Rioja


Showing all 9 results

  • Contino Graciano Rioja 2017

    £49.95

    “I caught the varietal 2017 Graciano just before being bottled. The grapes were picked on the 8th of September, which is quite early, and the finished wine has 13.73% alcohol and a pH of 3.33 with 6.37 grams of acidity (tartaric). The grapes come from a 3.7-hectare plot planted in 1979 and 1989. As they want to preserve the varietal character, they did a soft vinification in small oak vats, but it was aged in new oak barrels, mostly French oak and some 28% American oak. The wine matured for 14 months and then was transferred to concrete tanks, where it matured for a further four to five months to avoid too much oak. It feels very tender, a little creamy and very young, in need of a bit of time in bottle; it should be kept in bottle for a while before it’s released. The nose might be difficult to read, but the palate is explosive and very varietal, vibrant, lively and integrated, like biting into a ripe bunch of Graciano grapes. It should make old bones. I look forward to tasting this in bottle next time. Drink: 2021-2032. 93-95 points

    Contino changed winemakers before the 2017, when Jorge Navascués took over from Jesús Madrazo. I have now tasted the first wines from Navascues, and there is a slight change in style. 2017 was the earliest harvest ever, but they didn’t suffer from the frost, lack of rain and warm weather. Many of the wines are now bottled in Burgundy bottles, the traditional one in Rioja Alavesa.”

    Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (243)

    In Stock

  • Contino Rioja Gran Reserva 2014

    £53.95

    “Deep violet. Primary black and blue fruit, potpourri, baking spice and vanilla qualities on the highly perfumed nose; a smoky mineral flourish adds urgency. Appealingly sweet, oak-spiced boysenberry, cassis and cherry cola flavors spread out steadily on the palate and show fine definition and back-end thrust. Closes impressively long and smooth, with rounded tannins contributing shape and gentle grip. Drinking window: 2023-2033. 94 points

    CVNE’s single-vineyard project has been one of Rioja’s best sources from modern (but not too modern) wines since it was launched in 1973. These are impeccably made wines from fruit grown in a 62-acre vineyard in Rioja Alavesa, on an especially blessed curve of the Ebro River that affords the vine a variety of expositions. Compared to the CVNE bottlings, these wines are definitely richer and more forward in style, but they still retain the signature balance and focus that marks the parent company’s wines.”

    Josh Raynolds, Vinous (04/21)

    In Stock

  • Contino Vina del Olivo Rioja 2019

    £62.95

    “I sense that there is a change in direction in the 2019 Viña del Olivo in search of freshness and elegance form the limestone-rich soils. In a warm year like 2019, the wine was produced with the blend of 67% Tempranillo, 23% Graciano and 10% Mazuelo; it’s higher in Mazuelo, which gives it freshness and shows in the wine, which is “only” 13.71% alcohol, harvested early like the majority of 2019s and keeping a pH of 5.56. The wine is quite flattering and has contained ripeness, good freshness and balance but ultimately lacks the complexity and depth of the 2020 that I tasted next to it. It matured in barrel for 12 months and in oak vat for a further four months. 9,773 bottles and 500 magnums were filled in June 2021. Drink: 2022-2032. 94 points

    The challenge at Contino is to control the power of the very warm place and achieve freshness in the wines. They started some experimental microvinifications in 2021 to find the way. The original wines from the 1970s, produced with part of the winery, have aged very well, and the challenge is to overcome the exuberant style of more recent years. This time there is a new red produced with 100% Mazuelo (Cariñena) grapes that were always vinified separately.”

    Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (07/22)

    In Stock

  • CVNE Imperial Rioja Gran Reserva 2015

    £45.95

    “Deep, brilliant ruby. Offers sharply defined, mineral-inflected red and dark berries, cherry liqueur, pipe tobacco, vanilla and exotic spice scents. Chewy and penetrating in the mouth, offering concentrated black raspberry, bitter cherry, boysenberry and spicecake flavors that steadily become more lively on the back half. The strikingly persistent finish features polished tannins, repeating minerality and a touch of candied flowers. Drinking window: 2025-2038. 95 points

    One of Rioja’s most well-known, oldest and largest bodegas, CVNE was founded in 1879 in Haro. Today the property owns over 500 hectares of vines. Over the past decade the quality of these traditionally made wines has been on a steady rise. Today I would count CVNE among the region’s top producers, up and down the range. The entry-level Cune bottlings deliver excellent value in quantity. The top-end Imperial bottlings are made from a 28-hectare vineyard in Rioja Alta. These wines have established an enviable track record for long aging. Bottles of the legendary 1968 Gran Reserva are still going strong, with what seems to be years of life ahead. Both American and French oak barrels are used here, with an emphasis on American.”

    Josh Raynolds, Vinous (06/21)

    In Stock

  • CVNE Monopole Clasico Gran Reserva Blanco 2015

    £99.95

    “One of Rioja’s most well-known, oldest and largest bodegas, CVNE was founded in 1879 in Haro. Today the property owns over 500 hectares of vines. Over the past decade the quality of these traditionally made wines has been on a steady rise. Today I would count CVNE among the region’s top producers, up and down the range. The entry-level Cune bottlings deliver excellent value in quantity. The top-end Imperial bottlings are made from a 28-hectare vineyard in Rioja Alta. These wines have established an enviable track record for long aging. Bottles of the legendary 1968 Gran Reserva are still going strong, with what seems to be years of life ahead. Both American and French oak barrels are used here, with an emphasis on American.”

    Josh Raynolds, Vinous (03/21)

    In Stock

  • CVNE Pagos de Vina Real 2016

    £54.95

    “I hadn’t tasted the more modern wine from the Viña Real range for a while, and I was a bit surprised to see that they are already releasing the 2016 Pagos de Viña Real, pure Tempranillo aged in new French oak barrels for 18 months. It’s quite a bit more classical than what I remember from the previous vintages, with less imprint of the French oak; in fact, it feels like it might have had some American oak, as it has balsamic notes of cigar ash, cold bonfire and incense. It’s medium to full-bodied with fine tannins and good grip. This is a lot more elegant and balanced. Modernity and tradition seem to converge. 5,000 bottles were filled in September 2018. Drink: 2019-2026. 94 points

    I’ve put the wines from Viña Real and CVNE together, as they have traditionally been brands of the same winery; and even though Viña Real now has a separate winery, ownership and the winemaking team are the same. They have been extending their vineyards to use a higher percentage of own grapes for their wines.”

    Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (243)

    In Stock

  • CVNE Real de Asua Rioja 2018

    £52.49

    “The 2018 Real de Asúa, a pure Tempranillo first produced in 1999, has been produced from 2018 onward with grapes from a vineyard in the paraje (zone) known as Carromaza from the village of Villalba de Rioja. The vineyard was planted with head-pruned vines on sandy soils at 600 meters in altitude at the foot of the Sierra Cantabria in a cool and windy zone with around 700 liters of rain per year. This 2018 fermented in small French oak vats with indigenous yeasts and matured in new and second use barriques for 12 months (down from 18 months in the previous vintage). This could very well be a new wine, from one of their freshest vineyards in a cool vintage, with lots of freshness and much more integrated oak than in the past. It’s still very young and has tannins to be resolved by time in bottle, but it should develop very nicely and make old bones. 3,125 bottles were filled in February 2020. Drink: 2022-2038. 95 points

    CVNE are working to produce white wines in the Reserva and Gran Reserva, an exciting development for the future, but we already have the first example here, a 2018 Cune Blanco Reserva. They are also refocusing on the Real de Asúa range, with interesting developments, which mean completely new wines. And the vineyard work doesn’t stop. They have purchased and planted 15 new hectares in the village of Cellorigo in the Montes Obarenes, certainly a new hotspot for the development of fresher wines. They planted those hectares in terraces at 750 meters above sea level, a little in the style they have done in Valdeorras in their Virgen del Galir project. They are also involved in the recovery of the Davalillo Castle in San Asensio and are replanting the surroundings (close to seven hectares) to make a wine there. So, quite exciting and dynamic times at one of the classical Rioja wineries…

    Even if they have a separate winery above Contino (which they also own) for the Viña Real wines, I have included them here rather than in a separate entry.”

    Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (251)

    In Stock

  • Sale!

    Remelluri Granja Remelluri Rioja Gran Reserva 2013

    £35.75

    “2013 could very well be the most challenging vintage of recent times, a year with 900 liters of rain, which created a lot of problems, including botrytis during the harvest. Produced selected Tempranillo and Garnacha, thea2013 Granja Remelluri Gran Reserva has lower alcohol, 13.5%, and aged in barrel for 27 to 29 months. Compared with the 2014, you see less-perfect ripeness in the tannins, and it’s a little lighter, sharper and a little more austere. I think this is a triumph over the very adverse conditions of the year. 8,000 bottles were filled in May 2016, when they normally produce around 20,000 bottles. Drink: 2020-2026. 94 points

    Remelluri is Telmo Rodríguez’s family property between the villages of Labastida and San Vicente de la Sonsierra.”

    Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (07/20)

    In Stock

  • Remelluri Rioja Blanco 2019

    £57.95

    The white 2019 Blanco comes from a year that was marked by hail and frost in April and May that resulted in a small crop that ripened early in a warm growing season. It fermented with indigenous yeasts and matured in used barriques, foudres and 1,200-liter concrete eggs. The wine is powerful at 14.4% alcohol but has good freshness showcased by a pH of 3.21. This is a very serious and complex white, with spice and smoke, balanced and harmonious, combining power with elegance. It’s a little more fluid, with more finesse and delicacy, despite the fact that they got low yields and the wine had natural concentration. 8,766 bottles and 103 magnums were filled in May 2021. Drink: 2022-2032. 94+ points

    There will be some changes in the Lindes lineup, for which they plan to even have a completely independent winery. The idea is to have up to six village wines from Lindes in 2021.”

    Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (06/22)

    In Stock