Finally last night, after the Riesling and prawns followed by the Claret and chops, we had a bottle of Cune Rioja Reserva 2004. This had so many things going for it; I think the standard bottling (as opposed to a prestige cuve) Reserva is the benchmark for Rioja Producers and Cune are a straight-ahead classic producer and 2004 was a terrific vintage. Coming up to six years old it's just about old enough if decanted for a bit and it didn't disappoint. What a lovely thing a decent bottle of reserva is! It had just what you would expect; the sweet cedar smell from the American oak, lashings of Tempranillo fruit, some decent developing complexity, good length and a refreshing finish. I find a good quality but not over-the-top Rioja makes a great partner for hard cheese and as such, I often use it as the second red of the evening. This one is drinking well now but will probably improve for another year or so and stay at its best for several years after that. I'm glad I have a case.