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Wine from Rioja

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Wine from Rioja

Rioja is a wine region located in Spain. There are three principal wine regions in Rioja, Rioja Alavesa, Rioja Alta, and Rioja Baja, each producing unique wines. The majority of the territory is a protected designation. Rioja is located just south of the Cantabrian Mountains and runs along the Ebro River. Rioja is home to the Oja River and is situated on a plateau that sits 1,500 feet above sea level.

The soil in Roja is clay based and has a high concentration of iron and chalk with a significant concentration of sandstone, limestone, and alluvial silt.

Wines produced in Rioja are a blend of a variety of grapes and can be either be white, red or rosé. The region has 57,000 hectares that produce 250 million liters of wine every year. 85% of that is red wine. The harvest time in Rioja is September to October with Rioja Alta harvesting the latest in late October.

Rioja enjoys a continental climate with cold winters, and warm summers. The higher elevations have a cooler climate. The mountains isolate the region, which has a moderate effect on the climate. Although gusty winds are common in northern Spain, the vineyards are protected by the same mountain range.

 

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Benjamin Romeo La Cueva del Contador 2014

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:

Appearance Intense garnet red dress of great luminosity and elegance. Aroma Slightly candied fruit tones, toasted from a good barrel, intense. Palate Powerful and marked on the palate, velvety, round, tasty and balanced.

Guia Repsol 95 Points

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

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 93 95 Points
Benjamin Romeo La Cueva del Contador 2019

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:

 I found cleaner aromas and a fresher quality and finer tannins in the 2019 La Cueva del Contador, a quite complete wine with elegance and finesse combined with power and concentration. The oak is still noticeable after 18 months in new barriques, and I'd wait a little longer before pulling the cork. It has the perfume of La Cueva in the background. It should resurface with a little more time in bottle. 10,000 bottles produced.

-Wine Advocate 95 Points

 Wine Advocate: 95
Benjamin Romeo Predicador Tinto 2021

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:

The red 2021 Predicador has notes of ripe black fruit and dark spices and is a little earthy, powerful, concentrated and generously oaked but balanced and integrated. A modern, powerful red Rioja produced with Tempranillo and complemented with 3% each Graciano and Mazuelo and 2% Garnacha, it has a juicy palate with plenty of power and abundant, fine-grained tannins. It's ripe without excess at 14.7% alcohol. 90,000 bottles produced. It was bottled after spending 19 months in used French oak barrels.

-Robert Parker 93 Points



Colour ,cherry, purple rim. Aroma ,fruit expression, floral, spicy, red berry notes, black fruit, complex. Flavour ,flavourful, fruity, good acidity, long.

-Guia Penin 93 Points






 Wine Advocate: 93 93 Points
Burgo Viejo Rioja Blanco Organic 2021

Burgo Viejo Rioja Blanco Organic is made from 60% Viura and 40% Trempranillo Blanco

No Oak. Aged 3 months on the lees with frequent batonnage

Pale yellow color with green tones. Fresh and intense flavors of white fruits, peach, apple and some citrus notes.
Full-bodied mouth with nice balance of volume and length.

Vineyards are located in Alfaro. 
Manual harvest in 8 kilograms baskets. 
100% destemmed.
Light pressing of the grapes. 
Fermentation at controlled temperature in stainless steel tanks. 
No Malolactic fermentation.
Aged 3 months on the lees with frequent batonnage. (stirring of the lees)

Pairs with seafood, pasta and rice dishes, smooth cheeses.




Burgo Viejo Rioja Blanco Organic 2022

Burgo Viejo Rioja Blanco Organic is made from 60% Viura and 40% Trempranillo Blanco

No Oak. Aged 3 months on the lees with frequent batonnage

Pale yellow color with green tones. Fresh and intense flavors of white fruits, peach, apple and some citrus notes.
Full-bodied mouth with nice balance of volume and length.

Vineyards are located in Alfaro. 
Manual harvest in 8 kilograms baskets. 
100% destemmed.
Light pressing of the grapes. 
Fermentation at controlled temperature in stainless steel tanks. 
No Malolactic fermentation.
Aged 3 months on the lees with frequent batonnage. (stirring of the lees)

Pairs with seafood, pasta and rice dishes, smooth cheeses.




Burgo Viejo Rioja Crianza 2019


Burgo Viejo Rioja Crianza is made from 90% Tempranillo & 10% Graciano.

Red ruby colored wine with violet tones; well-balanced, black fruit, vanilla and coconut flavors. Powerful, complex and silky smooth...classic old style Rioja at a bargain price.

Review:

"A fruity and attractive red with medium body, red fruit and a fresh finish. Not a lot of structure, but delicious and fruity at the end. And not overdone. Tempranillo. Drink now."

- James Suckling (August 2021), 91 pts




Burgo Viejo Rioja Graciano Organic 2019

The grapes here are coming from a 2-hectare single vineyard, grown organically, with a distinctive stony soil (it is an old quarry).

Looking for the highest harmony with the Environment we have made this red cherry wine with violet shades, structured and fruity. Blackberry and subtle spice. Structured, fullbodied but with smooth tannins.

destemming and light crushing of the grapes. 
Fermentation at controlled temperature in stainless steel tanks. 
Malolactic fermentation in concrete tanks.
Aged 3 months on the lees with frequent batonnage. (stirring of the lees)

Red meat, pasta dishes, Spanish tapas, medium matured cheeses.


Burgo Viejo Rioja Gran Reserva 2010

Burgo Viejo Rioja Gran Reserva is made from 100 percent Tempranillo. 30 year old vines.

Burgo Viejo Gran Reserva shows a deep red ruby color and offers powerful aromas of blackberry jam, spice, leather, chocolate with toasty nuances. Smooth yet full-bodied with firm tannins and a long finish.

Review:

"Shimmering garnet. Aromas of cherry, blueberry, candied flowers, tobacco and coconut pick up a smoky overtone with air. Smooth and fleshy on the palate, offering ripe red and blue fruit, mocha, cola and spicecake qualities that tighten up on the back half. Finishes long and supple with repeating spiciness, even tannins and a lingering suggestion of red berry preserves. This old-school Rioja was aged for two years in 90% American and 10% French oak. - Josh Raynolds"

- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (April 2021), 92 pts

2010 Burgo Viejo Rioja Gran Reserva - Silver Medal - MUNDUS VINI

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 92
Burgo Viejo Rioja Old Vine Garnacha 2022

This wine is our tribute to the flagship grape variety of Rioja Baja. Garnacha has been grown in Alfaro for many

centuries in perfect balance with the local soils and climate which result in our intensely fruity wines,
full-bodied and with velvety soft tannins. Deep and brilliant cherry color; red wild berries, violet and subtle
spice on the nose; the taste sensation is rich, long, and very smooth.


Excellent when combined with red meat, pasta dishes and even chocolate desserts.

 




Burgo Viejo Rioja Reserva 2016

SALE!

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.

Review:

"(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 ripe, fruity red with plum, berry and some orange peel and bark. It’s medium-to full-bodied with round tannins and a juicy finish. Drink now."

- James Suckling (October 2020), 91 pts

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 91 91 Points
Burgo Viejo Rioja Reserva 2017


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.

Review:


"Berry, mushroom and fresh-herb aromas. Full-bodied with round, juicy tannins and plenty of fruit. Tempranillo. Drink or hold."

- James Suckling (August 2021), 92 pts


 

 92 Points
Burgo Viejo Rioja Reserva 2019


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.

Review:

"Elegant berries and spiced cherries with a hint of oranges and undergrowth on the nose. Juicy and evenly packed with a fluid, medium-bodied palate and soft tannins. Drink now - Zekun SHUAI (Senior Editor)"

- James Suckling (May 4th 2023), 91 pts



 

 91 Points
Burgo Viejo Rioja Rosado 2022

 

Burgo Viejo Rioja Rosado is made from 100% Garnacha.
Burgo Viejo Rosado Wine is the milestone example of rosé wines developed in Rioja for years. Vinification has been improved to retain vibrant fruit and display colorful aromas when served.
Alcoholic fermentation in stainless steel vats at controlled temperature; wine is rapidly bottled to keep it fresh.
Bright strawberry color and aroma; with hint of raspberry and intense strawberry flavour and a crisp finish.
Enjoy it with pasta and poultry.

 


Burgo Viejo Rioja Tinto 2021

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.

Creaciones Exeo Letras Minusculas Rioja 2020


This new-wave Rioja (see below for info) is a blend of Tempranillo, Graciano and Garnacha. It combines maturity and complexity with freshness and elegance. Theres a core of dark plummy fruit, with some cherry notes, spice and earthiness and lovely ripe tannins giving complexity and body.

This is perfect with grilled lamb chops and salsa verde

 Rioja has traditionally been defined by its ageing. Wines would be blended from across the region and quality would be defined by a wines age - vineyards and regionality were not considered important. Now, theres a new movement in Rioja where new wave producers are pushing to label the wines from their villages and regions highlighting the difference in the terroir and individual parcels.

Creaciones Exeo is part of this movement , stepping away from traditional methods, to produce fresher styles of wine with a lesser reliance an oak influence. The important thing here is hard work in the vineyard to produce great fruit.

Located in the area of Labastida, Rioja Alavesa (this village is labelled on the bottle, until very recently producers were not allowed to do this), Carlos works with 24 hectares of the highest altitude vineyards of the area. In the shelter of the Sierra Toloo, the vines benefit from Atlantic influences and the soils here are mainly chalk and limestone which all help to give elegance the wine.


Dioro Baco Cava Sparkling Rosado NV


The grapes come from the property owned vineyards in the municipality of Grávalos, south of Monte Yerga at the foothills of the “Cordillera Ibérica” at an altitude between 700–800 meters above sea level. A very high located area where you obtain fresh wines with little alcohol content and with very fine and elegant aromas.

The Pinot Noir variety originating in Burgundy is one of the three most important varieties in Champagne. Harvested around the second and third week of September. The collection of the grapes is done manually, selecting the grapes, preventing any deteriorated grapes from reaching the press or not complying with the quality required to elaborate our cavas.

Raspberry pink with steely glare. Fine bubble that forms a small rosary of slow evolution. Fruity aromas of strawberry, raspberry and flowers (rose petals). Pleasant and potent in the mouth with light acidity and a bubble very well integrated. Persistent and elegan

Review:


Wine Enthusiast Magazine (December 2023), 94 pts

 Wine Enthusiast: 94
Faustino Gran Faustino I Rioja Gran Reserva 2004

Faustino Gran Faustino I Rioja Gran Reserva is made from 86% Tempranillo, 9% Graciano, 5% Mazuelo.


Gran Faustino I 2004 is a wine that has a very positive evolution as far as tasting aspects are concerned. We have a garnet-colored, medium-bodied, bright wine with a long life ahead of it. It is clean and intense on the nose. Tertiary aromas predominate, with a marked presence of prunes and ripe fruit, perfectly blending with spicy and balsamic aromas from the barrel ageing. Black pepper is also present, reminding us that the Graciano is part of this very particular blend. It is on the palate where this great wine shows its elegance. Its entrance is subtle, but it gradually unleashes a flood of sensations. Notes of licorice, candied fruit, cocoa, and again, the balsamic notes we found on the nose also appear. A well-balanced acidity and polished tannins highlight its silkiness and roundness. It’s a wine brimming with nuances and complexity, very plush, with a sweet and delicate finish.

 

Classy wine with engaging tobacco, smoke and earthy aromatics. Complex and energetic with spice and red fruit flavours whooshing through the palate in a seductive style. A satisfying aged wine with thrillingly well-integrated new oak and a long, savoury finish.

-Decanter 97 Points

 97 Points
La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 2015

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.


Review:

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

 97 Points
Licenciado Rioja Reserva 2018

Licenciado Rioja Reserva  is made from 100% Tempranillo

This single vineyard wine is always produced from the same vineyard that is also used to make the Gran Reserva wine.

Licenciado shows a ruby red color and outstanding aromas of wild berries, vanilla and spice. The palate is well-balanced, rounded and elegant, and offers black pepper, ripe black fruits and vanilla flavors. Its freshness, oak ageing and high extraction guarantee a longevity of at least 10 years after the year of harvest.

Best enjoyed with red meat and game

Review:


"A soft, fruity red with berry and cherry character. Full body, round tannins and a flavorful finish. 100% tempranillo. Drink now."

- James Suckling (August 2021), 91 pts

 91 Points
Luis Canas Reserva Seleccion de la Familia Rioja 2018

Luis Canas Reserva Seleccion de la Familia Rioja is made from 85% Tempranillo and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aged for 20 months in new oak barrels - 50% French 50% American.

45 years old vines
Alcohol: 14,5º
Total acidity: 5,73 g./l.
Volatile acidity: 0,73 g./l.
PH: 3,53
Free SO2: 28 mg./l.
Reducing sugars: 1,3 g./l.

The “family reserve” from one of Rioja Alavesa’s most enduring family-run wineries. Wines destined to be the Reserva de la Familia label are made from a selection of grapes from old vines, those which combine a series of characteristics such as good orientation and exposure to the sun, and a poor soil which ensures low yields.

This wine is one of very few Rioja wines to blend Cabernet Sauvignon with Tempranillo. Bodegas Luis Cañas was granted permission by the D.O.Ca. to plant this variety as an experiment in the early 1980s.

Tasting notes
A brilliant garnet color with cherry hints on the edges.
The nose offers a complex variety of aromas that combine to bring an intense and sophisticated wine. Initially we can find very ripe berry fruits, smoky notes, raisins and liquor. After a certain amount of aeration, the cinnamon and jam notes appear and, with a little more time, the roasted and spiced aromas are noticed more clearly.

The palate is full, with a good presence of tannins, although these are offset by the glycerine like character, resulting in a fleshy sensation. Long lasting and lingering finish.

Winemaking and aging:
The grapes were cold macerated for 72 hours upon arrival at the winery. They underwent fermentation at 26º C in sealed cement tanks under constant thermal control, with the must pumped over daily. With the paste devatted by gravity, spontaneous malolactic fermentation took place after 45 days.
The wine was aged for 20 months in 50% medium toasted American and 50% French oak barrels. The barrel ageing not only adds tannins from the wood, but stabilizes the wine naturally. After the final racking, it was clarified in tanks with a small amount of natural egg white, decanted after 30 days and bottled directly without any type of filtration. Because this wine’s evolutionary cycle is quite slow, only corks of the highest quality available were used to ensure that it could be prolonged for several years. 

 

 

Luis Canas Reserva Seleccion de la Familia Rioja 2019

Luis Canas Reserva Seleccion de la Familia Rioja is made from 85% Tempranillo and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aged for 20 months in new oak barrels - 50% French 50% American.

45 years old vines
Alcohol: 14,5º
Total acidity: 5,73 g./l.
Volatile acidity: 0,73 g./l.
PH: 3,53
Free SO2: 28 mg./l.
Reducing sugars: 1,3 g./l.

The “family reserve” from one of Rioja Alavesa’s most enduring family-run wineries. Wines destined to be the Reserva de la Familia label are made from a selection of grapes from old vines, those which combine a series of characteristics such as good orientation and exposure to the sun, and a poor soil which ensures low yields.

This wine is one of very few Rioja wines to blend Cabernet Sauvignon with Tempranillo. Bodegas Luis Cañas was granted permission by the D.O.Ca. to plant this variety as an experiment in the early 1980s.

Tasting notes
A brilliant garnet color with cherry hints on the edges.
The nose offers a complex variety of aromas that combine to bring an intense and sophisticated wine. Initially we can find very ripe berry fruits, smoky notes, raisins and liquor. After a certain amount of aeration, the cinnamon and jam notes appear and, with a little more time, the roasted and spiced aromas are noticed more clearly.

The palate is full, with a good presence of tannins, although these are offset by the glycerine like character, resulting in a fleshy sensation. Long lasting and lingering finish.

Winemaking and aging:
The grapes were cold macerated for 72 hours upon arrival at the winery. They underwent fermentation at 26º C in sealed cement tanks under constant thermal control, with the must pumped over daily. With the paste devatted by gravity, spontaneous malolactic fermentation took place after 45 days.
The wine was aged for 20 months in 50% medium toasted American and 50% French oak barrels. The barrel ageing not only adds tannins from the wood, but stabilizes the wine naturally. After the final racking, it was clarified in tanks with a small amount of natural egg white, decanted after 30 days and bottled directly without any type of filtration. Because this wine’s evolutionary cycle is quite slow, only corks of the highest quality available were used to ensure that it could be prolonged for several years. 

Review:

Including 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, the Tempranillo-dominated 2019 Rioja Reserva Selección de la Familia is a crème de la crème selection that was aged 20 months in oak. Its deep purple hue is followed by a sensational nose of ripe black and blue fruits, cedarwood, graphite, smoked tobacco, and chocolate. This carries to a full-bodied Rioja with a powerful, layered mouthfeel, ripe yet building tannins, and serious length on the finish.

-Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points

 

 95 Points
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