Baron de Ley, Rioja Blanco Reserva (Spain) “Tres Viñas” 2019

($16, Carolina Wine Brands):  Baron de Ley’s white Rioja Reserva has an entirely different — and weightier — profile compared to their regular bottling.  The effects of oak-aging is apparent, but not intrusive.  It adds weight and gravitas without dominating.  Though there is more “oomph” here, it’s not a fruity wine, but paradoxically conveys an attractive austerity and an engaging hint of bitterness in the finish.  Not a stand-alone aperitif type of wine, the power in this fresh and clean white Rioja calls for white meats, such as pork, chicken, or hearty seafood.  What a bargain!
92 Michael Apstein May 30, 2023