We tried this wine with great anticipation. Online reviews were good, and this bottle received a 95 from Wine Spectator - a "classic", and one of 9 highest rated rioja wines at this time. I have a theory that ratings do not follow a linear path and that probably anything above a 90 is pretty close in taste. Perhaps I am wrong?
I am thinking "Seleccion Especial" Reserva is somewhere between the mid-level "reserva" and the highest level of gran reserva.
The rioja reserva was silky smooth and very well balanced. Desirable complexity for a middle-weight red wine. Definitely ready to drink. We savored each sip. Pairing with Korean style chicken did not significantly change the taste.
Sipped: 5/6 (fantastic)
Paired: 5/6 (fantastic)
This if our first wine rated at a 5 on our scale of 1 to 6. We purchased the five remaining bottles. I think we will pair next bottle with paella, lamb, or a heavy stew.