2004 La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904
After I tasted and reviewed the 2001 vintage of this wine just a few months ago, I went back to Costco to buy more. At $40 I thought this was the steal of all steals and pretty much said as much in my review, giving it a nice 93 point rating (Parker has gone 96 pts on these wines). But when I arrived at my Costco all of the 2001 bottles were gone and they only had the 2004. Tip: the 2001s have a red band on the top around the neck while the 2004s have a gold band.
This is when I go into super Costco wine fan model. I started digging under the wooden bins. This should be standard practice at most Costcos because you never know what you will find under there (often times free wooden wine boxes too). I was half way around the entire wooden display when I spotted some bottles in the back. They had a red band. Much to the chagrin of the people around me (Christmas time) with their huge shopping carts trying to get through the wine aisle to get a sausage sample, I pulled more boxes out until I got in the very back and found those two bottles with the red label.
Alas, it was what I was looking for – the last two bottles of the 2001 vintage. So I obviously purchased those for the cellar, and figured I should try the 2004 for my readers who will likely be able to find that one a little easier (if your experience at your local Costco is anything like mine). But still remember, it pays to dig around at Costco.
So tonight I’m enjoying the 2004, and it’s a splendid wine as well, very much in the same light as the 2001. But the depth of a few years of extra age can be noticed. These bottles are a lot of fun to sip in 30 minute intervals out of a decanter to taste how the wine progresses over time. This bottle started out juicy, just waiting for the cork to be busted out. It was bright lively and slightly chilled (it was stored in the cellar with the others). As it came to room temp in the decanter over the course of two hours, I began to enjoy it as much as the ’01.
Herbs and vegetal on the nose; flavors of dark fruit, black tea, a hint drier on the finish than I remember the ’01. All around a beauty, a fine food wine and worth every bit of the $40 price tag at Costco. I’m going to stay with the same 93 points as I gave the ’01. This is one of the best values in the warehouse.
CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 93 Points
Costco item number: 11321
Purchased at Costco in: Atlanta, GA (Kennesaw)