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Tercera Rioja Reserva 2010, Rioja

To Team, La Tercera(meaning Three in Spanish) Reserva seems to point to its design: blending of 3 grapes from 3 areas and aged for 3 years.

The three grapes are blended as follows: 5% Grenache, 5% Graciano, 90% Tempranillo. Garnacha is bright, energetic, lovely acidity that makes the wine sing. Its flavors are red berry like. Graciano is also a variety that contains wonderful acid, which is responsible for bringing a certain lift to the wine not only in flavors and sensation but also in terms of ageing. Tempranillo seems to give the complexities. It is also a result of the blending from the best terroirs from the three well known sub-zones: Rioja Alta, Alavesa and Baja. Each of these areas is unique and complementary, allowing Rioja to craft extremely consistent wines. Textbooks tell that in hot years the best grapes come from Rioja Alta, and in cold years Rioja Baja is best suited due to its warmer microclimate. Rioja Alavesa is always not as hot not as cold, making it a good midpoint of balance. Blending may cause potential loss terroir characters, but it does add to diversity and contributes to an even more consumer-oriented palate. This wine had been aged for a total of 3 years,out of which 30 months are in barrel and 6 months in the bottle.

It's like opening a cedar chest but instead of wool it is full of fresh tobacco, fennel and black cherries. Its complexity persists on the palate with pomegranate(石榴)juice tartness yet braced with mineral notes highlighted by the toasty oak. There is spiciness to this wine on the tongue, that has mellow Mediterranean heat, not the insanity of the New World. The acid also persists on the finish, begging for some food, though it is modern enough in style to enjoy on its own. Forceful but not overpowering!

Stylistics, this wine could be considered far too easy to drink. In itself it definitely looks to the brighter, fresher side of the style spectrum of Rioja Reservas. With lifted red fruits and bright acidity, it is almost Rioja-meets-Burgundy in its palate presence.

This wine play beautifully alongside anything from Cantonese style fried chicken, baby lamb chops, and of course beef roast.

In Vivino, over 3000 comments had been made. All of them shared one common point: this wine is of super value. RP93.


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