January 1LAN Limited Edition Rioja 2004
This was in an impressively bold and heavy bottle, and that set the tone for this wine experience. The label was simple, which I like… like they don’t need a label to sell their wine. Decanting the wine gave another clue of what we were in for, as it was inky purple, almost black. The aroma was cassis, lead pencil, cherry, blackberry, steamed rice, and licorice. I had to keep reminding myself this was a Rioja… the ones I’ve seen and tasted were always pretty light… some of them even more like a rosé than anything. This one was more like Syrah or Malbec. It tasted like blackberries, bitter dark chocolate, licorice, smoked oak, espresso, blueberry, and plum. Medium acidity and slightly spicy on the palate and finished with lingering ripe tannins, smoked oak, blueberry, and dark chocolate. A very long finish indeed. The next day the chocolate aspect was even more pronounced. In a nutshell this wine is bold, earthy, smokey, and ripe fruit. At 45 bucks I wouldn’t call it a bargain, but worth trying if you can find it. It is a limited edition and can be pretty hard to get at this point.