Castillo Labastida Reserva 2005
18 months in 70% American and 30% French oak
Wine Advocate, 89 pts. Listed in Robert Parker's Wine Bargains, The World's Best Wine under $25.
This expresses dill and coconut aromas in the nose from American oak barrels, which are accompanied by ripe and enthralling red fruits: currants, cherries, strawberries as well as some black currants. There’s quite a bit of mintiness to the wine, though that just adds to its complexity. This is a very refreshing style of Rioja, not sacrificing richness but keeping it in check. Drink now or in the next few years.
This wine comes from vines with an average age of 30 years. It was fermented at 27ºC under temperature controls, and the must was pumped over on a daily basis. Devatted using gravity, the wine then underwent natural malolactic fermentation after three weeks before being aged for 18 months in one- to three-year-old, medium-toast American and French oak barrels. After the final racking, the wine was lightly clarified, decanted, and bottled directly without any type of filtration.
About the Winery
Bodegas Labastida combines traditional winemaking with the latest technology to produce great wines. The winery was a pioneer in the application of the Bordeaux wine-aging methods brought to Rioja by Labastida-born Don Manuel Quintano back in 1787. Set up in 1964 by a group of local vine growers, the cooperative currently has 152 members. The members apply their collective experience to obtain the best quality wines from their 1,330 acres of vineyards, which are planted with vines more than 25 years old.