Baron de Ley 2010 Rioja Reserva, Decanter 95+, $18.97

Due to its 95-point score at just $18.97, we've had this one targeted for tasting since discovery. It certainly has not disappointed and, at under $20 this wine way over delivers. I'd be impressed by this wine in the $30 - $40 range.

From a decanting perspective, I'd recommend being on point at 25 minutes to nose the wine and take a few test sips over about 10 minutes to the 35 minute mark when I'd start slowly enjoying the wine.

We poured this wine in a decanter and violently agitated it washing-machine-style for about 5 minutes to get it going. The initial nose sported cold dry chocolate, blueberry, blackberry, pencil lead, and cool dry herbs (not quite spearmint or wintergreen, but slightly cool). On the palate, there's a generous delivery of blue and black fruits along with notions of the other mentioned components.

25 minutes in, there's are additional components of chalk and black plum skins with a very slight tartness that allude to a slightly red-fruit aspect. 

At 32 minutes, the wine is really opening, becoming a harmonious melding of the aforementioned scents and flavors while offering up new complexities. If you are not into this wine by now, you're late to the party.

Plum, cedar, blackberries, and violets are stirring around the nose as the aforementioned scents and flavors are melding with slightly raisinated black plum with slight hints of red brightness emerging and taking the complexity of fruit to an extremely liberal range. Eventually, I become convinced that the red-fruit nuances are convicted in offering up a dark cherry that puts the fruit range of this wine in a truly dynamic range spanning the entire red-blue-black spectrum.

The generous multi-faceted complexity of fruit, herbs, wood, mineral, floral, and other components is beyond impressive for the price. The delivery of flavors in the mouth is expansive, the concentration is impressive, and, again, complexity is beyond what you'd expect.

This is a big winner...

- Tasho Katsaboulas & Jimm Brumley tasting.

This article was published on April 29, 2016