1998 Bodegas Riojanas Monte Real Rioja Gran Reserva Seleccion Limitada

Year: 1998
Appellation: Rioja
Country: Spain
Wine Advocate: 92
Vinous Media: 93
Wine Enthusiast: 94
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.5%
Price :
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The 1998 Monte Real Gran Reserva Selección Limitada has nothing to do with the regular Monte Real Gran Reserva from the same vintage that I tasted almost three years ago. It's hard to know what these old wines really are. Even if the label says 100% Tempranillo, that was not what was usually done at the time; I sensed aromas that made me think of sweet Garnacha fruit like cherries in liqueur, and developed aromas that made it feel quite heady. The palate is ultra polished, with fully resolved tannins and good acidity. 1998 was far from being a renowned vintage and for such challenging year, this is quite remarkable. A good opportunity to get a fully mature old Rioja at an affordable price. 19,987 bottles.

There's nothing that I'd like more than to see Riojanas going back to the glorious days when they were producing some of the best wines from Spain, the 1942 Albina or 1964 Monte Real. Unfortunately, they are still quite far away. Although I did like the 1998 Monte Real Reserva quite a bit, what I tasted was very uneven." (WA)

"Dark red with a pale rim. Pungent, spicy nose shows pure cherry, redcurrant and plum complemented by succulent herbs, vanillin oak spice and a hint of dried flowers. Supple, lush and deep, with sweet red fruit flavors framed by gentle, harmonious tannins. Fleshy and sweet on the back end, with impressive concentration and focus. This should age well." (VM)

"Floral cherry, raspberry and aged wood aromas are elegant and mature. This Rioja is in regal condition, with smooth tannins and integrated acidity. Dried cherry, red plum, herbs and vanilla create a classic Rioja flavor profile. A supple, long finish puts this in perfect drinking shape, which doesn't mean it can't last another through 2025 or so." (WE)

Winery Notes:
Intense ruby red, with dark orange-brown hues thanks to its excellent ageing. Good layer, clean and bright.

Powerful aromas on the nose, which are released in the glass, reaching its fullness. Because of its good developing, the characteristic aromas of Tempranillo (cherry and licorice) overlapping with aromas of oak, vanilla, other spices and subtle toasted are present.

On the palate is discovered his greatest treasure, harmonious, fine, elegant, velvety, well evolved, fresh, excellent acidity, fruitiness and ends with a long-lingering finish, where memories described above emerge in the aroma.

Perfectly paired with fish sauce, especially cod.