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.
Region: Rioja Alta
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