B-21 Top Recommendation
Bodegas Óbalo is a relative newcomer in storied Rioja, founded in 2006 in the scenic Sonsierra landscape with the Sierra Cantabria mountains to the north. Made with a selection of 65-90 year old vine Tempranillo, the 2015 Bodegas Óbalo Rioja Reserva is a lush, fruit-driven and structured Rioja with firm, rounded tannins, exhibiting the distinctive ripe berry aromas of Rioja Alavesa Tempranillo. A complex Reserva with two 91pt ratings, it's also a super value.
The Bodegas Óbalo Reserva is sourced from the estate's south-facing terraces on the slopes adjacent to Sierra Cantabria. Typical of Rioja Alavesa, the distinctive clay-limestone soils and low rainfall produce low yields, resulting in the Reserva's concentrated color and aromas. Sonsierra's unique microclimate and terroir combined with the hot, dry vintage in 2015 to produce wines of "freshness and elegance, in addition to optimal ageing potential," according to the Rioja DOC Board, all characteristic of the Óbalo Reserva. Considered a modern style Rioja for the use of new French oak, winemaker Juan Carlos Martínez ages the Reserva for 18 months in barrel followed by two years in the bottle. Now with over 6 years of aging, it remains energetic and seamless on the palate, with jammy dark fruit and leathery spices. The 2015 Bodegas Óbalo Rioja Reserva exhibits incredible depth and balance, a value priced Reserva that can be an everyday indulgence.