TN: 2005 La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 (Rioja)

I have, and liked the 2004 and 2001.

I used to drink a lot of the other La Rioja Alta cuvees (Ardanza, Arana - one showed too much oak) more regularly but somehow moved away from them going back more to my core choices. Solid values across the board and I was able to get them locally in 375s.

About $75.
904 is a much better deal and similar quality.

Muhammad? [scratch.gif]

Either a typo, or that’s just the name I use for myself… This is what I get for only accessing wine berserkers on my cell phone

Dill I can understand. Pickle juice suggests something a lot sharper and much less acceptable.

It’s definitely more than dill to me. It’s the slight hint of juice, hate to call it vinegar as that sounds so off-putting.

“Pickle juice” always has that ambiguity. It seems people use this to refer to the dill, not vinegar. Very confusing.

Well, you can count me as confused. I dislike pickles of all sorts. And I love rioja.

Just so you don’t think I’m nuts - well, you probably do anyway - use “pickle juice” as a search term in Wine Talk. :wink:

BTW, I like an occasional pickle but do not actively seeking them out for snacks. Sorta like the way I am with Rioja. I enjoyed that bottle quite a bit but don’t go chasing them. I am curious now to try one with significant age on it. My most mature have been around 20 years.

Search term?

You do know you can do word searches on this website, right?


I would clarify that I don’t find L. Heredia’s wines too oaky, but sometimes they are too acetic/sour for my preferences. This can taste vinegary (but without oxidation) to me.

I think I am in the minority on this board finding Heredia’s wines this way, but my local wine group gets the same profile (two of whom consider Spain their viniferous mainstay).

That said, I’ve had some sensational L. Heredia wines, most recently the '81 Tondonia GR.

It is off putting when more than a nuance.

This matches my experiences with this wine just about exactly, but I couldn’t articulate it this well. Elegant. (I’m not sure I’d say the tannins are resolved – just not harsh.) Pretty drinkable now but with the balance to go a long time, I think.

Damn, two typos! The other is quite Freudian, though I guess this one could be too.

Gosh us country Cubans struggle so much with the English language…

I think I’ve had this win 3-4 times in the past year and I would agree with you completely. One other thing I’ve found on the wine is almost a sweet oak or Coconut nose. It settles down after it’s been open for a little, but upon opening it’s almost over powering. I’ve laid a few down and believe it will drink well for another few decades, but it does drink beautiful now too…

“Peaked” – is what I did when you changed into your biking shorts.

“Piqued” – is when your curiosity is stimulated. When you are curious, you might ask “what?”. So an easy mnemonic is that “que” means “what” Spanish. Of course, that would require you to understand the most rudimentary Spanish, so never mind.

Yep. Coconut and/or dill are giveaways for new American oak. I usually find both present in young La Rioja Alta, though usually with more dill dominance, yet in Marques de Murrietta, especially their ygay Gran Reserva bottlings, more of a coconut character that, no matter how old, including vintages like '34 and '59, never really departs.

As a side note, I think those that use the term pickle juice often are just identifying the dill aspect, but sometimes there’s volatile acidity present, in which case pickle juice becomes a catchall, though I prefer highlighting both characteristics as it’s a little more precise.

This thread has both piqued and peaked my interest in pickles.