Looks like: Deep dark dusty red with brown tinges.
Smells like: Oh my lord this wine is big, but has mellowed over time. There is a big whack of oak in this wine, it is a Rioja, that is the way they are made. Lots of vanilla coming from American oak. This wine has spent 20 months in American-oak casks, you can smell it.
Tastes like: A wonderful smooth aged red. This is a bargain for an aged wine that is ready to go. Lots of deep dark red fruits with a wonderful balance oak. Delicious!
Match with: Red, red meat.
Serious AWBS notes if you need them: Rioja is a region in northern Spain. It is pronounced Ree-OC-a. There are three main grape varieties, Tempranillo, Granache and Greciano. There are three levels of Rioja that comply with strict rules. The entry level is just called Rioja and has not been in oak. Level 2 is called Crianza and has to stay 1 year in the barrel and 1 year in the winery before being released. Reserva is the next level, 2 years in barrel and 2 years in the winery before released. The daddy is Gran Reserva, 3 years in barrel and 3 years in the winery.