Remelluri Reserva 2015
Eternumviti (lower case ‘e’ to start) is the resident wine expert on pink fish media, although he denies this palpable truth. He’s passed exams and stuff, so he must be. He usually wears his learning lightly and doesn’t often lapse into forest-floor-garrigue, custard-apple-and-boysenberry-notes nonsense (have you ever tasted a custard apple or a boysenberry? No, me neither.) I forgive his occasional venture into crunchy fruit territory because of his delightful ability to forget where he is after attending a wine-tasting (usually somewhere extremely posh in London) and occasionally falling asleep inside an unsuspecting shrub when the need arises. Conversely he accepts my rants about points systems that are marketing exercises in disguise and irrational prejudice against Burgundy with no more than a metaphorical roll of the eyes and indulgent smile, because – well, because of my general charm and all-round lovability, I suppose.
Something else that rubs me up the wrong way is wine in which the grapes have been majorly replaced by oak sap. My experiences with Rioja have led me to avoid it for this reason (as a friend once asked me, “what’s that Spanish wine that always tastes like burnt vanilla?”) One day I got on my high horse and posted words to that effect. Eternumviti gently replied that yes, the traditional style can tend to be like that and that’s the way it is – but there are other producers whose wines are aged in less oaky oak (French rather than American) resulting in a wine that might be more to my taste.
Remelluri was one such that he mentioned, so I bought three bottles of 2015 Reserva from Decántalo. This was the first to be opened, and the post-cork-pull snifter was enough to tell me I was onto a winner. Two hours later, in a state of high anticipation, I took my first real sip. It was excellent! Quite herby to start with, it moved into a sweetish, fruity, rather cherry area. There was a little oak to the taste, but nowhere near enough for even me to take offence. It was certainly unlike any Rioja I had tasted before, and probably the first Tempranillo I’ve had that didn’t taste like it had been mixed with vanilla essence. My brain was therefore struggling to compare it to something it knew, and the best it could come up with was ‘a less tannic Saint Cosme Gigondas.’ If you’ve been reading these pages you will know that is praise in my book, and at two-thirds the price of SCG I’d say that makes it good value. Two bottles left… I need more!!