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Arroyo Val Sotillo Ribera del Duero Gran Reserva 1994

Other Red Blends from Rioja, Spain
  • WS96
  • RP95
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Intense cherry red color with garnet hues. Powerful and elegant aroma and sweet black fruit, spicy notes very fine, original mineral notes, truffle, natural coffee, and tea. Deep and rich in nuances. The palate has a great structure and balance, silk touch with body and force but with great finesse, rich, expressive and elegant aromas of mouth. A wine develops slowly and end of fragrant echoes of good fruit and

Critical Acclaim

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WS 96
Wine Spectator
You could get your money's worth just enjoying this wine's aromas, but the flavors are just as expressive and alluring. This complex, harmonious red is dense without heaviness, showing mineral, game, plum, cedar and licorice flavors, balanced and long. A beautiful wine with a long life ahead.
RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The compelling 1994 Valsotillo Gran Reserva is, according to the importer, "a superbo thermonuclear fruit bomb." A famous French-American taster (living in Paris) would call it a "whoop-di-do" wine. It is a remarkably youthful red that has been aged for 2 1/2 years in American oak, and another 2 years in the bottle. There are only 150 cases of this over-sized Ribera del Duero for the United States. It offers a black/purple color as well as a gorgeously sweet bouquet of blackberries, truffles, licorice, and smoke. As the wine sits in the glass, earth, mushroom, and vanillin emerge. It is hugely-extracted and nicely-layered, with mouth-staining levels of extract and tannin. Although it remains young and unevolved for a six-year old wine, it promises to last for 3-4 decades. The tannin is sweet enough to become fully integrated, and acidity is present, but well-integrated. This is a wine for true connoisseurs. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2035.
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Arroyo

Arroyo (San Jorge)

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Highly regarded for distinctive and age-worthy red wines, Rioja is Spain’s most celebrated wine region and also home to whites of equivalent quality but lesser renown. Made up of three different sub-regions of varying elevation—Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa, and Rioja Baja—wines are typically a blend of fruit from all three, although single-zone wines are beginning to gain in popularity. Rioja Alta, at the highest elevation, is considered to be the source of the brightest, most elegant fruit, while grapes from the warmer and drier Rioja Baja produce wines with deep color and high alcohol which mainly serve to add body to a blend. While fresh and fruity Riojas labeled “Joven” undergo minimal aging before release, a hallmark of more serious Rioja wines is the aroma and flavor of new oak—traditionally American, which imparts characteristics of dill, coconut, vanilla, and spice to the wine. Tighter-grained, subtler French oak, however, is becoming increasingly common. Crianza and Reserva styles are aged at least one year in oak, and Gran Reserva at least two, but in practice this maturation period is often quite a bit longer—up to about fifteen years.

Tempranillo provides the backbone of Rioja red wines, providing complex notes of red and black fruit, leather, and tobacco, while Garnacha supplies body and alcohol. In smaller percentages, Graciano and Mazuelo often serve as “seasoning” with additional flavors and aromas. These same varieties are responsible for flavorful dry rosés. White wines are made mostly from crisp, fresh Viura, which is usually blended with aromatic Malvasia and weighty Garnacha Blanca. White Rioja has traditionally been made in a nutty, oxidative style, though a bright, unoaked version is currently in vogue.

Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to create complex wines with many different layers of flavors and aromas, or to create more balanced wines. For example, a variety that is soft and full-bodied may be combined with one that is lighter with naturally high acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

SSR140315_1994 Item# 140315