This is the second time trying the 2004 Martínez Lacuesta Rioja Reserva.  I had happened upon a bottle and tried it, knowing that this was potentially a traditional Rioja bodega, located in Haro, the seat of traditional Rioja, etc.  Anyway, yes, this may be traditional Rioja.  The history of Bodeagas Martínez Lacuesta is certainly there.  What is not right is that it receives little air play state side.  But, that may not be as bad as you think.  Think of if like that great song or band you love but no one else has really heard of.

What worries me with concerns to Martínez Lacuesta is that they may go the way of some other (traditional) Rioja producers and not follow history and success over fads.  The fad in Rioja has been “modernization.”  According to their website they are constructing a modern state of the art winery and are advertising it pretty heavily with slogans like:  “Times change and great brands evolve with the times”.  Well following fads in wine can be notoriously punishing.  Just when everyone is getting on the bandwagon, it seems that the genre has become passe:  Generic Merlot, Fruit Bomb Shiraz, Oaked Chardonnay, and the list goes on.  I guess it’s not about what the building looks like where the wine is made, but rather the philosophy behind the wine making process, and what ultimately ends up in the bottle.  And for now, based on a couple tastings of the 2004 Reserva, what’s in the bottle is pretty right on.

Best Old School Rioja discovery since Señorío de P. Peciña.  Available at PJ Wines at the reasonable price of $20.99.  The wines of Martínez Lacuesta certainly invite further exploration…

Matínez Lacuesta 2004 Rioja Reserva – $20.99

Immediately on the nose there are warning bells going off, but in a good way.  Menthol and minty aromas are on the prowl.  Tart cherry/berry savory aromas are there and (unseasoned?) American oak is also at play, but restrained.  I like it!  It may need a couple more years to marry the elements a bit more, but they are there, and praise the lord, they are in balance.  This wine is a winner and the price is right.  It drinks well lately and I have no doubt will only improve over the next several years.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED