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Benjamin Romeo La Cueva del Contador 2014

ID No: 448049
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 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 93
Country:United States
Region:Rioja
Winery:Contador
Grape Type:Tempranillo
Vintage:2014
Bottle Size:750 ml
Product Description

Benjamin Romeo La Cueva del Contador is made from 91% Tempranillo, 9% Garnacha.

Named after the centuries-old caves or “cuevas” carved out of the hillside below the castle of San Vicente in Sonsierra north of the Ebro, this wine is composed of 91 percent Tempranillo and 9 percent Garnacha. The fruit is sourced from eight different plots that yield about 1.2 kg per vine. Fermentation begins after a three-day cold maceration and the wine is aged for nineteen months in 100 percent new French oak and bottled without fining or filtration.

The palate offers flavors of blackberry coulis, Damson plums, Rosemary and well-integrated tannins; this wine is well balanced and youthful with a long powerful finish. Both red and black fruit are pronounced in the nose, but there are also mineral and herbal notes of gravel and lavender.

Review:

Youthful purple. A complex, oak-spiced bouquet displays ripe boysenberry and cherry, candied violet, cola and mocha scents lifted by a vibrant mineral flourish. Deeply concentrated yet lively as well, offering intense dark fruit preserve, cola and spicecake flavors that show excellent delineation and floral lift. Manages to be rich as well as lively and finishes very long and alluringly sweet, leaving allspice and vanilla notes behind.

-Vinous 93 Points

Winery: Contador

Bodega Contador began in 1995 when Benjamin Romeo, winemaker and grower, acquired a centuries-old cave carved into the rock beneath the Castle of San Vicente de la Sonsierra, located at the foot of the Sierra Cantabria mountain range in La Rioja Alta, west of Rioja Álava. In 1996, Benjamin made the first vintage of his “La Cueva del Contador” wine and started to buy vineyards for his plan to become a “bodeguero”—a wine producer. Benjamin was the winemaker at Aratadi from 1985 to 2000, where he was able to apply his skill and continue to hone his craft. In 1999, he made the first vintage of “Contador” from vineyards he acquired.

In 2000, after seeing these first wines favorably received by the market and press, Benjamin dedicated himself full time to his personal project. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate awarded 100 points to the 2004 and 2005 vintages of Contador made in his parents’ garage.

In collaboration with the architect Hector Herrera, Benjamin designed and opened a new winery in June 2008, to coincide with the summer solstice. The three floors or terraces mirror the original slopes of the site where it is located, enabling both fruit and wine to be moved by gravity.

The wines are sourced from sixty-two different plots which are organically farmed.

The wineries carries out green harvesting in May and June, and harvest in September by hand with grapes carefully placed in 14-16 kilo bins. The maximum amount of time the fruit sits in the bins is half an hour. Fermentation is temperature controlled in 10,000-litre truncated conical French oak vessels, and racking of the wine is done during a waning moon when the gravitational pull keeps the heavier particles at the bottom of the barrel allowing for greater clarity in the wine.

There is a holistic approach to the vine, so the winery uses fertilizers only in certain years with organic material composed by Bodega Contador viticulturists themselves from sheep manure. They apply herbal treatments that create an ambient environment for the vines to thrive, and treat the vines with copper sulfate when needed.

Benjamin oversees every aspect from vine to wine, including traveling to France to select the best oak trees for barrels and choosing the best-quality Spanish corks from high altitude mountain regions in Castellon, Toledo, and Gerona. As the son, grandson and great-grandson of winemakers, Benjamin uses rigorous attention to detail to produce wines of great and noble character


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Benjamin Romeo Predicador Tinto 2014

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.

Review:

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






 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 92 Wine Advocate: 92
Cueva de las Manos Malbec Organic 2020

Cueva de las Manos Malbec Organic is made from 100 percent Malbec.

Cueva de las Manos translates to "Cave of Hands". There are a series of caves in Patagonia containing stenciled paintings of hands, dating back over 9,000 years ago. The caves have been named a World Heritage Site, and they are the inspiration for the label on these wines.

Cueva de las Manos Malbec is deep purple in color. Fruity intensity on the nose with floral notes. A juicy texture, mild tannins and good structure balanced by a well-integrated freshness. Clean and pure finish.


Delas Freres Cote Rotie La Landonne Rouge 2016

Delas Freres Cote Rotie La Landonne Rouge is made from 100 percent Syrah.

This very ancient region dates back to the Roman Era and is located on the right bank of the Rhône. It is said that during the Middle Ages, “The Seigneur de Maugiron” gave a hillside to each of his two daughters - one was brunette and the other fair - thus, were born the names of “Côte Brune” and “Côte Blonde.” Wines from the Côte Blonde tend to be more delicate and lighter in character than the fuller wines of the Côte Brune. Together, they make a wine of style and substance. This cuvée is a vineyard plot selection. The grapes come exclusively from a plot within the named slope of “La Landonne.”

This cuvée‘s first vintage was 1997. The wine is only made in the very best years. Its highly limited production never exceeds 2,500 bottles per year.


The steep, terraced hillsides along the river produce wines that are among the "biggest" reds of France. The Delas Côte-Rôtie is primarily Syrah with an addition of up to 10 to 20% of Viognier grapes in the crop. The soils of the northern part of the Côte Brune vineyard consists of extremely steep, terraced slopes of ferruginous mica schists which are covered with schist sand (arzel). The Côte Blonde has a varied geology with gneiss and granite predominating at the most southern side of the appellation. The area has dry, hot summers with regular rainfalls during other seasons. The grapes for the “La Landonne” cuvée are picked by hand at maximum maturity. Fermentation takes place in traditional open-topped concrete tanks, following three days of pre-fermentation cold maceration. Before fermentation, the maceration process continues under controlled temperatures of 82°F to 86°F. Daily cap pushing down and pumping over are carried out for about 10 days with total vatting time of up to 20 days. The wine is aged for 14 to 16 months in new or one year old oak casks. The barrels are topped up regularly.
Food Pairing: This wine pairs wonderfully with fine meats, roasted beef, water games, truffles and spicy stews. The bottle should be opened 1 to 3 hours before drinking. This wine needs at least 3 years cellaring before it can open up its complexity. In such case it is strongly recommended to decant before serving.

Tasting Notes: The wine‘s deep color is underscored by plummy hues. A complex nose shows deep, fruity aromas with hints of licorice and roasted coffee. Endowed with a dense and silky tannic structure, this is a full, fleshy wine that provides an ample and generous palate. Its lasting finish speaks of considerable ageing potential.


Reviews:

Deep in color, the espresso, licorice, smoke and flint, paired with layers of juicy, ripe fresh, red fruits show up with ease. On the palate, the wine offers richness, density, purity of fruit, herbs, crushed stones and a wall of ripe, lushly textured, dark red berries. This will age quite nicely.T

-Wine Cellar Insider 97 Points

Sun-baked garrigue and smoky notes of iron and earth accent intensely ripe black cherry and cassis in this wine. Made from 100% Syrah, it's a hulking powerhouse of black-fruit flavors but finessed by firm acidity and fine, integrated tannins. Stunning already it should improve through 2036 and hold further 

-Wine Enthusiast 97 Points


Bright purple. Powerful cherry, cassis, potpourri, exotic spice and olive qualities on the highly perfumed, complex nose. Sweet and energetic on the palate, offering impressively concentrated black and blue fruit preserve, floral pastille and spicecake flavors that unfold steadily with aeration. In a powerful but energetic style and quite primary now. Aeration brings up smoky bacon and floral pastille qualities that carry through the strikingly long, youthfully tannic finish, which leaves behind sweet dark and floral notes.

-Vinous 95 Points

Alluring, with warm fruitcake and black tea aromatics leading off for a lush and warm core of crushed plum, cherry reduction and blackberry pâte de fruit flavors. Despite the showy fruit detail, there's a solid iron underpinning, with pretty floral notes and bright energy throughout. Best from 2023 through 2038. 300 cases made, 188 cases imported. 

 -Wine Spectator 96 Points

Overview

This very ancient region dates back to the Roman Era and is located on the right bank of the Rhône. It is said that during the Middle Ages, “The Seigneur de Maugiron” gave a hillside to each of his two daughters - one was brunette and the other fair - thus, were born the names of “Côte Brune” and “Côte Blonde.” Wines from the Côte Blonde tend to be more delicate and lighter in character than the fuller wines of the Côte Brune. Together, they make a wine of style and substance. This cuvée is a vineyard plot selection. The grapes come exclusively from a plot within the named slope of “La Landonne.”

This cuvée‘s first vintage was 1997. The wine is only made in the very best years. Its highly limited production never exceeds 2,500 bottles per year.


Winemaking

The steep, terraced hillsides along the river produce wines that are among the "biggest" reds of France. The Delas Côte-Rôtie is primarily Syrah with an addition of up to 10 to 20% of Viognier grapes in the crop. The soils of the northern part of the Côte Brune vineyard consists of extremely steep, terraced slopes of ferruginous mica schists which are covered with schist sand (arzel). The Côte Blonde has a varied geology with gneiss and granite predominating at the most southern side of the appellation. The area has dry, hot summers with regular rainfalls during other seasons. The grapes for the “La Landonne” cuvée are picked by hand at maximum maturity. Fermentation takes place in traditional open-topped concrete tanks, following three days of pre-fermentation cold maceration. Before fermentation, the maceration process continues under controlled temperatures of 82°F to 86°F. Daily cap pushing down and pumping over are carried out for about 10 days with total vatting time of up to 20 days. The wine is aged for 14 to 16 months in new or one year old oak casks. The barrels are topped up regularly.


Tasting Notes

The wine‘s deep color is underscored by plummy hues. A complex nose shows deep, fruity aromas with hints of licorice and roasted coffee. Endowed with a dense and silky tannic structure, this is a full, fleshy wine that provides an ample and generous palate. Its lasting finish speaks of considerable ageing potential.


Food Pairing

This wine pairs wonderfully with fine meats, roasted beef, water games, truffles and spicy stews. The bottle should be opened 1 to 3 hours before drinking. This wine needs at least 3 years cellaring before it can open up its complexity. In such case it is strongly recommended to decant before serving.

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 95 Wine Enthusiast: 97 Wine Spectator: 96 97 Points
Laird Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2014

Laird Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley is made from 100 percent Napa Cabernet.

This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from three vineyards: Mast Ranch, for its earthy and robust structure, Flat Rock Ranch, for its fruit-forward characteristic and silky structure, and Linda Vista Ranch, for its juicy and vibrant approach-ability.

Tasting Notes: Opaque ruby color with a tinge of purple introduces developing aromas of blackberry jam, cranberry, and acacia flower. This medium-bodied red wine expresses flavors of ripe black plum, walnut, and cassis on the front of the palate, and is complemented by chewy tannins and juicy cherry on the finish.

Vineyard: 42% Mast Ranch + 35% Flat Rock Ranch + 23% Linda Vista Ranch
Appellation: Napa Valley
Varietal: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Review:

"A rich, unctuous wine, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) is sweet, layered and enveloping in feel. Dark cherry, plum, mocha, cloves and new leather are all fused together. This is an especially intense, flamboyant expression of the vintage."

- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (September 2016), 90 pts

"Aromas of blueberries, currants, spices and concrete. Medium to full body, firm and chewy tannins and a flavorful finish. Needs time to soften but so pretty already. Drink or hold."

- James Suckling (January 2017), 93 pts

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 90 93 Points
Laird Jillians Red Blend 2014

Laird Jillians Red Blend  is made from 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Syrah, 10% Merlot, 5% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot

21 months in 75% French Oak and 25% American Oak (40% new and 60% neutral)

Vineyard: Cabernet Sauvignon (60% Mast Ranch + 40% Linda Vista Ranch), Syrah (100% Eagle Vines Ranch), Merlot (100% Big Ranch), Malbec (100% Flat Rock Ranch) and Petit Verdot (100% Flat Rock Ranch).
Appellation: Napa Valley

Our family has been proudly growing grapes in Napa Valley for two generations; this unique fusion of four varietals honors the youngest member of the third generation in our farming family, our daughter Jillian. This Left Bank Bordeaux-style blend with a twist of Rhone is structured, but easy to drink. Jillian’s is the only blend we make and it’s our most popular red wine.

Tasting Notes: Complex and precocious just like the real Jillian. Its deep, ruby red appearance accompanied by viscous legs leads the way to a seductive bouquet of toasted oak, lavender and ripe strawberries. A medium bodied palate, with delicate tannins and acidity, leads the way to tart dusty cherries and boysenberries that dance across your palate, while flavors of clove, vanilla and blueberry custard unfold on the finish.


Review:

"A ripe and lush style, with waves of cassis, plum sauce and açaí berry rolling through, coated with mocha and sweet spice notes and leading to a very polished finish. For the hedonist crowd. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2024. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. - James Molesworth"
- Wine Spectator Insider (December 24th 2019), 92 Points

 Wine Spectator: 92
Thorn Clarke William Randell Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 (magnum)

COMMENTS
Deep red in colour. The nose is lifted and expressive with lovely Christmas cake and mint characters along with black olives and tobacco leaf adding complexity. The palate is medium to full bodied with blueberry and hints of cassis as the primary fruit flavours. The palate has great poise with the vibrant fruit, spicy French oak and fine tannin structure all wonderfully balanced, and the wine finishes with great length of fruit.

VINIFICATION NOTES
The fruit was harvested at night. Fermentation was carried out in a variety of small capacity fermenters. After pressing the parcels were filled to French oak for maturation. The wine was racked after six months and the parcels were blended to form the final wine.

MATURATION
The wine was matured in a temperature controlled barrel hall for 16 months in French hogsheads (barrels).

VINTAGE NOTES
Average winter rainfall in 2009 resulted in good soil moisture in the 2010 growing season. This combined with moderate weather conditions through most of the growing season allowed for good fruit set and canopy development. 

HARVESTED
March 2010

"Full crimson-purple; while quite soft overall, both in fruit and tannin terms, the wine is full-bodied and fleshy, with dark chocolate and licorice joining the blackcurrant fruit and cedary oak. 14% alc."
James Halliday's TOP 100 over $20 (November 2012), 97 pts

"This Eden Valley wine displays classic Cabernet structure. It’s full-bodied and powerful, but never jammy or soft, like some Barossa Cabs. Vanilla accents pristine cassis fruit, which shows enormous depth. Drink 2018–2025, and very possibly beyond. -Joe Czerwinski"
Wine Enthusiast (April 2014)94 pts + CELLAR SELECTION

GOLD AT 2012 HOBART WINE SHOW

GOLD AT 2012 NEW ZEALAND INTERNATIONAL WINE SHOW
GOLD AT 2012 QUEENSLAND WINE SHOW
SILVER AT 2012 ADELAIDE WINE SHOW
SILVER AT 2012 CHINA WINE AND SPIRIT AWARDS
BRONZE AT 2012 BAROSSA WINE SHOW
BRONZE AT 2012 INTERNATIONAL WINE AND SPIRIT COMPETITION
BRONZE AT 2012 MELBOURNE WINE SHOW
BRONZE AT 2012 SPEIGELAU INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION (NZ)
BRONZE AT 2013 INTERNATIONAL WINE CHALLENGE

 Wine Enthusiast: 94 97 Points
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