If I Could Buy Only One – March 16th Vintages Release

We asked our writers, “If you could buy only one wine from this release, which one would it be and why?”

Ramón Bilbao Reserva 2016, Rioja, Spain
$22.95, Christopher Stewart Wine & Spirits
Michael Godel – My “Only One” pick this week comes from a denomination on the move. That would be Rioja where changes are afoot and plans are as much about the future as they are connected to the past. Rioja’s governing (Consejo) body and regulatory council has changed the name of the ‘Vino de Municipio’ classification to ‘Vino de Pueblo’ that will now allow producers to share information about vineyards on the bottle. A terrific example of new meets old Rioja is the Ramón Bilbao Reserva 2016 made by winemaker Rodolfo Bastida, a juicy and fresh example that also happens to be vegan and sustainable. Defined as Ultra classic Rioja aromatics befitting its Reserva appellation in how two-toned wood forms and shapes the fruit to act both highlighted and then sombre, but in the end perfume is everything. Just ideally mid-weight, teasingly oxidative and also bursting with light for the kind of tempranillo to effect good energy and potential remains high, especially considering the price. What a steal for the complexity on hand because probabilities outshine and will surely outrun deficiencies for a 2016 Rioja that may just last twenty years from vintage. Who knows, maybe future labels of Ramón Bilbao will list place names like Bastida’s village of Logroño, or vineyards such as Villalba and Tudellila. 

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