Four decades of Beronia Gran Reserva Rioja

I recently got the chance to taste (and drink) Beronia Gran Reserva Rioja from three different decades, spanning four decades in all, which was pretty cool. I’m not the greatest fan of traditional-styled Rioja, but when it’s good, it’s very good, and it can age brilliantly.

These three bottles were all compelling. The 1982 perhaps showing more signs of age than the 1973, but still superb with lovely complexity. The 1973 is ageing beautifully, and still has lots of fruit. The 2005 is just a baby: concentrated, intense, still showing plenty of oak – a little ungainly in its youth, but with a powerful core to support lots of development in bottle.

Rioja is one of those rare wine regions where it’s not  really hard to taste good, older bottles, and if you like old wine (not everyone does), then it’s a happy hunting ground.

Beronia Rioja Gran Reserva 1982 Rioja, Spain
Lovely aromatics of bitter plums and sweet cherry fruit, with complex, warm herby notes. The palate is fresh and has high acidity, with flavours of plums, cherries and berries as well as some spicy warmth. Strongly savoury, with some astringency, but also lovely aged complexity. 92/100

Beronia Rioja Gran Reserva 1973 Rioja, Spain
Sweet, warm, spicy and bold with some rich cherry and plum fruit as well as tertiary, evolved aromas. The palate is quite robust with warm, spicy notes and great concentration. Showing amazing purity for such an old wine, and still has tannic grip. Compelling. 94/100

Beronia Rioja Gran Reserva 2005 Rioja, Spain
Powerful and sweetly fruited with dense, warm, spicy oak notes as well as ripe black cherry and blackberry fruit. Quite ripe and sweet but with nice dense earth, spicy structure and notes of cedar and vanilla under the rich fruit. Potential for development. 92/100

Find these wines with wine-searcher.com

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