I have been a drinker of this wine for many, many years. It has always been one of my favorite wines, but rarely gets the attention it deserves because it falls outside of the price point for an everyday wine. This vintage is uncommonly good and I figured our customers ought to hear about it. The Marques de Murrieta estate is one of Spain’s great wine producing properties, with iconic wines dating back to the earliest days of Rioja’s greatness. Their Reserva bottling is their main wine, and it is always an exercise in polish and sophistication. Perhaps a bit corny, but I will confess to thinking myself much more sophisticated and good looking (than I really am) while drinking Murrieta… it just has that effect on me. Spot-on flavors for Rioja, with dark cherry, mulberry, all spice and a touch of savory smoked meat, this bottling sports a bit less new oak than some vintages, and a firmer backbone than some that I have had. Never tannic, always medium-bodied, this shares many Burgundian qualities, in the sense that the wine is not big and heavy, but is strong, persistent, and yet lovely. Drinks great right now, but will cellar for years and years.