2010 Bodegas Bilbainas Viña Pomal Gran Reserva

$59.95 btl / $359.70 cs (case of 6 x 750ml)

This is a must buy for those of you who enjoy full-body reds. Spain’s La Rioja Alta is famous in Europe and loved by wine connoisseurs from around the world. If you have not yet explored this region — now is the time. Bodegas Bilbainas is not only the oldest bottling firm in Rioja but one of the most renowned wineries in the region. The Viña Pomal Gran Reserva is their “king” wine and is exceptional, only made in the best years. To label a wine Gran Reserva the winemaker must age the wine for at least 5 years before release, with a minimum of 2 years in oak. The 2010 vintage has been rated excellent, one of the best vintages out of Rioja in over a decade. The quality of the vintage has been attributed to favourable weather conditions throughout the growing season, with vines showing excellent health.

The nose is elegant and complex with hints of red fruits and notes of liquorice along with toasty and balsamic aromas from the aging in barrels. The mouthfeel is supple, elegant and balanced, with baked berry flavors augmented by chocolate and spice notes. Complexity builds as age begins to bring out tertiary aromas of cured meats and smoke. It is dense and chewy ending in long persistence. Although ripe, this wine has great acidity making it outstanding and has impressive cellaring potential.

The Bilbaínas Winery is over 100 years old and remains true to the philosophy of its founder, Santiago de Ugarte, when it was founded in 1904. Bilbaínas Winery has the greatest surface area of underground cellars (3,400 m2) and with the greatest surface area of vineyards in the municipality of Haro, the emblematic capital of La Rioja Alta. Together, there are 250 hectares of vineyards of utmost quality which are filled with grapes owned by the winery to ensure quick processing without the loss of quality. Truly an exceptional estate producing some of the best wines in the region.

Price: Case of 6 at $359.70 ($59.95 per bottle)

Drink: Now or cellar over the next 15 years

Blend/Body: 90% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano

Vinification: Part aged in new French oak, part in one-time use American oak

“Balsamic berry aromas are heady and include tones of tobacco, cigar box and maple. This gran reserva from a fabulous vintage is solid and chewy, with ripe tannins that are firm but not too harsh. Baked berry flavors are augmented by chocolate and spice notes. It’s dense and chewy on the finish, with just enough acidity to ensure balance and longevity.” Michael Schachner for Wine Enthusiast, 93 points

“The savory 2010 Viña Pomal Gran Reserva had aromas of iodine, smoke, spices and cured meat—complex, tertiary and developed. The palate was polished and sleek, with some rusticity that would welcome food. This is ready but should be able to develop slowly in bottle.” Luis Gutiérrez for The Wine Advocate, 91 points

Food Pairing: Grilled steak, lamb, pork, veal, grilled sausage, gourmet hamburgers and non-seafood paella

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