Open, medium-intensity cherry-red with an orange rim. The nose is very intense with a classic Rioja bouquet —spicy, balsamic, cured leather, cocoa, tobacco and vanilla notes set against a background of candied fruit. Elegant in the mouth, with good structure and balance, silky, creamy tannins and a lively acidity on the finish. Big, complex aftertaste which will grow as the wine ages in the bottle. This great classic Rioja is suitable with main courses without heavy sauces, meat stews and desserts with chocolate. -Winemaker's Notes
"A sober, refined wine now nearing its peak. Classic long aged Rioja, nose dominated by tertiary components: black tea, fine leather, balsamic notes. High-toned mouthfeel with great acidity and natural concentration."
94pts -Wine Advocate
"The 1998 Gran Reserva 890 is more or less the same blend and vinification as the 1995 with just a little more alcohol (13%). It has impressive intensity on the nose with lifted dark cherry and briary notes. It has very fine delineation with aromas of licorice and orange rind. The palate is very well-balanced with fine tannins, crisp acidity and lively fresh citrus fresh fruit: small red cherries intermingling with orange zest, marmalade and cassis. It will need several years before it reaches its drinking plateau, but patently has great potential."
96pts - James Suckling
"A staggering range of aromas, from dried mango and papaya through toasted nuts to dried flowers. Powerful and concentrated, but not at all fat, this has a stunning texture, due to the interplay of tannins and richness. Very long, intense finish. Drink or hold."
TASTING NOTES94pts - Wine Enthusiast
"Saturated ruby. Fresh dark berry, cherry, mocha and floral aromas are complicated by suggestions of cola and vanilla. Intense blackberry, bitter cherry and rose pastille flavors deepen slowly and pick up a sweet hint of mocha on the back half. Rich yet energetic, showing excellent clarity. The lively, emphatically fruity, impressively persistent finish is given shape and gentle grip by supple, harmonious tannins."