2005 Navajas Reserva, DOCa Rioja
It's easy to love Rioja. It's so effortlessly charming, that rare kind of company you wouldn't mind not leaving after you clear the dishes. But I'm worried it's going down the dark road Chianti has fallen victim to, that road which leads to internationally-styled wines that taste neither of place of origin nor time of birth. Some (Italians) might argue that that's a good thing, that their wines are achieving higher scores and corresponding prices. That's a sad sentiment, because it is a forsaking of your heritage and that of your ancestors for commercial gain. Too melodramatic? Perhaps. And many would rightfully argue that Rioja is still holding onto tradition. But as more and more producers are seduced by the international palate, we have a responsibility as wine writers, critics, professionals, and consumers to embrace and laud the beauty of authentic Rioja wine.
This is one of them.
Ripe, fresh fruit, with a kiss of oak. Lean, floral, developing a savoury character on the second day. Minerally as well, following on a gorgeously integrated, harmonious palate. Long. Pure and graceful, the perfect dinner companion.