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Karen’s 2020 Wine of the Year

By Karen MacNeil
December 25, 2020

I tasted a lot of great wine in 2020, despite it being one of the worst years imaginable for so many of us. And more than in past years, the pandemic meant I also raided my wine cellar with abandon. (It’s now quite a bit smaller). But the memory of one wine has circled around in my mind for months because it was just so damned good. My 2020 Wine of the Year is

REMELLURI Reserva 2012 (Rioja, Spain) $44

A wine so alluring, sensual, and complex that I was stopped in my tracks when I first wrote about it last July. Rioja reservas (from tempranillo) remain some of the most exquisite red wines on the planet, and they taste like they should cost three times what they do. In this Remelluri (reh-meh-YOO-ree) reserva, the heady incense, dark chocolate, sea salt, exotic spices, black licorice, earth and cigar notes have coalesced into aromas and flavors that are simply stunning. The wine has power, fantastic volume, and velocity. And unlike so many wines which you can only buy young, Rioja reservas—with 8 years of age like this one–are on the market and deliciously ready to drink.

Remelluri (its full name is La Granja Nuestra Señora de Remelluri) is a family owned winery that has been making some of the most exciting wines in Rioja for decades. If you love the flavors of Old World wines, you MUST try this. (98 points)

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