Altos D`Oliva, Gran Reserva, Catalonia 2010
Our deliciously mature Spanish Gran Reserva 2010 at under £10 a bottle. A tremendous bargain for a wine of this age and quality, and in my opinion as good as (if not better) than much more expensive Rioja’s. This remarkable wine is from high up in the relatively unknown Terra Alta of Catalunya, just South of Priorat, where the growers are very old school and do everything by hand and are not (yet) commercially attuned. Quite extraordinarily good value.
How does the wine taste?
A deep reddish purple with complex fruit aromas. A rich, fresh wine with red berry and mineral flavours that come from vines of a certain age.
What do the critics say?
"Here's a wine from Catalunya in the northeast of Spain, where the Tempranillo and Grenache grapes local to the area are joined by Cabernet Sauvignon. You can think Gran Reserva Rioja as a reference point, this 2010 having spent eight years bottle age after a full three years in oak barrels. There is a soft brick colour on the rim, and the wine does show maturity, some autumnal dried leaf and more oxidative dried blood notes among the still bold berry fruits. The American oak adds its characteristic vanilla, spice and even a hint of mint. At £9.45 this will go down really well with lovers of old school Rioja in particular, the palate velvety and smooth with unruffled sweet fruit, though there is balance here too. Personally I'd be drinking this over the short term, but like many of the old school Riojas, it could also prove to be indestructible! "
Tom Cannavan, wine-pages.com
"A tasty blend of Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Garnacha that has spent three years in oak and two in bottle before release. It seems suspiciously cheap tome (a Rioja Gran Reserva would be twice if not thrice the price) but it cut the mustard when I tasted it and I enjoyed its smooth, spicy dark fruit and long chewy finish."
Jonathan Ray, The Spectator