de la Piscina is not on the Rioja radar here in the States as much as it should be perhaps.  This was an excellent bottle of classically styled Rioja, and I look forward to trying more wines from Ramirez de la Piscina.  It’s nice to discover something new (to me at least) from Rioja!

 Ramirez de la Piscina 2001 Gran Reserva ~$25-$40.00

Sour cherries, dark currant, savory Umami, a hint of menthol, and spiced notes abound.  There are some tannins present, and a good bit of acidity.  Like many 2001 Rioja’s, there are tannins and structure to spare.  But make no mistake, this is classic Rioja; one of the most classic 2001′s I have tasted to date in fact.  It’s drinking pretty well right now, but could go another 5-10+ I reckon given the tannin structure.  A great 2001 Gran Reserva.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED