Founded in 1874 in La Rioja Alta, in the region of Fuenmayor, Bodegas Montecillo is the third oldest winery in Rioja. Its quality has lasted over 135 successful years in wine production. This Reserva is carefully fermented over 20 days at controlled temperature. The wine then aged for 18 months in American oak barrels followed by 12 months of bottle age to allow the tannins to soften and the flavors to gel. The Wine Spectator scored it 90 points saying "Smoke, tar and light game notes give a savory accent to this focused red, whose black cherry, toast and mineral flavors are supported by firm tannins and juicy acidity. A lingering finish shows floral and spice edges. Drink now through 2022."
I've been reading up on the Rioja district and fortunately all the regionally listed vintner offerings were in the book and that makes for some interesting reading. The much ballyhooed Tempranillo grape was something I was eager to try. Unfortunately the stand alone fermentation seemed a tad too acidic for my palate and the blended offering didn't seem to tone it down much. Taste is subjective of course and I may yet find something I missed on further consumption.