Viña Real Gran Reserva 1970
Wine AdvocateThe 1970s saw major changes in Rioja: the first "modern" wines were produced by Marqués de Cáceres, Remelluri and Contino, and the aging time in wood for wines was shortened in general. Until then, six years in barrique was the norm (almost the minimum) for reds, and this time was shortened during the 1970s and 1980s until the approximate two years of today. The breakdown by variety was about 40% Tempranillo, 40% Garnacha and 20% of the rest, mainly Mazuelo and Graciano. 1970 was a very famous vintage in Rioja, the one that provoked the extension of the vineyards. In the same year, The Isle of Wight Festival was held and remains the largest rock festival of all time with some 600, 000 attendants. Meanwhile, Simon & Garfunkel released their final album together, "Bridge Over Troubled Water," Black Sabbath released their first record -considered the first major heavy metal album. The Beatles broke up and Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin died 20 days apart. In Washington, D.C., 100, 000 people demonstrated against the Vietnam War. This was a very ripe vintage, and the wine seems to be aging faster than other vintages, with a little sweet fruit, ripe and fully resolved. The 1970 Viña Real Gran Reserva was bottled in February 1975. There was a bit of discussion about this wine, as it was one of the most anticipated vintages. At this age, of course, there are no more great vintages, but great bottles. The wine is definitely polished and fully resolved, in fact I think it might be slowly fading out. Notes of iodine, leather and brick dust and a soft palate reveal a wine that is complex and balanced. Other bottles might be less advanced, but based on this one my recommendation would be to drink up fairly soon. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2018.