Casado Morales is a small, family owned estate in the Rioja Alavesa region. This is the samllest of the Rioja sub-regions. Their vineyard is uniquely situated at a height between 1200 and 1800 feet above sea level. The Sierra Cantabria mountains provide a buffer from the cold north winds allowing the grapes to ripen fully with great complexity. This wine is a Reserva level and it is further distinguished by being produced from the oldest vines in two of their vineyards averaging 50-60 years of age. The wine matured for 22 months in new French oak barrels and then in the bottle. The Wine Advocate scored it 93 points saying "The 2005 Seleccion Privada is a blend of 60% Tempranillo and 40% Graciano. Purple-colored, it surrenders a lovely aromatic array of wood smoke, incense, brier, lavender, black cherry, and blackberry. Medium-bodied and elegant on the palate, this concentrated effort conceals enough structure to blossom for another 4-5 years. It will offer a drinking window extending from 2014 to 2025."
This wine is sleek, sexy and elegant with well developed dark fruits surrounded by dark baking spices, floral notes and just the right amount of oak aging. The acidity is bright but the palate is serious with the tannins still hanging around providing a lush mouthfeel and lengthy finish. No need to cellar, this one is drinking perfectly.