Bodegas Benito Urbina Rioja Selección 1999


Bodegas Benito Urbina Rioja Selección 1999

Colour: Medium garnet core, lighter on the edge.

Nose: Plum, dates, vanilla, crème de cassis, faint tobacco, integrated oak

Palate: Dry, medium body, medium acidity, medium soft tannins. Red cherry, blackberry, mineral, plum.

Finish: Medium finish, light oak, stone, touch of spice.

Score: 77/100

The nose smells like classic Rioja, very fruit forward, still smells fresh, wouldn’t have guessed it was an 18 years old wine. The usual black fruits along with vanilla and touch of oak. The palate is very soft, and a bit hollow mid-palate. Carries the fruit from the nose, with a touch of minerality; followed by a medium finish with a touch of spice.

Overall a pleasant wine to drink, but it’s rather simple. The whole wine is very integrated, knocked some points off on the palate. Would drink now.

Breca Old Vines Garnacha 2010


Breca Old Vines Garnacha 2010

Decanted for 3 hours.

Colour: Dark ruby core, lighter on the edges.

Nose: Noticeable alcohol on the nose, jammy; black raspberry, blackberry, black cherry, dark chocolate, baking spice, stone, violet, touch of meatiness.

Palate: Dry, medium+ body, medium+ acidity, full grippy tannins. Concentrated and rich; black raspberry, blackberry, sour cherry, crushed stone, spices.

Finish: Medium finish, black raspberry skin, touch of pepper.

Score: 79/100

Purchased this wine 3 years ago based on Robert Parker’s rating of 94, and set it aside. Figured it should be a good time to open in 2017, let’s see how it developed.

It took a long time decanting to somewhat tamed the still noticeable whiff of alcohol on the nose. After I got behind that, you can tell this wine is right up Parker’s alley; very rich and concentrated on the nose, with waves after waves of black fruits such as black raspberry, blackberry, and black cherry throughout, followed by touch of dark chocolate and spices, with some violets, stone, and meaty notes to add to the complexity.

The palate is more or less the same story, concentrated black fruits, minerals and spices, followed by a dab of pepper in the finish. The tannins are not yet resolved, still grainy and grippy, which suggests the wine still have more life to come.

A big, jammy, bold wine from Spain, I checked the label afterwards found out it contains a whopping 16.1% alcohol, although the alcohol is mostly tamed on the palate, still very noticeable on the nose. Not a very complex wine just very concentrated. This wine isn’t for everybody, some might think it’s too heavy and jammy. Decant for 3+ hours, drink now or hold for 2-3 more years.

Side note: Would recommend this wine with food, something fatty like a nice rib eye steak.

Benrinnes 13 Year Old 1998 (Cask: 6868) A.D. Rattray Cask Collection


Region: Speyside
ABV: 56.8%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask type: Sherry Butt

One of 270 Bottles

Container: Glencairn Neat

Colour: Amber

Nose: Raisins, prunes, dried dates, vanilla, pine, oak, hint of nutmeg.

Palate: A bit hot on the palate. Strawberry, cherry syrup, red fruit jam sweetness, touch of minty coolness, dark chocolate, oak, pepper, ginger, oak.

Finish: Long lingering finish, pepper, ginger, oak, mineral.

Score: 88/100

Very surprising for a 13 year old, certainly got some heat on the palate. Surprising amount of oak influence, I am almost certain it was a PX Sherry cask due to how syrupy it was on the nose. Rather complex on the palate at the same time a bit dry, getting spicy towards the end. Overall a very good cask, and very reasonably priced.