Amaren Rioja Crianza is made from 85% Tempranillo and 15% Garnacha
The wine is truly attractive, transmitting the finesse and elegance of the Tempranillo and the fresh, delicate fruitiness of the Garnacha. A balanced combination which is far from an excessive complexity, corpulence or over extraction to achieve the goal set by the bodega: to make a “RICH” wine in capital letters. With a nose in which the fruit character with floral nuances and strawberry toffees will stay with you all through its passage through the mouth, where you can sense its power, but with an elegance, enchanting you with its great balance until the long finish with heady notes of red fruit typical of the best garnachas from the Rioja Alavesa.
Only the perfect grapes are used to produce this wine. Amaren Crianza is the pursuit of perfection in all areas: the vineyard, the selection process, winemaking method and ageing.
Made from 85% tempranillo and 15% garnacha from vines with an average age of 35 years, the grapes are selected on a dual sorting table, first a manual check of the clusters and then individual berries.
Both varieties are harvested, vinified and aged separately to extract their optimum potential and obtain aromatic complexity.
After vinification the wine is cask aged for 12 months in 50% new, American-oak barrels and 50% in French-oak barrels used for a second vintage.
Tempranillo brings to the wine typical finesse, elegance and true expression of the characteristics of the best soils of Rioja Alavesa. Garnacha is the ideal complement that brings notes of red fruits, freshness and delicacy.
"Deep ruby. Oak-spiced cherry and blackberry aromas and flavors are complemented by a suggestion of mocha that gains strength as the wine opens up. Plush and seamless in style and showing no rough edges. Rich yet lively; a peppery note adds a spicy kick on the back half. Gentle tannins shape the impressively persistent finish, which leaves a hint of bitter chocolate behind. - Josh Raynolds"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (May 2017), 91 pts
Burgo Viejo Rioja Reserva is made from 85% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha & 5% Carignan.
Burgo Viejo Rioja Reserva presents with red ruby color; black pepper and vanilla flavors and some mature black fruit taste too. Well-balanced, well-structured and elegant in mouth displaying some splendid taste of fruit and bouquet too.
Burgo Viejo Reserva Wine vinification has occurred blending different grape varieties to produce an aged wine that will surely keep maturity and fullness from the vineyard until the very moment of uncorking.
VINIFICATION: Alcoholic fermentation in stainless steel vats at controlled temperature; aged in American and French oak barrels -50% each- for 18 months.
Enjoy it with red meat and game.
"Sweet, ripe, plummy nose followed by notes of rosemary and thyme. Enlivening wine with a long and complex aftertaste." Decanter 90 Points
"(raised in a 50/50 combination of new and used French and American oak barrels for 18 months) Vivid ruby-red. An expansive, highly perfumed bouquet evokes ripe black and blue fruits, cola, incense and toasty oak, with a sexy floral overtone. Silky and broad on the palate, offering concentrated black raspberry, cherry-vanilla and coconut flavors that become spicier with aeration. In an emphatically fruity style, showing solid closing thrust, strong persistence and gently gripping tannins. - Josh Raynolds"
- Antionio Galloni's Vinous (February 2019), 91 pts
"A small step up in price, the 2014 Reserva (85% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano, and 5% Mazuelo) has a similar elegance and purity, with classic vanilla-laced notes of spice, garrigue, cedar, and both cherry and darker currant-like fruits. It’s balanced, has fine tannins, and is an outstanding wine. I like it today, but I suspect it’s capable of keeping for a decade."
- Jeb Dunnuck (March 2019), 90 pts
Luis Canas Rioja Crianza is made from 95% Tempranillo and 5% Garnacha
A classic style Rioja from one of the regions most enduring family run wineries.. The hillside terraced vineyards are sheltered by the Sierra Cantabria Mountains to the north from harsh weather extremes. Small plot production is utilized in this region of infertile chalky clay soil to produce clusters of excellent quality. Almost 900 plots are needed to complete the approximately 400 hectares of estate-owned or cellar-controlled vineyards, some with vines more than 100 years in age.
Made from 95% Tempranillo, 5% Garnacha of 30 years of age, the wine shows a ruby red color, a clean nose with nuances of balsamic, plum and cedar. The palate is smooth and velvety, complex and structured, with fruit, spice flavors with toasted oak. A pleasant finish with red fruits and hints of eucalyptus.
This year in Rioja Alavesa the weather has been especially cold, the summer short and dry, and there has been plenty of rain in early September. This has produced wines with great aromatic notes, particularly those coming from high altitude areas, very fragrant and with great structure.
Winemaking and aging
Upon entering the bodega and passing the selection table, the grapes are de-stemmed and crushed before undergoing fermentation and then maceration in stainless steel tanks for a total of 8 days, obtaining better color extraction as well as much more complex wines, suitable for prolonged aging. The wine is clarified with vegetable gelatines and follows anicrobic filtration.
It is ideal to pair with meats; red meat, poultry, small game, oily fish, semi-cured cheeses, spicy dishes and hot dishes such as beans or potatoes Rioja style.
After its primary fermentation, the wine is placed in barrels where it undergoes malolactic fermentation and is aged for a minimum of 12 months. It is then bottled for at least another 12 months.
"A medium fruity red with cherry, berry and hints of cedar, firm tannins and a fresh finish. Light austerity at the end makes this interesting. Tempranillo and garnacha. Drink now."
- James Suckling (September 2021), 91 pts
A deep powerful Gran Reserva from one of Rioja Alavesa’s most enduring family run wineries. The hillside terraced vineyards are sheltered by the Sierra Cantabria Mountains to the north from harsh weather extremes. Small plot production is utilized in this region of infertile chalky clay soil to produce clusters of excellent quality. Almost 900 plots are needed to complete the approximately 400 hectares of estate-owned or cellar-controlled vineyards, some with vines more than 100 years in age.
Ruby red color with earthy tones. The wine shows finesse, elegance and complexity with good concentration of black fruit, thyme and rosemary with secondary aromas of leather and tobacco leaves. In the palate it is polished and rounded, making it pleasant and easy to drink. Fleshy with both elegance and power. It has touches of black fruit jam and liquorice. A long, delicious and persistent finish.
Suitable for pairing with a long, copious meal where it can accommodate braised vegetables, cold cuts, peppers stuffed with hake and shrimp, mushroom omelettes, cod Rioja style, both red and white meat... and so on.
Marqués de Moral is a Crianza wine made from 100% Tempranillo grapes (locally known as Cencibel), with 6 months of barrel age in American oak "barricas".
Valdepeñas DO's legislation requires only 6 month of Oak aging for Crianza level.
Aromas of strawberries and dried cranberries enhanced by obvious spiky American oak.
Benjamin Romeo Predicador Tinto is made from 96 percent Tempranillo, 2 percent Garnacha, 1 percent Graciano and 1 percent Mazuelo.
Predicador, or “Preacher,” named after Clint Eastwood’s everyman character in the 1985 film Pale Rider, is composed of 96 percent Tempranillo, 2 percent Garnacha, 1 percent Graciano and 1 percent Mazuelo. The grapes are sourced from 15 different plots within San Vicente and Briones in Rioja Alta which on average yield less than 2 kg per vine. The wine is fermented in oak and stainless steel with a two-day cold maceration and aged for sixteen months in new French oak. The wine was filtered but not fined. This vintage some La Cueva del Contador, Contador and La Vina de Andres were added for concentration and balance.
The aromatics open up with crushed red cherries, balsamic notes and the sweet baking spices of cinnamon and clove. The fruity and spicy characteristics found in the nose follow through on the palate, along with dried cranberry, black cherry and elegant fine-grained tannin supporting the tart red fruit and adding to its length and depth.
Predicador was a wine that was born as a minor wine at a very specific moment in time, and many people (including yours truly) had not quite realized it has grown into an adult, proper Rioja red. The 2014 Predicador I tasted had only been bottled for two weeks and was a little dizzy. But if you wait or can read between the lines, it's terribly perfumed and intoxicating, with penetrating aromas of macerated cherries and very decayed violets, a little decadent. The palate is silky, with superb tannins and great balance. This is among the best vintages ever released since the initial 2004.
- Wine Advocate 92 Points
Dark cherry color. Complex and intense aromas of juicy red and black fruit combined with vanilla and toffee. Fresh, ample and round in the mouth, well balanced and harmonious with fruit flavors and ripe tannins.
R&G Rolland - Galarreta
A JOINT PROJECT BRINGS TWO CULTURES TOGETHER.
A DECISIVE STEP FOR THE PRESTIGE OF SPAIN'S GREATEST WINES
Two trajectories, two styles and two cultures but a common goal. French winemaker and consultant Michel Rolland and Spanish wine entrepreneur Javier Galarreta have joined forces in a project that highlights the great virtues of Spain and its wines: excellent terroir and solid experience make great quality wines with real potential in the international markets.
As one of the leading winemakers in the world, Michel Rolland has influenced many aspects of both the French and global wine industry. Javier Galarreta, along with a group of wineries, set up Araex in 1993 to market Rioja Alavesa wines. Today, it is one of the leading exporters of quality wine in Spain.
R&G Rolland - Galarreta Vineyard
The grapes used to produce R&G Rioja grow in vineyards located in Rioja Alavesa, widely considered the premium area in the appellation Rioja DOCa. Out of the 540 hectares owned by Bodegas Labastida and a selection of plots in the highlands of Elvillar, we have selected some of the best vineyards and grapes that grow at an altitude between 450 and 700 meters above sea level.
The grapes used to produce Rolland Galarreta Ribera del Duero grow in vineyards located on the highest vineyards in Ribera del Duero, at an altitude of 915 metres. During the summer -a key time for the ripening of the grapes- altitude acts as a buffer for extreme weather conditions. Out of the 83 hectares owned and controlled by Bodegas Valtravieso, we have selected some of the best vineyards and grapes that grow in poor rocky soils with a high limestone content. These factors contribute to higher acidity levels in the grape, which enables the production of more balanced, markedly fruity wines.
Grand Veneur Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge Le Miocene is made from 65% Grenache noir, 25% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre.
An intense dark-ruby color. The nose develop aromas of ripe black fruit (such as blackberry), cherry and spice box. The palate reveals the presence of tannins, in high quantity and elegant. The finish is long and luxurious. This is the Châteauneuf du Pape expression, displaying all the characteristics of the terroir.
Soil type: Plots are located northern part of Châteauneuf du Pape and the vines are grown under organic process.The soil is marked by the violence wrought by the Rhone river. It consists of a layer of marine molasses of the Miocene period covered by alpine alluvium. The presence of a great number of rounded stones known as "galets" in the earth is evidence of the time when the Rhone, then a torrent, tore fragments of rock from the Alps and deposited them on the plain. The GRAND VENEUR cuvee will express year after year a great power and aromatic complexity.
Winemaking & ageing: Harvest is sorted by hand, destemmed and crushed. Fermentation temperature is controlled at 30°C. Vatting period of 18 to 20 days. Matured in vats and oak casks.
"Floral, garrigue notes mark the nose of the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Le Miocene. This full-bodied wine has ripe black cherry fruit, creamy tannins, tremendous power and length but loss of detail or precision. Licorice and almost amaro-like notes linger on the finish. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. - Joe Czerwinski"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue 238, August 31st 2018), 93 pts
"Accents of toast, spice and nut lend nuance to intensely ripe black cherry and preserved strawberry in this opulent wine. It's boldly fruity yet savory, shaded by umami tones of balsamic vinegar, soy sauce and earth. This full-bodied, complex wine is ready now but could improve through 2026 and hold further. - ANNA LEE C. IIJIMA"
- Wine Enthusiast (March 2019), 93 pts
Antica Vigna Valpolicella Ripasso DOC Superiore is made from 65% Corvina, 20% Rondinella, 10% Corvinone, 5% Merlot
Ripasso Superiore DOC is an elegant and refined wine, showing a beautiful and intense ruby color. Spicy, with cherry hints and wild berries notes, it features great personality and complexity. In the palate it is rich, very fruity, elegant and still young but already very well-orchestrated, with the typical notes of wild berries that blend well with the complexity of the wine.
20% in steel· 80% in wood for 6 months of which 2/3 in American and French barriques, half of which are used for the second and third time 1/3 in large barrels
Fermentation time: about 7/10 days the first and 15 days the second.
Fermentation: at a controlled temperature of 18/20° and second fermentation on the skins of Amarone at 18/20°C.
Vinification: soft crushing of destemmed grapes to obtain Valpolicella.
Drying: the grapes are not dried but vinified fresh.
Harvest: mid-September with manual harvesting of the grapes.
VINIFICATION AND AGENG:
Vineyard management: sustainable agriculture and great attention to natural cycles
Vine density: 4,000 to 5,400 vines per hectare
Vine planting year: from 1972 to 2009
Vineyard training system: guyot and pergola
Soil type: limestone
Height: 350/400 meters asl
Geographical location: Tenuta di Mezzane, Tenuta di Cazzano di Tramigna
Pairs well with grilled and roasted meats, as well as cheese.
Black cherry color, pours thick, and with rich flavors. Bing cherries and Kirsch on the nose. Flavors like a ripe Châteauneuf du Pape with ample extract, red liquorice, and a persistent finish.
“This wine rates 95-99 points in quality” – Francis J. Kysela V, MS
The wine is aged 60 months in oak barrels, then aged 24 months in tank, and another 12 years in the bottle before release.
Enjoy it with mature cheeses such as Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano. Goes well with grilled meats, roasts. An excellent sipping wine and a great match with chocolate desserts.
Avennia Justine Red Blend 56% Grenache, 31% Mourvèdre, 13% Syrah
Justine reflects our belief that Washington is capable of producing world class blends of grape varieties traditional to the Southern Rhone region of France. The name is inspired by one of the great heroines of recent literature, who also sprung from the imagination of the Mediterranean. Dark, seductive, complex, with a chasm of depth: The Justine is a great reflection of Avennia's mission of expression, and Washington's generous terroir.
Tasting Note: Big black cherry, blackberry, hints of orange peel, fresh herbs and loam on the nose. Plush and round on the palate. Dark earthy fruits from the Mourvedre, along with citrus high notes, mountain flowers, jasmine, and savory herbs. Balanced and complex without forgetting its hedonistic roots in the Southern Rhone.
A blend of 56% Grenache, 31% Mourvèdre, 13% Syrah brought up all in older oak, the 2016 Justine offers a great core of black fruits as well as lots of peppery herbs, earth, and classic meatiness. It looks to be a great vintage for this cuvée."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2018), 92-94 pts
With its maritime influence, California's Monterey region has an extended growing season that yields wines with full flavor development and great acid balance. Mandolin Pinot Noir is a rich wine that features bright cherry and raspberry fruit with hints of spice, leather and cedar.
The grapes for this Pinot Noir were sourced from vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA of Monterey County, where high winds, dry days, and bay fogs create a cool, but very long, growing season. These growing conditions are ideal for cool-climate grapes such as Pinot Noir, and lead to full, forward fruit flavors and ideal acidity. Grapes were harvested at an ideal balance of sugar and acid, and the wine was fermented in small open-top tanks. The wine completed malo-lactic fermentation in French oak barrels, where it aged for 8 months prior to bottling. TA .67 pH 3.50 Residual Sugar 0.052g/100ml
Michel Rolland, Pomerol vintner and consultant to many of the world's top wineries, teamed with Washington State wine visionary Allen Shoup to produce this limited release wine.
With its intense color and inviting aromas of dark berries, licorice, baking spice and a hint of smoke, the Pedestal is a bold wine that leaves a lasting impression. Dark fruit flavors integrated with sweetness from the barrel and richness from the tannins come together seamlessly, lingering across a structured mid-palate and lengthy finish.
Winemaking: Hand-harvested grapes were double-sorted to remove green material that might impart harsh tannins, then most of the lots were cold soaked to build richness and flavor before undergoing whole-berry fermentation in 55L upright French wood tanks. This, combined with gentle pump-overs throughout fermentation, enhanced the wine’s color, texture and mouthfeel. The finished wine was aged 22 months in 85% new French oak barrels.
"The 2015 Pedestal Merlot from Long Shadows is a blend of 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Petit Verdot aged 22 months in 85% new French oak barrels. Crème de cassis, wood smoke, scorched earth, and graphite characteristics all emerge from this rich, full-bodied, voluptuous beauty that has more mid-palate depth and richness than any other Merlot made in the state. With ample tannin, it will benefit from a year or three and keep for 15. It's a gorgeous wine."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2018), 96 pts
Number 83 in Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Wines of 2018
Cornerstone Cellars Oakville Station Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc.
From a legendary vineyard that is owned and farmed by the University of California, Davis, this is a brilliant expression of Oakville terroir. Each of the three Bordeaux varietals brings their own unique character to this complex red wine blend. The Cabernet Franc expresses lively red fruit with a touch of herbs. The Cabernet Sauvignon adds weight, depth and lushness to the midpalate, and the Merlot wraps it all up with a layer of juicy ripe summer fruit flavor.
The Cabernet Sauvignon in this blend comes from two different blocks in the highly acclaimed UC Davis Oakville Station, in the heart of “Cabernet Country”. The North Station is adjacent to the illustrious To Kalon vineyard. The tiny block of Merlot and a small block of Cabernet Franc were planted on the west side of the valley at the base of the Mayacamas in the south station in 1990.
The wine offers bold, ripe fruit aromas with some spice and dried herb notes. Smooth and round on entry the Merlot in this blend offers a juicy fruit-focused core that balances the big flavors that we expect from Oakville Cabernet. Expressive yet nuanced, this wine delivers a full- bodied lush core with layers of spice, and a touch of earthiness.
"The tannic intensity of this wine is complemented by dense, dark layers of black cherry, currant and oak. Elongated, it shows well-integrated ripeness and a length of black pepper, sage and cedar. - Virginie Boone"
- Wine Enthusiast (October 2020), 90 pts