93+ points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): "The 2009 Monte Real Gran Reserva is an excellent wine, offering up a complex and now nicely mature bouquet of red and black raspberries, Cuban cigar wrapper, cinnamon and clove-like spice tones, a lovely base of quite salty soil tones, a hint of celery seed and a lovely framing of cedary oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and starting to get quite velvety on the attack, with a lovely core and soil signature, still a fair bit of ripe tannin and a long, tangy and very complex finish. At twelve years of age, this wine is approachable today, but still really a young wine and it will be even better if given at least a few more years in the cellar to further soften up its backend tannin. This is a riper year for Monte Real, as the wine comes in listed at fourteen percent octane, but it is already displaying all of the characteristic elegance that is the calling card of this iconic bottling of old school Rioja! 2026-2075. (Jan/Feb 2021)"
93 points/'Editors' Choice,' Wine Enthusiast: "[$50 list] Aromas of roasted earth, leather and fine oak are more out-front than berry fruit, and that's the way it should be for a Gran Reserva. This feels bold, lively and still a touch bumpy. Chocolaty oak and vanilla notes rest comfortably on top of ripe berry and black-plum flavors, while the finish is persistently earthy and chocolaty. Drink through 2028. Alcohol 14%. (Jul 2017)"