La Rioja Alta, Rioja, Gran Reserva 890 1998
received in Original Wooden Case
98 Points Decanter
A sober, refined wine now nearing its peak. Classic long aged Rioja, nose dominated by tertiary components: black tea, fine leather, balsamic notes. High-toned mouthfeel with great acidity and natural concentration.
94 Points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 1998 Gran Reserva 890 is more or less the same blend and vinification as the 1995 with just a little more alcohol (13%). It has impressive intensity on the nose with lifted dark cherry and briary notes. It has very fine delineation with aromas of licorice and orange rind. The palate is very well-balanced with fine tannins, crisp acidity and lively fresh citrus fresh fruit: small red cherries intermingling with orange zest, marmalade and cassis. It will need several years before it reaches its drinking plateau, but patently has great potential.
This superb wine is only made with the most exceptional vintages.
Budding was good that year and flowering concluded with a perfect fruit
set thanks to favourable weather conditions, with mild temperatures
and rain. The growing cycle progressed well until the end of August,
slowing down during the first half of September due to considerable
rainfall and low temperatures. The first part of the harvest yielded
grapes with moderate alcohol content and colour intensity. Good
weather during the second part of the harvest —when the grapes for
this Gran Reserva 890 were picked by hand— resulted in wines with
higher alcohol content, good colour intensity, high polyphenol values
and optimum long-ageing potential.
THE VINEYARD AND THE GRAPES
Tempranillo (95%) from Briñas, Labastida and Villalba, Graciano (3%) and
Mazuelo (2%) from our Melchorón I and II vineyards in Rodezno, with
vines are above 40 years of age.
WINEMAKING AND AGEING
This Gran Reserva 890 is the result of a painstaking selection process
applied from the time the best grapes are harvested until the wines
finally appointed to bear this label end their unhurried ageing. Alcoholic
and malolactic fermentation went seamlessly and the wine was then put
in American oak barrels handcrafted in our cooperage. After six years'
meticulous ageing in barrels with a total of 12 rackings in our iconic
Vigier Hall, only the best wines were bottled in September 2006. In
order to preserve all the aromatic components, this wine barrelled
directly without filtering. Finally, only 24.955 numbered bottles were
produced under this label.