Rioja - Urbina reserva 2004

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Rioja Gran Reserva Urbina, polished, American oak aged, mature, delicious. After spending 24 months in American oak and over 20 years in bottle, you'd be forgiven for thinking this bottle would be overblown and lacking in subtlety, but actually this drinks extremely well. It has a wonderful, subtle freshness to back up that richness and maturity. Elegant, harmonious, soft texture with dried fruit and spice on the palate. The Gran Reserva is as polished as they come and has aged fantastically. All the wines are unfiltered, and great value.

Bodegas Urbina family-run estate that practises organic methods (not certified). The bodega is situated in Cuzcurrita de Río Tirón, on the north-western edge of Rioja. It is an area that produces wines with a great capacity for ageing, and is therefore excellent for the production of great wines – Reservas and Gran Reservas. Bodegas Urbina, a family-owned, single estate winery, has 75 hectares of vineyards, 65 of Tempranillo, and 10 of Graziano, Mazuelo and Viura. Total production is about 460,000 kilos. Four generations of the family have dedicated themselves to the cultivation of their vineyards and the production of wine. In 1975 the bodega began to age and bottle their own wine in order to retain the special characteristics of a smaller single estate. Their sole objective, the production of quality wines, has been achieved as the result of careful viticulture using traditional techniques, harvesting by hand and avoiding the use of weed killers and pesticides. There has since been a large investment in modern installations, de-stalking machinery, stainless steel fermentation tanks and bottling machinery.