Intense black-cherry colour with good depth of colour and hardly any signs of evolution. Very expressive aromas on the nose with notes of liquorice, cinnamon and black pepper, with just a subtle hint of the long cask-ageing, thanks to its great complexity and ripe, concentrated fruit. Fresh and easy to drink on the palate, good backbone and lovely, polished tannins. The long, persistent finish leaves gentle balsamic reminders of the finest quality.
The 2015 Rioja Reserva, which comes mainly from Rioja Alavesa, has a tightly wound bouquet of broody black fruit, Cuban cigar and black olive. It is not intense, but it is very elegant. The medium-bodied palate is off-dry, marked by fine acidity and plenty of soy-tinged black fruit. With aeration, it develops more depth and cohesion. A sprinkling of white pepper appears toward a beautifully proportioned finish framed by fine tannins. Superb.