The 1966 vintage in Rioja is a good, but not a great year, and this is reflected in the rather moderate ripeness level of 12.6 percent alcohol of the ’66 Imperial Gran Reserva. Consequently, the wine is just a touch austere in personality, even at age forty-seven, but I very much like this wine for its impressive aromatic and flavor complexity and its classic Imperial refinement. The bouquet is pure and classy, offering up scents of dark berries, a touch of raspberry, tobacco, gentle meatiness, spices, discreet notes of nutskin and a bit of spicy wood. On the palate the wine is deep, fullish and just a touch angular, but with a very good core, fine soil signature, tangy acids and good, but not great length and grip on the complex finish.
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1970 Bodegas Bilbainas "Viña Zaco" Gran Reserva Rioja (base neck fills) (Previously $150)