December 2018 96 Points, Year's Best Champagne Wine & Spirits

“Frédéric Rouzaud and Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon decided to hold the 2008 Cristal Rosé longer than the 2009, giving it eight years to rest on the lees. The cool vintage and long aging created a wine with a huge personality and presence, its compressed power barely relieved by Lécaillon's decision to include lots that underwent malolactic fermentation (16 percent), a rare move for Roederer's vintage cuvées. Even though the wine is a giant, challenging to approach right now, there's elegance under its deep well of flavor, from rich, floral raspberry to elusive wild fruit. This is destined to live for decades.”

December 2018 91 Points, Year's Best Riojas Wine & Spirits

“This 2014 has the gracious and subtle earthiness of the best wines from Ygay, one of Rioja’s top estates. Its subtle richness is grounded by oak tannins while a quiet burst of raspberry flavor gives it just enough amplitude to seek out food without obliterating it. Decant a bottle for roast leg of lamb.”

December 2018 92 Points, Year's Best Riojas Wine & Spirits

“This is grown at Murrieta’s Finca Ygay in Logroño, where 750 acres of vine roots explore the gravels of a plateau at 1,600 feet in altitude and the hillsides and valley where that plateau collapsed—think the mesas of the desert Southwest for a corollary to the landscape. The blend is based on tempranillo (91 percent), with mazuelo, graciano and garnacha making up the rest, all of it aged two years in American oak before bottling. And that oak shows first, with cardamom spice in the tannins, which meld into the chocolate richness of the fruit. It’s a generous vintage of a firmly traditional wine, built to age for a decade or more.”

December 2018 95 Points Wine & Spirits

“The vines on the La Plana plateau, the highest point of the estate, at 1,600 feet in elevation, were 60 years old when faced with the heat of the 2009 vintage. The majority of this wine is tempranillo, harvested at the end of September; 19 percent of the blend is mazuelo (carignan), harvested a week later. The wine has the richness of the vintage while the fruit holds its freshness, with tart plum and strawberry notes helping to shape all the flavor concentration. It’s a fat wine with attitude, packing dense tannins that last for minutes and need a decade or more to be fully absorbed into the fruit. It’s supple, heady and delicious now, and significantly more complex with several days of air, as it will be with years of age.”

December 1, 2018 98 Points Wine Enthusiast

“This amazing wine is timeless. Just hinting a golden hue, the nose offers layers of toastiness balanced by an impressive amount of fruit and freshness. At 23 years old, it still has some life in it, showing bright citrus and minerality. Let it breathe before drinking to bring out all the subtleties.”

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