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Baron de Ley Rioja Reserva 2010

Is Baron de Ley Rioja Reserva 2010 a modern or traditional Rioja Reserva? Seems that this question shouldn’t have been asked at all as there are both elements. Tempranillo give red vivid cherry fruit and plum finish; a pinch of Cabernet Sauvignon adds to tannins, acidity and overall structure. Classically in new American oak, but the nose is more incense, sandalwood and is very subtle. Bottle ageing for 24 months-spicy, long finish- with lots of room to go further. Slender, simple and direct, smart, controlled, polished.

Pierre Mansour gave it 19.5 points, saying that it is "Closed but layered, seriously stylish and focused. Pure, black fruit, intense palate, beautifully controlled, velvety ripe tannins, and a very long finish. A stunning reserva that will age beautifully." Yes, I quite agree; he is putting in focus the ageability of the wine. Female tasters in my experience always got right on with the delicacies of the nose. Sarah Jane Evans MW, in this case, gave it 18.5 points: "Dusty rose and violet nose followed by a rich, supple palate – super delicate. Only Rioja can do this, and with American oak. The oak adds a grainy texture and complexity to the fruit. The finish is long, with a hint of spice."

I did not get the ‘mustiness’ and the ‘richness’ of the wine as Pedro Ballesteros Torres MW did who gave it an 18.5 as well. But I agree it has got the classic, savoury finish.

A 95+ from Decanter. The Best Rioja Reserva, in Decanter’s March 2015 Issue. It’s doesn’t taste like Baja to me.

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