Ever since I had my first bottle of Rioja about 19 years ago (that’s right, I was probably under age!) I’ve been hooked. The dryness of a wine that has plenty of age on it has always appealed to me because the wines of the time spoke of the land, in a different manner than one thinks about when we hear the word terroir.
That first bottle was a 2001 Marque de Riscal. Nice and dry, with plenty of dust and musky flavors to make you think of the wine your old man drank, if he drank wine, the Marque was an introduction to a different style of wine that my heart still has a fondness for.
This is not that. The Cortijo Rioja from 2015 is 100% Tempranillo grape from Spain and none of the familiar dryness was present in this wine. Instead, the wine was more balanced. My unofficial notes from Evernote state:
A rich, deep red color with a ruby nose, that lets out some oak, cherry, and pepper is confirmed by the taste, along with firm tannins, light structure. Oak and hints of light spice follow through on the medium finish.