Rioja Gran Reserva, Bodegas Urbina 2004
There is nothing better than really good, mature Rioja and Urbinas 2004 Gran Reserva and 2006 Reserva Especial with 16 and 14 years in bottle are as good as it gets. I am not in the least surprised they have been featured in the latest issue of Decanter magazines Rioja Guide 2023 with scores of 95 and 92 points respectively.
A magnificent aged Rioja - a deep garnet red with burnt fruit, plums and a hint of spice on the nose. It is still fresh and almost young with a complex array of jammy fruit and a finish that goes on and on. It will remain a superb wine for at least another 10 years if not more. Tim Atkin gave it 95/100 - a mammoth score for a wine that is under £30 a bottle.
I first tasted Urbina in Arzacs famous restaurant in San Sebastián in 2005 when Chef Arzac told me that Urbina was very good after 10 years in bottle, and really good after 20. Sound advice from the Master Chef himself which I followed!
Urbina started making Rioja in Rioja Alta 150 years ago and have continued to do so today under the same family ownership. Their wines are known for their classic, elegant and refined style with great aging capacity.
- Esme Johnstone, Co-Founder of FromVineyardsDirect