Urbina, Rioja Reserva Especial 1998


Classic European age-worthy wines are in high demand.

When they are in perfect condition and have been quietly maturing for more than two decades, antennae should be raised.

This is one such wine.

It is utterly incredible. Elegant and soft, easy and refined yet complex and generous; this is a simple reminder that in some parts of the wine world there are producers who still release their wines when they think it is right for them to be consumed. This is all the more exciting to experience when it is not one of the most famous or lauded wineries, but a small, family-run, traditional concern, that make wines for sheer drinking pleasure, representing the past, present and future of timeless class.

This is very much a wine for which we have fallen: not only does it transport us back to Ronan Keating's 1998 "Nothing At All", it is a wine that impresses the virtues of care, time and respect for traditions. The condition of this stuff is sensational - the fruit is all present and correct with strawberry, blueberry and summer fruits pudding; the spices are integrated and the tannins are barely evident at all. It is complex beyond belief and for that value...? Forget about a comparison.

This is European wine that is fully mature and if it had come from a more famous producer, or from Bordeaux or Burgundy, we wouldn't be able to afford it.

This is one of the rare occasions where quality and scarcity are available to mere mortals and at a price that we think is pretty bang-on.

Not in endless supply, but there should be enough for everyone to try it!

The Urbina winery was established in 1870 by Salvador Urbina and it is now run by the fourth generation Urbinas stillin the town of Cuzcurrita del Río Tirón. Blessed with the foresight to farm organically, they are also in possession of a famed single vineyard, Valle del Ángel. They vinify using indigenous and spontaneous yeasts, before aging the wine in American and French oak barrels for two years. This particular vintage then rests for over twenty years in the winery. They claim "harmony and balance" with "no edge". We agree.

Quite spectacular.

Region: Rioja Alta

Country: Spain

Grape(s): Tempranillo, Graciano

Style: Svelte, Soft, Smooth, Silky, Pure, Profound, Perfumed, Organic, Medium Bodied, Meditation, Iconic, Fruity, Fresh, Elegant, Complex, Bright, Balanced

Best food matches: Wild Boar, Warm Salads, Venison, Veal, Steak, St Stephen's Day, Soft Cheeses, Sausages, Salads, Roasts, Red Meats, Poultry, Mature Cheeses, Lamb, Hard Cheeses, Grills, Grilled Vegetables, Game, Fine Dining, Duck, Christmas Dinner, Cheeses, Charcuterie, Beef

Alcohol: 13.5%

Why buy from us?

When you buy wine from The Allotment Wine Co. you're helping a small Irish company that in turn supports small, sustainable wine producers who grow the grapes and make amazing wines. We only work with partners who share a deep respect and connection with the land and its traditions, witnessed in a firm commitment to quality and sustainability. All of which makes for better wines.

Delivery & Returns

You'll get free delivery when you buy 12 x 75cl bottles of wine online from The Allotment, saving you €7.99.

We charge €7.99 per delivery for quantities less than that.

Our hours for processing orders are between 9am - 6pm Monday to Friday.

We pack your online wine order along the following timelines:

Wine orders for delivery in Dublin, received before 12pm on weekdays are prepared so that delivery should be expected the next working day.

Wine orders for nationwide delivery, received by 12pm on weekdays are prepared so that delivery should be expected two working days later.

Customer reviews

Great choice and excellent service. Received my delivery the next day.
Paul H.
Amazing service from the get go!
I emailed Chris looking for wine recommendations for a birthday gift. Got a really speedy, helpful reply and not only that but he hand delivered it on time to the birthday girl wishing her a happy birthday. Absolutely bowled over by the service. Cannot recommend highly enough.
Michelle McM.
Could not recommend The Allotment enough. The selection is fantastic and each wine that I've drank from them has been utterly phenomenal. Delivery was no hassle and I had the wine at my door in 2 days. Couldn't have asked for a better experience.
Luke B.
Good range of interesting wines. Good personal attention to their orders. Very customer focused. I would be happy to recommend this company to any prospective customer.
Jim D.
A great experience ordering from The Allotment Wine Company. A wide variety of wines to try something new and at good prices with super quick delivery! Really convenient too as opposed to trying to find parking!
N. Dowling
Delicious and interesting range of wines delivered promptly to my door. Not far off that lovely feeling of coming back laden from a good wine store but without any of the traffic or the worry of breaking the wine en route (very impressive travel wrap).
M. Dorman
Chris fields a fine range of excellent, keenly-priced wines. Orders are safely packaged and dispatched efficiently and promptly. Strongly recommended.
David M.
Great selection of wines, hassle free ordering, payment and delivery. Highly recommended.
Patrick H.
Hi, I'm Chris Gifford.

And you're very welcome to The Allotment Wine Co.

When you wine from me, you're supporting a small Irish business which in turn supports small, sustainable wine producers, as well as other small, dedicated Irish wine importers.

When selecting wines, I look for partners who share a deep respect and connection with the land and its traditions, witnessed in a firm commitment to quality and sustainability. All of which makes for better wines.