Intense ruby red, clean and bright, with an elegant pink rim. The first impression to the nose is intense, with enveloping aromas of ripe fruit, wild strawberries, redcurrants and red cherries wrapped in fine notes of patisserie, shortbread, vanilla, liquorice and peppercorns. Well-balanced in the mouth, with a pleasant freshness, and sweet, silky tannins that lead to an enveloping finish. A new vintage to enjoy now, but with a long, exciting life ahead.
The structure and elegance of the Finca Martelo 2015 makes it a perfect food companion. Long in the mouth, it is perfect with braised and roasted meats, as well as game and cured sausages.
I found a very complete 2015 Finca Martelo that followed the style and the quality path of the previous vintages. The release of this wine was an important milestone for Torre de Oña, where they look for the typicity of Rioja Alavesa through a blend of old-vine Tempranillo with 6% other varieties (Mazuelo, Garnacha and even white Viura). 2015 was a healthy harvest, and the wine shows a nice combination of power and elegance. It's clean and modern but with a traditional twist, some developed aromas and very fine chalky tannins from the limestone-rich soils.
-Robert Parker 94 Points
La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 is made from 90% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano
The 2015 Gran Reserva 904 Tinto offers great aromatic complexity, with notes of wild strawberry, red cherry, plum, blackberry and cranberry combined with aromas of tobacco, brioche, ground coffee, caramel, cedar and cinnamon blossom. The alcohol and acidity are elegantly balanced on the palate and its polished, gentle tannins and freshness provide a smooth and refined mouthfeel. Fine, delicate and very long aftertaste, that will continue to be rounded with time in the bottle, making this new Gran Reserva 904 a wine with great cellaring potential.
Especially recommended with all kinds of meat and stews, seasoned fish and desserts with chocolate or red fruit toppings. Perfect as an after-dinner drink.
A perfumed nose of plums, mulberries, mushrooms, caramel, sweet tobacco and sweet spices. Full-bodied with velvety, fine tannins and lively acidity. Balanced and supple with a creamy texture. Delicate and precise with a long, polished finish.
- James Suckling 97 Points
Dark ruby color. Aromas of cherry, currant, vanilla bean and hint of tar. Full-bodied, with flavors of cherries, cocoa powder and oak. A touch of sweetness on entry with a little bit of air with soft tannins that are starting to integrate well.
The latest step in the project is Vinsacro (formerly Valsacro) Dioro. The earlier Valsacros were made from a field selection of the older vineyards. Now, thanks to the new facility Amador has been able to build an upmarket version of Vinsacro (formerly Valsacro) with a four-stage selection process that includes an initial field selection of the fruit followed by a second table selection as the grapes come into the winery. After fermentation wine from selected tanks is transferred to new French oak barrels for 12-14 months of barrel age. Finally, the best barrels are set aside for Dioro and the remainder used to "upgrade" the normal Vinsacro.
Vinsacro Dioro is a blend of grapes from 100+ year old "vidau" vineyards where many varieties were planted together in the same plot.
Today the grapes are harvested and vinified separately. The final blend depends on the vintage but typically it's Tempranillo (50%), Garnacha (20%) and remaining 30% is a mix of mainly Graciano (10%) & Mazuelo (10%) with a little of Monastrell (5%) & Bobal (5%).
"The top of the range is the 2015 Vinsacro Dioro, a wine that is only produced in excellent vintages. It's a blend of 40% Vidau (the old field blend) plus 45% Tempranillo and 15% Mazuelo, from a slope in the south of the Monte Yerga called Cuesta la Reina, from a big, 120-hectare plot that has been with the Escudero family for generations. It fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel with a long maceration. It matured in new French (70%) and American oak barrels for 18 months. It's still very young and a little shy, with a reticent nose where the lactic and spicy aromas are intermixed with earthy and dark fruit aromas. The palate is full-bodied but perfectly balanced, compact, powerful and serious, with abundant tannins, extract and clout. This should develop nicely in bottle, given its stuffing and balance. An excellent, modern version of a classical Rioja. 20,000 bottles were filled in June 2017. - Luis Gutierrez"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #235, February 2018), 92 pts
"(sourced from a 100+ year old plot of mixed varieties; aged in new and used French oak barrels for 14 months) Deep, bright-rimmed ruby. Ripe black and blue fruits on the expansive, spice- and smoke-accented nose, along with suggestions of vanilla, candied flowers and cola. The oak qualities recede quickly on the palate, which displays sappy, deeply concentrated boysenberry, black raspberry and spicecake flavors that show a suave blend of richness and energy. Supple tannins build steadily on the penetrating finish, which leaves cherry-cola and baking spice notes behind. - Josh Raynolds"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (February 2019), 93 pts
"I loved the 2015 Vinsacro Dioro Rioja, and this beauty is 50% Tempranillo, 20% Grenache, 10% each of Mazuelo and Graciano, and the balance Mourvèdre and Bobal, all of which spent 12-14 months in French oak. It boasts a deep ruby/purple color as well as smoking good notes of black currants, dried herbs, licorice, and background oak. Medium to full-bodied, seamless, and layered on the palate, with terrific fruit and impeccable balance, I suspect it will shine for over a decade."
- Jeb Dunnuck (March 2019), 93 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.
Trapiche Terroir Series Finca Orellana is made from 100 percent Malbec.
The history of Trapiche begins in 1883, in a small vineyard called El Trapiche, in the district of Godoy Cruz, Mendoza, where the grapes for the first fine wines were grown. With more than 130 years of experience, Trapiche has earned its place as a pioneering brand in the introduction of French vines, the production of varietal wines, the import of French oak barrels and the use of stainless steel tanks. True to its origins, today Trapiche is in a continuous quest for the latest best practices .Led by Daniel Pi, Director of Winemaking, Trapiche's winemaking team permanently strives to improve winemaking practices by exchanging experience and knowledge with winemakers from other wine producing countries such as France, the US, Australia and New Zealand.
With a deep garnet red color, this Malbec expresses aromas of red fruits such as cherries and currants, and intense balsamic notes with hints of fresh herbs. In the mouth, it is sweet and broad with a great concentration of fruit and soft, ripe tannins. It has a long, persistent and elegant finish.
El Peral may not be on the radar of many Argentine Malbec lovers. But if you take a look at Descorchados, you will realize that here we are fans of this area, a place of gentle hills, streams and trees. This vineyard was planted in 1946, and today it delivers deliciously liquefied fruit, with hints of cherries and cassis, but above all violets and blackberries in a long and deep body. Give it at least ten years in the bottle.
-Patricio Tapia - Descorchados 95 Points
-Tim Atkin 95 Points
Finca del Castillo Tempranillo La Mancha is made from 30 year old vine Tempranillo (100%).
This pretty little red has a flavor reminiscent of good Cotes du Rhone. Medium bodied, flavorful; hints of raspberry and strawberry. Shows best with picnic fare and grilled meats. Perfect summer red.
Finca Allende Gaminde is made from 100 percent Tempranillo.
Intense garnet color with a violet rim. Powerful on the mid-palate with notes of Mediterranean forest floor, red berry jam and fresh ink, on the palate the wine is intense and voluminous with a long, commanding finish.
This wine's blueberry and cassis aromas are accented by wet clay notes. Its saturated palate is so dense it requires a drill to get through in this youthful stage. Offering deep blackberry and dark chocolate flavors, it finishes with melting tannins and a lasting note of burnt wood. Drink through 2035
-Wine Enthusiast 94 Points
Tim Atkin 95 Points
Founded in 1986 by Miguel Ángel de Gregorio in the hillside town of Briones, Finca Allende is located in an ancient 17th century manor, set in a medieval town square within the heart of Rioja Alta. Roughly translated as ‘further,’ Allende’s philosophy is to go further towards creating the perfect Rioja. The majority of vines are plowed with mules, grapes are hand-harvested, triple-selected and manually punched-down, before undergoing extensive underground aging in both barrel and bottle. Known for producing round wines with great body and structure, each bottle is hand-crafted by and contains the signature of Miguel Ángel de Gregorio. Considered to be Spain’s first terroirist, Miguel Ángel’s sincere dedication to natural farming and preserving the integrity of Rioja Alta, are why he is one of the region’s most celebrated winemakers and a mastermind when it comes to making world class estate-grown wines.
Schwarz Meta Mataro is made from 100% Mataro (a.k.a. Mourvedre).
Meta: An abstraction from a well-known concept. Fruit sourced from Bethany and Marananga.
Dark, spicy and built for max expression. Built over a foundation of blackberry and red plums this is a punch, expressive Mataro of spice rubbed meat, tea smoke and beef jerky. All dark, brooding and masculine in its fragrance, the palate is expansive with punchy tannin and sweet cinnamon spice.
Coming from 2 different vineyards. Average age of the vines is 90 years old for the first parcel and 70 years old for the second parcel. Hand-picked, wild yeast, 72% whole bunch.
Minimal use of Oak, the majority is aged in tank in order to avoid oxydation.
Pairs with pizza, pasta, burger, charcuterie and mild cheese.
A gorgeous, glossy purple hue. Saturated dark fruit scents melding with smoked meat and violet. The tannins, a ferrous timbre. This has no pretence. Just an honest Mataro, scented with fidelity, extracted appropriately and easy to drink. Delicious! - Ned Goodwin"
- Halliday Wine Companion (August 2020), 95 pts
The Royal Chenin Blanc Old Vines Steen is 100 percent Chenin Blanc.
As the unofficial drink of the Riebeek Valley, Chenin Blanc is the perfect every day wine that offers uncomplicated quality for the novice and connoisseur alike. Packed with upfront melon fruit, the nose charms with an abundance of guava and gooseberries as well as the signature hint of honey. The palate follows through with fruit flavors balanced by a crisp acid to ensure a fresh and fruity style of wine.
Enjoy well-chilled as a lovely crisp glass on its own but ideal for al fresco dining and with light summer fare. Beautiful with salads, anti pasti and seafood.