Despite their strict orthodoxy and typical features, all the wines designed and made by Óscar Tobía have a feature of progress, of going beyond tendencies and established rules to get very personal, easily identifiable wines. This reserva has got the highest marks from critics, mainly international, undoubtedly due to that great personality.
In nose, ripe black fruit is clear, together with the aromas from ageing in that peculiar Hungarian oak, with nuances of coffee, toffee and tobacco. It surprises in mouth for its perfect balance in spite of the great complexity of tastes.
It is a fleshy wine, although that silkiness and seriousness make it not seem so moreish as it really is, and its mineral notes, like ink, make it more powerful.
This is undoubtedly the great American meal, their signature dish since this day was declared national holiday by Abraham Lincoln in 1863. The early settlers, known as the Pilgrims, celebrated this day as far as in 1620 with turkey, which is a native of this continent, and they must have stuffed it with fruit, since it is a very dry, even quite tasteless bite.
There are a thousand recipes, as usual with traditional dishes, from those involving a microwave oven, frozen turkey and all types of industrial preparations, to the most sophisticated ones, which seem taken from a medieval recipe book but within the limits of a gourmet’s decency. All of them are suitable for this pairing, and when people in America try it, they will certify it as compulsory as corn cobs and cranberry sauce.
This is a classic pairing, not only for the correspondence between the wine and the food but also for the festive character of the day, when we are supposed to roll out the red carpet and enjoy a great Rioja wine such as this one.
Virtually all the ingredients go well with this wine, excepting the cranberry jam, which can make it drier and override the aromas of ripe fruit, but it will not affect the whole dish as long as it is consumed in small amounts.
I usually advise consuming red wines, even vintage ones, at cellar temperature, that is, about 15ºC, but in this case I would go up to 18ºC, since many delicious aromas must be perceived and this food does not warm up the mouth much.