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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
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
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
Burgo Viejo Rioja Tinto is made from 85% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha & 5% Mazuelo
Burgo Viejo Tinto comes from a careful selection of the grapes during the harvest followed by meticulous vinification to extract the highest potential of the grapes in an effort to achieve a fresh, powerful, fruit-driven young wine that will satisfy a wide range of palates.
The wine shows fresh aromas of red fruit –strawberry candy- on a very subtle background of sweet vanilla and cocoa. In mouth it is also fresh with balanced acidity, good length and absolutely velvety tannins.
Alcoholic fermentation in stainless steel vats at controlled temperature and malolactic fermentation in concrete vats.
Enjoy it with pasta dishes, cheese and red meat.
Early to bud and early to ripen, the 2014 vintage was our third drought year in a row. Dry, even temperatures marched the grapes along at a steady clip all year and created a wine with beautifully integrated fruit, acidity, and tannin.
Dense and dark magenta in color, this is a lithe and energetic vintage with lifted aromatics and a purity of fruit that lights up the medium-bodied tannin structure. The nose promises fresh black fruits, cherries and a touch of graphite, and the palate completely delivers. Juicy blackberry, plum, and bright cherry explode in the mouth, and develop into savory notes of baked black fruit and fresh pencil shavings on the mid-palate.
Eagle Summit Vineyard’s signature eucalyptus appears on the back palate to brighten the fruit, showing fragrant peppermint and warm, toasty spices through the finish. Whether you open it young or wait a few decades, this vintage does Howell Mountain proud--sophisticated and smart, with a rustic wild side.
Cresta Velia Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
Aged in 100% French oak (86% new)
• 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Eagle Summit Vineyard on Howell Mountain
• Equal amounts of clone 4 and clone 7
• unfined and unfiltered
"The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is 100% Cabernet aged 20 months in 86% new French oak, with the typical suspects in terms of cooperage – Darnajou, Taransaud, and Remond. This opaque purple-colored wine has plenty of mulberry and blackcurrant fruit along with hints of blackberries, camphor and incense. The are some notes of unsmoked cigar and licorice as well. Ripe, medium to full-bodied and luscious, it is a classic to drink over the next 15 or more years. - RP"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #228, December 2016), 90 pts
Dr. Loosen Erdener Pralat Alte Reben Riesling Grosses Gewachs is made from 100 percent Riesling.
Erni Loosen has quickly established himself as one the premier GG producers in the Mosel Valley. This Erdener Pralat GG Reserve is sourced from a 90-year-old parcel, is meticulously hand-picked, fermented bone dry from immaculate, botrytis-free fruit. It is fermented and aged in neutral oak, and garners it reserve status by being aged for 24 months on the lees, then spends another two years in bottle before release. Erdener Pralat is Loosen’s finest vineyard and this wine has it all: Majestic aromas and flavors of orange marmalade, dried apricot, kiwi, pink grapefruit, beeswax and wet stone. Extraordinary creamy texture from the extended lees aging leads to a medium-bodied elixir with a long, persistent finish.
This is serious juice and can stand up to highly seasoned chicken, pork and seafood dishes.
The 2014 Erdener Prälat Riesling GG Réserve Alte Reben is clear, refined and aromatic on the precise, delicate and highly finessed nose that indicates ripe and elegant Riesling fruit with very fine red slate aromas. Full-bodied yet filigreed, crystalline and salty on the palate, this is a powerful, intense and rich yet refined and stimulatingly salty Prälat based on entirely healthy grapes. The finish is very long, intense and powerful yet remains crystalline and stimulating and still asks us to be patient: The best is yet to come. Tasted at the domain in September 2020.
-Wine Advocate 96 Points
A masterpiece for this difficult vintage. Stunning aromas of tree fruits. Very concentrated, creamy and polished but not a jot too heavy. This wine impresses all the way through the very long and silky finish.
-James Suckling 96 Points
Figaro Tinto Calatayud is 100% Garnacha, made from a selection of the best grapes grown in the oldest vineyards. While not truly an "oaked wine", a short stay in oak barrels provides a nice spicy flavor boost.
Tasting notes: Bright violet. Dark berry and cherry aromas show a jammy aspect. Supple and gently sweet, with good lift to its black raspberry and boysenberry flavors. Smooth and broad on the finish, leaving behind a hint of spiciness. Extremely easy to drink and an excellent value.
Finca Sobreno Ildefonso Toro is made from 100% Tinta de Toro
Very Old Vines (Minimum 80 years of age)
Aged in 100% new French Oak Barrels for 18 months + 12 months in the bottle
The wine is produced in very limited quantity from the estate's oldest vineyards (80 years old vines) and is fermented in 2,000-liter open-top fermentation vats. Our winemaker punches down the cap by hand three times a day using the traditional pigeage method to ensure optimal extraction.
The name of the wine is the surname of the San Ildefonso family, father Roberto and daughter Paloma, and represents the apex of their winemaking tradition.
Deep cherry color.
Very expressive, elegant and complex with ripe fruit, mineral notes, sweet spices, chocolate aromas and intense toasts.
Powerful, tasty, round and very smooth. We find again black berries, mineral notes, chocolates with roasted aromas. Very long after taste.
The soil is formed by sediments of sand, clay and limestone, which produce a dark lime-bearing topsoil, with fine and coarse sands.
This year we had low rain falls getting very healthy bunches. Besides, cool nights and not very hot days at the end of the cycle were excellent for a complete ripening of the grapes, full of nuances.
Winemaking and aging
The fruit is manually selected and picked in small cases. After destemming the grapes are stored in 2.000 liter open fermenter tanks and cold maceration at 8ºC during 8 days. Three times a day the cap of the skins is submerged manually (pigeage) and after the alcoholic fermentation is finished at a controlled temperature, the wine is macerated until the wine maker determines the appropriate extraction polyphenols. The malolactic fermentation is carried out in new French oak barrels. The wine was aged in new French oak barrels for 16 months, followed by another 12 months minimum in the bottle.
Ideal for red meats, lamb, roasted meat and strong cheeses
"The 2014 Finca Sobreño Ildefonso is a Tinta de Toro selection from 60-year-old vineyards fermented with indigenous yeasts and matured in oak barrels for 18 months with rackings every six months. It's serious and combines power and elegance, it shows very good balance and freshness and fine-grained tannins. Great showing. 50,000 bottles were filled in May 2018. - Luis Gutierrez"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #238, August 31st 2018), 91 pts
"The tiny production 2014 Ildefonso Toro is also all Tempranillo that spent 16 months in new French oak followed by a year in bottle before being released. It has more black and blue fruits, with subtle violet and chocolate notes, medium to full body, a stacked mid-palate, and a big finish. It’s a rich, powerful wine that has loads to love. It too should easily keep for 10-15 years."
- Jeb Dunnuck (March 2019), 91 pts
Dominus Napa Valley Red Blend is made from 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot.
The historic Napanook Vineyard, a 124-acre site west of Yountville, was planted in 1838. This vineyard was the source of fruit for some of the finest Napa Valley wines. Estate-bottled in the spirit of the Bordeaux châteaux, Dominus Estate is dry-farmed to allow natural stress and good concentration of fruit. Grape clusters are crop-thinned to allow sun and air to pass in between, helping to achieve full maturation and soften the tannins. Only 20% to 40% new French oak barrels are used in order to limit the extraction of oak notes. To express the unique terroir, the classic Bordeaux grape varietals of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot are planted with different root stocks best suited for the varying soil composition of gravel, heavy clay and loam.
The 2017 Dominus is one of the truly epic, grand wines of the vintage. Rich, dense and explosive, with tremendous concentration and sheer power, the 2017 Dominus captures all the personality of this site along with the natural opulence of the year. Inky dark fruit, lavender, menthol, licorice, plum, gravel and a host of dark spice notes infuse the 2017 with seemingly endless layers of nuance. Over the last two years I have tasted several hundred Napa Valley Cabernets, both from barrel and bottle. There is no question that Dominus belongs among the elite in 2017; it is simply a breathtaking wine. Certainly readers looking for a Napa Valley Cabernet to cellar should put Dominus at the top of their lists. -Vinous 98 Points
The grand vin is the 2017 Dominus, which is based on 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, harvested between September 21 and October 3, and aged in 40% new French oak. Chateau Lafite-like notes of blackcurrants, lead pencil shavings, cedary tobacco, and gravelly earth all emerge from the glass, and it's full-bodied, has a terrific sense of elegance, lots of tannins, and a great finish. This tight, powerful, concentrated Dominus will benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age and keep for 25 years or more. 2017 doesn't get much better. -Robert Parker 97 Points
There was about 50% of a normal crop this year for the 2017 Dominus, due to strict selection. Grapes were harvested from September 21 to October 3 and the wine was bottled in June 2019. This year the blend is 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, aged in 40% new French oak barrels. Very deep purple-black in color, it sashays nonchalantly out of the glass with graceful notions of potpourri, forest floor, crushed rocks, Ceylon tea and licorice with a core of black currant cordial, chocolate-covered cherries, mulberries and preserved plums plus a waft of garrigue. Full-bodied, the palate has a beautifully impactful, wonderfully quiet intensity of black and blue fruits with loads of floral and spicy sparks, framed by firm yet plush tannins, finishing with long-lasting earthy notes. -Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
Falletto di Bruno Giacosa Asili Riserva is made from 100 percent Nebbiolo.
Intense red garnet color with orange highlights. Notes of raspberry and wild strawberry are layered with floral aromas of rose and violet. On the palate, good structure is matched with freshness of fruit and sweet, silky tannins.