Wine Review: Bodegas Aster Crianza Ribera Del Duero 2014

asterA rich, radiant dark beauty on the nose, still vibrant but past its prime on the palate.

Deep blackberry, damp bark, autumn leaves, licorice hints, and cigar box swirl in this sensuous olfactory orgy. In the mouth it’s juicy with coffee notes, the fruit still fresh and persistent but marred by bitter, burnt wood flavors that have taken possession of the wine as age begins to mellow the fruit.

Like most Tempranillo from Ribera, the wine is bold, sinewy and rustic through the midpalate but a pleasing, soft texture develops on the finish with tannins in fine shape.

Swelling with intensity, brash with a macabre, sinister expression, turning somber and pliant. Tom Waits’ “How’s It Going to End?” asks the appropriate question.

Notes: Aster is owned by one of the largest wineries in Rioja, La Rioja Alta. Aged for 22 months in French oak barrels, 70% in new wood.

Score: 88

Price: $23

Alc: 14.5%

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