Dominio de Berzal, Rioja Seleccion Privada 2011, Spain
This all-Tempranillo cuvée comes from three vineyards, all more than 70 years old, with yields of less than 25hl/ha. Made only in particularly good vintages, it is aged 17 months in French oak. This is obviously very young in both appearance and aroma, with plenty of slightly resinous oak at present, and a tightly-wound, intense combination of black fruit and meaty concentration. On the palate it is firm and chewy, the dense tannin structure and sheer concentration of fruit and phenolics drying the mouth. There is a core of blackcurranty, juicy sweetness, but this is layered and submerged by the structure and the chocolate and smoky oak. A serious, savoury wine of some authority, and would be an interesting one to re-taste as it matures. 93/100.