and leather with red fruit notes. Silky and elegant on the palate with lovely black cherry and plum fruit beautifully married to expensive-tasting toasted oak. Finishes soft and long. Should continue to age nicely.
H Founded in 1985 in the province of Navarra, Baron de Ley became a public company in 1995 and is part of the group of El Coto Rioja. It has a state of the art winery and sources grapes from its own 160 ha estate. Finca Monasterio is its top cuvee. Importer: Frederick Wildman and Sons New York, NY
Baron de Ley 2004 Reserva Rioja ($25) 88 A clean and fruit rich wine with intense blackberry and polished oak aromas, followed by ripe black fruit and notes
of coffee, leather and black pepper on the palate. lush round mouth feel is followed by ripe tannins long firm finish. Look for this wine on the market in
A soft and a Spring
Baron de Ley 2004 Finca Monasterio Rioja ($50) 91 Opaque ruby. A blend of 80% Tempranillo and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon from low-yielding vines. Black fruit aromas with spicy notes. Rich, lush attack. Very ripe concentrated cherry and blackberry fruit flavors with polished oak notes. (aged for 18 months in new French oak). Dense and chewy tannins on the finish. A big wine which will continue to improve with age.
Baron de Ley 1998 Gran Reserva Rioja ($40) 90 Deep garnet with orange on the rim. Charred oak with sweet dried fruit, roasted nuts. Soft, lush mouth feel. Balsamic and sweet, soy notes on the palate. Light and elegant. A very good Gran Reserva.
H Bodegas Berceo was reputedly established by the French in 1872 in Rioja Alta and named after a monk, Gonzalo de Berceo, who wrote lovely poetry in Spanish. It was purchased by the Gurpegui famil , its current owners, in 1980. The Los Dominos de Berceo Prefiloxero Crianza is their most interesting wine.
Bodegas Berceo 2004 Viña Berceo Rioja ($--) 87 This is medium-ruby-colored wine which offers slightly musty aromas of black cherry, leather, licorice and loam. On the palate it combines juicy plum fruit with more spice, earth and leather notes, with slightly dry tannins.
Los Dominios de Berceo 2004 Prefiloxerico Crianza Rioja ($48) 89 This is an attractive complex wine sourced from two hectares of pre-phylloxera Tempranillo vineyards. It reveals an initial slightly musty aroma followed by notes of black cheery and plum fruit, earth, leather, cedar, chocolate, and herbs. On the palate it offers more savory flavors including dry herbs and rocks, with hints of violets.
Los Dominos de Berceo 2001 Reserva Rioja ($--) 86 This is a rustic earthy wine, medium ruby in color, and offering moderate fruit flavors with dominant wood spice
aromas and dry, tart astringent black cherry fruit flavors. Soft round tannins and a short finish.
H Bodegas Beronia was founded in 1970. It was purchased by sherry produce , Gonzalez Byass in1982 and began operations in a new winery. Beronia has 10 ha of vineyards
and buys fruit from neighboring is IIIa. C. Beronia. Importer: San San Francisco. CA
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Beronia 2005 Crianza Rioja ($14) 88 The Crianza is well-made and flavorful. It is medium ruby in color and consists of 82% Tempranillo, 14% Garnacha and 4% Graciano. If offers ripe raspberry aromas with smoky notes and a musty scent. It is soft on the attack, with nicely integrated toasty oak and cherry fruit on the palate. It shows good balance and structure.
Beronia 2004 III a.C. Beronia Rioja ($75) 91 The III a.C Beronia is a blend of 88% Tempranillo, 7% Graciano, and 5% Mazuelo. It is deep ruby garnet in color and exhibits brambly red fruit and strawberry jam notes along with some volatile acidity and cedar on the nose. It is rich and concentrated on the palate revealing lovely sweet, lush fruit and spice, black pepper, and oak. This beauty is also well balanced with round tannins and a long lasting finish.
Beronia 2001 Reserva Rioja ($19) 88 This Reserva displays a deep garnet with an orange rim and offers aromas of red and black fruit, leather and cedar. It is soft on the attack and the palate, showing nice fruit but is rather oaky and dry on the finish.
H Bodegas Bilbainas is an old winery founded in 1901 and purchased in 1997 by the Codorniu Group. The winery and its vineyards (260 ha) have been renovated and the quality of the wines has clearly improved and will likely get even better in the years ahead.
Bodegas Bilbainas 2005 Viña Zaco Rioja ($9) 87 An uncomplicated wine blending Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano and Mazuelo displaying a dark ruby color and aromas of black cherry and loam Nice light red cherry fruit on a medium bodied palate. Good acidity. Ripe tannins and a nice long finish.
Bodegas Bilbainas 2003 La Vicalanda Reserva Rioja ($23) 89 A complex wine produced from 30+ year old Tempranillo vines from the La Vicalanda vineyard plot. It is deep ruby garnet and boasts ripe dark plum, blackberry aromas with a touch of violet and ash. It offers very flavorful pure black cherry fruit on the attack, complemented by charred oak. It is accessible with youthful tannins. Well done.
Biurko Gorri 2005 Crianza Rioja ($20) 86 This Crianza is a blend of 80% Tempranillo and 20% Graciano. It is deep ruby in color with a dark core. It offers sweet raspberry and strawberry scents on the nose followed by a soft ripe attack of fresh red berries. It is slightly tart with dry tannins on the finish.