Contino Vina del Olivo Rioja 2020


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“I love the youth and freshness of the 2020 Viña del Olivo, a blend of 69% Tempranillo, 23% Graciano and 8% Mazuelo that is even lower in alcohol than in 2020 (at 13.52%). It was harvested early but with full ripeness and higher acidity and more freshness. The wine feels very young and tender, with very integrated oak after 14 months in barrel and two months in oak vats. It’s fragrant, floral and aromatic, juicy and fresh, with very fine tannins and a long finish. It has abundant fine-grained tannins and a dry, chalky finish from the limestone soils. This is one of the finest vintages of Olivo; there is a floral quality here that I loved and hadn’t seen in previous vintages of this single-vineyard red. 15,667 bottles and 7500 magnums were filled in March 2022. Drink: 2023-2035. 95+ 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)