Saturday, March 14, 2009

**+ $ Taja Reserva, 2003, Jumilla, Spain - Review and Rating

Original Review, December 2008: The Taja Reserva is a Spanish red table wine from the Jumilla, Spain, region, made of 50% monastrell, 20% cabernet sauvignon, 20% tempranillo and 10% merlot, aged a full year in oak. It tips in at 14% alcohol, and is not produced in every vintage.

In the glass, the reserve Taja wine shows as a deep ruby red, very lightly bricked at the edges. The nose is modest for a Jumilla red, showing the characteristic candy-apple red aromas, lighted dusted with oak in this case. On the palate, the oaky tannins come to the fore, bringing a bold, tough middle to the first sip, followed by a notable acid twang. There is fruit hidden behind the rugged, rusty, tobacco cloak, but it will need some coaxing to come forward. I will try it with a decant, though it may yet want more time in bottle.

Finish is clean and lengthy, with dry tannins forging a path to the next sip.

For now, two stars with a plus for its promise; but I wouldn't be surprised by a third star arriving in its future. Let's see.

Meanwhile, Wine Spectator is definitely a fan of Taja Reserva, 2003, awarding 90 points and reporting, "Deep loamy and gamy flavors wrap around cherry and kirsch fruit in this dense red. Sun-baked and solid, with well-integrated tannins and fresh acidity. A traditional style... Drink now through 2015. 4,000 cases imported."

Updated review, March, 2009: A few months later, let's try Taja Reserva from Jumilla Spain once again... Deep blood red in color, lightly bricking at the rim. Aromas are quite shy, with that touch of candy apple characteristic of the region, but lighter than many of this style, without the intensity and concentration. The brisk tannins are noticeable at first sip, but a pleasant light cherry fruit is beginning to wrap around the tannins, bringing this straightforward, middleweight red wine to an even, pleasant, clean, slightly-lingering close. Good value for money. Two stars on the Spirit of Wine scale, this time with a plus for its good, clean balance.

Find Taja Reserva at WineZap.

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