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the palate it reveals a soft lush attack and a velvety mouth feel of savory black cherry fruit, spice box, and balsamic. The tannins are round and firm and the finish is long and satisfying. Meaty and delicious!!

H Viña Salceda is owned and operated by the Civite famil , owners of Bodegas Civite in Navarra. The wines of Viña Salceda are generally well made and classical in style. Importer: Kobrand Corporation Purchase, NY

Viña Salceda 2001 Reserva Rioja Alavesa ($22) 89 This is a Reserva from an outstanding vintage. Deep ruby in color with dark plum and prominent cedar aromas on the nose. Offers a soft attack of ripe black cherry fruit with lush texture, ripe tannins and good acidity and structure for aging well.

Viña Salceda 2004 Crianza Rioja Alavesa ($15) 86 The Crianza exhibits a medium deep ruby color with plum and cherry aromas. It is light and tart on the attack with moderate fruit concentration and dry tannins on the mid- palate.

H Viñedos de Aldeanueva S.C. is among the largest wine cooperatives in Rioja. Located in Rioja Baja, it has

some 850 members from whom it purchases cooperative produces wines of good quality at

fruit. The reasonable

prices—250,000 cases annually. Azabache is the brand. Importer: Country Vintner , Oilville, VA

major

Viñedos de Aldeanueva S.C. 2007 Azabache Tempranillo Rioja ($14) 87 Dark ruby purple. Rich, plum and black fruit

. Soft,

ripe attack of jammy dark cherry and plum fruit. Clean, good weight, good balance. Good pizza wine.

Viñedos de Aldeanueva S.C. 2004 Azabache Crianza Rioja ($14) 86 Dark ruby in color and rustic in style with aromas of dark cherry fruit, cigar box, and loam. Soft, lush attack of plum , black cherry and black currant. Dry tannins.

Viñedos de Aldeanueva S.C. 1999 Azabache Tradicion Gran Reserva Rioja ($52) 88 Garnet ruby. Leather, wild mushroom, forest floor, black cherry on the nose. Round and supple attack. A complete wine. Good extraction. Lush on the palate. Earthy flavors, black and red fruit, mushrooms. Soft tannins. Medium length finish.

H Viñedos de Paganos is owned an operated by Marcos Eguern of Sierra Cantabria. It produces two vineyard- designated wines of great distinction: El Puntido and La

Nieta.

Both

vineyards

plantings of Tempranillo.

have high density low-yielding Grapes are destemed by hand,

followed by rigorous sorting and before vinification. Fermentation in French oak barrels.

selection of fruit by grape and aging are carried out

Viñedos de Paganos 2006 El Puntido Rioja ($160) 95

Medium ruby, dark with intense smoky

core. Aromas of raspberry, cherry fruit

and

earthy

accents.

Rich

and

intense

29

with complex flavors on the palate. Mouthfilling. Very soft, and silky with a seamless attack. Lots of dark plum fruit with mineral nuances. Beautiful structure and lovely balance. Mature tannins. Exciting terroir with top class winemaking.

Viñedos de Paganos 2006 La Nieta Rioja ($160) 96 ?

This Tempranillo (tasted the very day it was bottled) exhibited a dark purple ruby color and aromas of minerals black raspberry fruit and violets. On the palate it revealed pure red

fruit flavors reminiscent of the very ripe 2005 Burgundies. Youthful with firm tannins and a very long lasting finish. A wine of tremendous depth of flavor and complexity that will

need

time

to

show

all

of

its

countless

virtues.

Fabulous.

(tentative score)

Vinos Sin Ley 2006 Gra 1 Puntalta Rioja ($13) 88 This wine is produced from 100% Graciano.

Opaque

purple ruby in color, it is fruit forward and offers aromas of boysenberry and plum. On the palate it is concentrated, with lush ripe red-black berry fruit, firm tannins well-matched to the fruit, and a rich finish. Good example of the variety. Importer: Ole Imports Manhasset, NY

H

Bodegas

Ysios

belongs

to

Domecq

Bodegas,

one

of

Spain’s largest commercial wine producers.

The winery is

located in Rioja Alavesa and was designed by the renowned

architect, Santiago Calatrava. jewel architecturally.

It

is

a

modern

winery

and

a

Ysios 2004 Reserva ($35) 88 A 100% Tempranillo classical in style. Displays a dark ruby color with aromas and flavors of blackberry fruit, vanilla with notes of cacao and sweet oak. Aged for 14 months in French and American oak. Has a soft mouth feel with good balance.

Ysios 2004 Edicion Limitada Reserva ($60) 87 Sourced from 50+ year-old vines and spends 16 months in mainly French oak. Opaque ruby garnet in color with aromas of leather and dried fruit, Soft on the attack with bright red and black fruit. Astringent and tart on the palate with a finish that has lots of tannic grip.

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