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Bodegas Riojanas Viņa Albina Gran Reserva 1994, D.O.Ca . Rioja. **HERITAGE WINE**

Colour: intense, dark brown red.
Nose: quite expressive, beautiful earthy, with lots of complex spices, vanilla, roasted hazelnuts, venison, raisiny and "confit" fruit, richness, elegance, a touch of cigar box, very much reminiscent of a very good, classic red Burgundy, very classy nuances, depth and excellent balance, very mature and at its peak. A great, complex and ultimately classic wine.
Taste: elegant, very mature, with freshness, spicy, but round and silky tannins, very subtle, earthy and spicy nuances, vanilla, cedar, beautiful complex fruit, damp earth, a touch of smoke, very classic, very Burgundy like elegance and class, great classic wine with great balance.
Finish: long, intense, fresh, with lots of complex and elegant nuances of spices, vanilla and dried fruit, a touch of smoke,  beautiful and classy.

* An excellent example of a great, elegant, mature and classic Rioja: not an impressively powerful and intense creamy wine, but full of refinement, complexity and depth, with a myriad of spices, vanilla, dried fruit, silky tannins and a fine acidity, all in excellent balance not unlike a very good Burgundy.

- Drink this wine now, it is probably at its peak, maybe it will keep for a year or so, I fear this beauty could dry out quite soon. Drink before 2007.

- Rioja nowadays is not famous for its price / quality ratio. A few decades ago you could find stunning wines for too little money.  You could easily find classically styled wines, both red and whites, all matured for many in wood. Many of them were dried out, were too acid, astringent and lacked body and softness, but there were also wines with a style so unique and complex, nearly fragile, but so ethereal complex that you could not be other than impressed. These maybe difficult wines to understand because everything was different, but they were beautiful and unique. Today Rioja is a mix of modernity, technical innovation, great investments, greed, proud, snobbery, dynamism and also the odd conservative and classic producer. The quite expensive Viņa Albina Gran Reserva 1994 is a relict of ancient times, this wine is so true and fascinatingly classical Rioja. A far cry from the New World styled wines of today, maybe not better, but so excitingly different.

- lotnr.: L 274H5094

- tasted: 24-03-’05

- estimated retail price ca. 22  euro

- average production: no indication

- Bodegas Riojanas, Mr. W. Vleming, Estacion, 1, 26350 Cenicero (La Rioja) Spain.  tel.:  + 34-941 45 4050 ; fax.: + 34-941 45 45 29 ; e-mail: ; web site: