When Wine Spectator asked, "Is Rioja today’s most overlooked (and underappreciated) wine?" One winemaker said, "I don’t believe that any wine region anywhere in the world offers greater value—by which I mean higher quality at a fairer price—than Rioja." He's right and Wine Spectator tells us that Rioja "routinely offers the world a level of matured wine quality like no other."
Today we have one of these aged diamonds in the rough from one of Rioja's founding wineries. According to the insiders at Drink Business, this estate is one of the “Top 10 producers of all Rioja,” here is the 97-point 2016 Bodegas Ugalde Rioja Reserva.
The story of the Ugalde family starts with Felipe, who arrived at the epicenter of Rioja, Haro, aka “the golden mile” of Rioja’s wine,back in 1882. He established this family winery under a “Château” concept (this means, that it's highly influenced by Bordeaux winemaking techniques including blending, extended barrel aging, etc.) Little did he know that this Bodega would grow into one of the most important wineries in the entire country. Since its inception, Bodegas Ugalde’s main goal remains: “To produce superior quality wines that convey the valuesof the Riojan terroir.”
This Spanish classic Rioja blend of 70% Tempranillo, 25% Graciano, and 5% Mazuelo, shows ripe black fruit, with elegant balsamic notes. The palate is round with complex tannins and a balanced and long finish. Decanter described this 97-pointer as a“magnificent wine” with“An ethereal and classic style.”
How many times have you found a 97-point 8-year-old Rioja's for less than a full tank of gas? Not to mention that it's from one of the "top 10 producers in Rioja"and cultivated from a 95-point vintage. You better get your hands on this gem before it's too late!