Carlos Serres was one of the first wineries in Haro, established in 1896, and the estate now manages 60 hectares of vineyard in the Rioja Alta region. Their Gran Reserva is a blend of 85 percent Tempranillo, 10 percent Graciano, and 5 percent Mazuelo from vines that average 35 years old. The wine aged for three years in French and American oak barrels followed by another three years in bottle before release (and has since aged a little longer).
It’s reedy, a thin, high cry of red wood and cherries, cedar, juniper berries, and cranberry. The body’s woodsy frame is stained with red fruits and tanned hide, while copious cedar and tobacco plus tingly berries enliven the mid-palate. The off-tawny color shows the effects of barrel and age, and while pronounced acidity washes through, there is also an oxidative note that embroiders both texture and flavor. The finish is savory, a sluice of soy sauce and bouillon.
Solidly Old World and well aged now, yet still singing in a high-key. Pair it with seared meats, charcuterie, roasted mushrooms, or lightly smoked foods.
13.5% abv | $25 (sample) Imported by Winesellers, Ltd.
Other wines by Carlos Serres: