TN: Bodegas Corral Gran Reserva Rioja 1978

Not decanted. Bottle opened and uncorked for 3 hours before tasting. Bottle warmed to 65 degrees from storage at 55. Drank out of glasvin bordeaux.

Nose full of dried fruit, earth, and oak. Faint eucalyptus and creamed butter. Very complex and continued to develop over the night.

On the tongue, wild strawberry, fig, and plum. A good amount of fruit had survived, but at this stage the dominant notes were earthy, dry herbs. Also a strange but pleasant note I had not found in old rioja before… our group settled on grapefruit. This added a kind of non-tannic bitterness as well (not appreciated by everyone). Overall, tannins were barely hanging on to balance the pronounced acidity, but it was still delicious and was universally preferred to the 1975 we tried the weekend before. Still very strong, but would have been exceptional 10 years ago. 93 points.

I have found a dried orange rind kind of citrus note on some older Rioja. Personally I would find it very hard to identify what they are if served them blind. Maybe the young ones might have some balsalmic or heavy vanilla, but when they are old they can taste like so many other areas.

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Completely agree. The 1975 from the same producer had developed a lot of leather notes. If tasted blind I would have guessed it was aged italian sangiovese. No leather at all on this bottle.

I have also found dried citrus notes in Rioja, but typically orange or meyer lemon. First encounter with “grape fruit”