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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
The Valsacro Estate
The Escudero family has been making wine and growing grapes for generations in the rugged, semi-desert foothills around Grávalos in the southwestern corner of the Rioja Baja region. Over the last 15 years or so, the Escudero brothers led by Bordeaux-trained winemaker Amador have transformed the small family "bodega" into a major Rioja wine producer. The changes have come gradually and in addition to the new winery at Pradejón (near Calahorra) they have greatly extended vineyard acreage, a very successful "cava" sparkling wine venture (one of the few non-Catalonian cava makers), and extensive Chardonnay plantings (disallowed in Rioja, but OK for cava). Amador, now in his mid-forties, is not one to shy away from taking risks to make things happen. The Valsacro project is an excellent case in point.
"One of the most adventuresome of "new Rioja" producers; amazing Dioro selection has explosive fruit; new project in Navarra called Logos bears watching."
- Anthony Dias Blue's pocket guide to wine 2006
The Valsacro Vineyards
Operating from the small Grávalos facility, Amador realized that some of his vineyards offered the potential to do something better (and different). These old vineyards, some over 100 years planted in the old fashioned "vidau" style offered the kind of raw material needed to make a modern-style premium wine - a Rioja with a difference. ["Vidau" is a mixed variety vineyard - a field blend ready to pick.] The vineyards include Tempranillo, Mazuelo, Graciano & Garnacha. A typical Valsacro is about 40% "vidau" (majority is Garnacha with Tempranillo & Garnacha), 50% Tempranillo from 28 year old vines and 10% Mazuela (Carignan) from 25 year old vines.
Roland Champion Champagne Blanc de Blancs NV is aged for minimum 30 months (the minimum for NV is 15 months). This cuvee is made from 100% Chardonnay and is produced from the free run juice only. The current release is the result of the blend of the 2005, the 2006 and the 2007 vintage.
Fresh and delicate, its fine bubbles and wide range of aromas will be perfect as an aperitif. This Champagne will also match very well with seafood and shellfish.
dosage : 8 grams per liter
ageing : 30 months on laths
Even if it doesn't say on the label, 100% of the production is RD (Recently Disgorged)
Total Production for this Cuvée : 1,500 cases (9 liter equivalent) per year
"(L40): Light yellow-gold. Musky pear and peach pit aromas are enlivened by notes of lemon zest and chalk. Weighty but energetic, offering powerful orchard fruit flavors and hints of candied fig and lemon curd. The pear skin quality comes back strong on the clinging finish. This powerful Champagne is definitely better suited for duty at the table than for serving by itself. - Josh Raynolds" - Antonio Galloni's Vinous (Dec 2012), 91 pts
- Roger VOSS"
Wine Enthusiast (December 1st 2019), 92 pts
"Golden yellow color. Lively, fruity, toasty leesy aromas of honeyed brioche and apple tart with a satiny, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a sleek, interesting, snappy lemon curd, nougat, and chalk finish with silky, soft, fruit tannins. A classic example of blanc de blanc champagne, delicious."
- Beverage Testing institute , 93 pts
"Spiced with ground anise and ginger accents, this offers notes of poached pear, lemon meringue pie, hazelnut and stony mineral. Very elegant and well-meshed throughout, with a silky finish. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 1,500 cases made. –AN"
- Wine Spectator 92 pts
"This cuvée made from 100% Chardonnay offers a fresh aromatic nose of light toast, dried yellow fruit and nuances of yeast. On the palate it has a creamy mouth feel of toasted nuts and rich autolytic notes. This is a beautiful wine, rich and complex."
International Wine review 92+ pts
"Small grower. Autumn fruits dominate the aromas of this wine, which is blatantly more like a wine than we normally expect a champagne to be. Some may find that unexpected and even off-putting, while others will find it intriguingly delicious."
- Washington Post - EXCELLENT
"Roland Champion is a small family-owned producer, now with the fourth generation, in the village of Chouilly (”shoo-ee”), which has only Grand Cru vineyards. Made from 100 percent chardonnay grapes, this Champagne offers ethereal grace and poise and harmony; if I were fighting a duel tonight, I would ask for this Champagne as my last beverage. The nose here is about the richness of warm biscuits and hazelnuts, dried fruit and spice, like a Platonic, ineffably light fruitcake; in the mouth, however, it’s about a structure that encompasses an incredible marriage of power and elegance, like the delicacy and strength of the finest bone china. And there’s something porcelain-like about this Champagne, in its notable crisp, lively character, its transparency and its slightly chalky, shale-like mineral elements. Forget the Champagnes that come on with heavy toasty, caramel qualities; here, instead, is a wealth of subtlety and nuance touched with a racy, dynamic edge. Exceptional."
Chartron & Trebuchet Montagny Les Bouchots is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Saint-Romain AOC: AOC since 1947, made up of 240 acres, more white then red (60/40)
Tasting Notes:Delicious white burgundy with lime and lemony flavors. Chardonnay with a nice minerality and some golden highlights with age.
HARVEST: Harvest by hand.
VINIFICATION: Harvest by hand. The grapes are pressed immediately upon arrival at the winery in pneumatic presses. The alcoholic fermentation takes place in oak barrels, 20% new oak.
AGEING: The wine is aged for 10 months in oak barrels with regular stirring to gain depth and complexity.
Its freshness and finesse allow it to be enjoyed as an aperitif. It also pairs well with white meat and sauce. At the sea side, it will be perfect with a plate of shellfish (lobster, scallops) steamed or poached or noble fish just fried, grilled or steamed. Cheeses: Goat cheese, Beaufort Comté, Emmental...
Damilano Barolo Brunate is made from 100 percent Nebbiolo 100%
When the wine ages, it takes on notes of tobacco, rose, liquorish, and – in the best vintages – even truffle. Its finesse and elegance are due to alkalinity and calcium content in the soil.
This Barolo in youth presents scents of violet and small red fruit, balsamic tastes, and pleasant spice notes of clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
The original name of this vineyard was Brinate.
|COLOUR:||garnet red with orange reflections|
|BOUQUET||i: ntense with notes of violet, balsamic and small red berries|
|TASTE:||intense, elegant and persistent, with nuances of red fruit, tobacco, liquorice and with ageing truffles and cinnamon|
So beautifully perfumed with blueberries, raspberries, violets and flowers. Full-bodied, transparent and so clear with intense, chewy tannins and a seamless finish. Tight and powerful. Needs two or three years to soften.
James Suckling 95 Points
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 95
Wine Spectator 94 Points
Wine Enthusiast 94 Points
Opaque color. Very rich, dark chocolate aromas with some black cherry and mature fruit coming through. There is also a pleasing freshness to the port originating from its floral and cistus (rockrose) bouquet. The Quinta de la Rosa Vintage 2017 is a powerful wine with much potential but at the same time elegant and generous on the palate. Full of flavors, very complex with fine tannins that gives the wine a nobility and persistence. A great vintage made to give pleasure now and in the next few decades.
The 2017 Vintage Port was bottled a few weeks before tasting after spending 18 months in used tonels. It is a field blend, mostly Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca, coming in with 98 grams per liter of residual sugar. Wonderfully aromatic and filled with flavor, this got plenty of aeration and didn't blink even a little. It was still vibrant and expressive. Aeration only made it more tannic. It is also delicious. This is potentially a great Port, and it seems like the best I've seen from La Rosa. This is sort of approachable in the near future, but it really needs (at least) a decade of cellaring. It has a lot of muscle and should age well.
-Wine Advocate 95 Points
Very floral in profile, with violet and lilac accents leading off, followed by a decidedly red-fruit spectrum of raspberry, cherry and red currant coulis flavors that race throughout. Has grip, but this is more reliant on acidity, showing a nearly piercing feel as the tightly focused finish zips along, leaving a mouthwatering impression. Delightfully idiosyncratic. Best from 2033 through 2050. 112 cases imported. — JM
-Wine Spectator 95 Points
This is a rounded Port, showing layers of black fruits, ripe tannins and spice. At the same time, it does have a solid structure that will allow it to age. The acidity comes through at the end. Drink from 2028.
-Wine Enthusiast 95 Points
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.
Milsetentayseis 1076 Ribera del Duero Tinto is made with 95% Tempranillo and 5% other native varieties.
TASTING NOTES: A product of its unique landscape, extreme altitude and mineral-rich soil, 1076 Tinto is a bold wine with a distinct character designed to evolve over time. Its freshness and intensely fruity expression are representative of a modern style, moving away from excess, in search of the elegance, smoothness and balance found in the great wines of the world.
TERROIR: A recently restored vineyard situated at over 3,280 feet of altitude where ancestral vines over 100 years old grow harmoniously together with new, indigenous plantings in varied soil comprised of red clay, sand and mineral deposits of quartz, mica, and feldspar.
WINEMAKING: Hand-harvested from a selection of the best plots in the vineyard then separated into concrete, oak or stainless steel fermentation vats depending on the characteristics of the grape and the soil where it was grown. Its production is defined by the team´s constant vigilance throughout the process and their in-depth knowledge of the region, the soil and the native varieties that thrive there.
AGEING: Aged for 18 months in French oak of various sizes and according to the needs of each plot. Bottled in June 2020.
VINTAGE: The 2018 vintage began with abundant rainfall that lasted until late spring. Budding had already begun by the end of April, and as is usual in the Ribera del Duero, mid-May posed great risk of frost. Thankfully, consistent high winds in the area kept it at bay allowing the vineyards to remain unaffected. Spring extended into June with rain and cool temperatures, unusual for this time of year, while summer did not arrive until July bringing with it dry, hot conditions that allowed for the fruit to reach optimal ripeness. The harvest ran from October 5th-October 13th.
Pair with spit-Fire Roasted Suckling Pig.
"Inky violet. Potent aromas of cassis, cherry preserves, incense and potpourri, plus oak spice and mineral topnotes. Alluringly sweet and concentrated, with a spine of smoky minerality supporting intense flavors of dark berry liqueur, bitter chocolate, cola and candied lavender. Youthful, slow-building tannins add shape and grip to an impressively long, juicy finish that echoes the dark berry and floral notes. - Josh Raynolds."
- Vinous (February 2021), 95 pts
"The wine is deep cherry in color exhibiting complex, expressive aromas. Its minerality comes from the soil, the black fruit from the Tempranillo and the spice from a sometime in oak. The combination leads to a full body that finishes with great length.
- Guia Penin, 95 pts
"Very fine-tannined Duero with berry, chocolate and walnut character. Medium body. Solid core of fruit. Linear and very long. Polished and thought-provoking. Drinkable now, but better in 2023."
- James Suckling (November 2021), 94 pts
Vinsacro (Valsacro)( Rioja is predominately 70yr old 55% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, 10% Mazuelo, 10% Graciano and 5% Monastrell aged in American oak.
Dark cherry color. Intense and elegant sweet spices, chocolate and ripe fruit with suggestive toasty aromas that tell us about the aging in good oak. Tasty, powerful, meaty and structured and at the same time easy to drink, very round.
The slogan of our winemaker "Wine is to enjoy". Vinsacro red wine is a wine to be stored, so that positive developments are expected for at least 15 years.
"A modern wine from Rioja Oriental, this is a blend of tempranillo (50 percent), mazuelo (10 percent) and mixed old vines, all farmed by the Escudero family. They allow the fruit to ferment spontaneously, age it in new American oak barrels, and present a wine filled with supple harmonies and long-lasting flavors of plums and tobacco, intensely concentrated and delicious. The oak aging lends a sandalwood note of incense, the meaty Morello cherry notes give it a satisfying feel. Pour it with grilled ventresca tuna. - Joshua GREENE"
- Wine & Spirits Magazine (February 13th 2023), 94 pts
Vinsacro Rioja Blanco is made from 60% Chardonnay, 40% Viura.
Aged 7 months in oak barrels of 225 liters
The grapes come from vineyards located in Grávalos, on the southern slopes side of Mount Yerga at the foothills of the “Cordillera Ibérica” at an altitude of between 700 and 800 meters. A very high located area where you obtain fresh wines with little graduation, with very fine and elegant aromas.
Bright straw yellow color, intense aromas and elegance with outstanding floral and fruity notes. After some time in glass balsamic and spicy aromas with toasty notes rise, due to aging in oak and bottle maturation. Very cool and structured with an unusual power for a white with a variety of flavors ranging from citrus to balsamic. A white wine that is full of surprises and capable of taking on many years in the cellar.
Vinsacro white has a long aging potential and presumably will have a positive development for 20 years.
The Chardonnay grape is harvested during the second or third week of October. The Viura grape in the first two weeks of October.
The collection of the grapes is done manually.
The selected must will go through the fermentation in American oak barrels of 225 liters with medium toast, remaining in the barrel with its lees for seven months before being removed with a daily battonage, daily at first and then more sparingly.
Pairs great with roast lamb, grilled vegetables.
Amaren Rioja Angeles de Amaren is made from 85% Tempranillo and 15% Graciano
Color: Cherry red with high robe.
Nose: Highly intense aromas with a pronounced content of fruit over a delicate background of oak. Lactic nuances and spicy touches.
Palate: Tasty and expressive with smooth, fresh tannins and balanced acidity. On the finish, it is long with reminiscences of red and black fruit. Fresh, lively and persistent.
Food Pairings: Mild curries, white meats in sauces, pasta with white and red sauces, grilled mushrooms, foie-gras, salmon.
Vineyards with an average age of 40 years.
Tempranillo and Graciano grape varieties have been processed and aged separately to preserve the fruit of Tempranillo and enhance the complexity of Graciano with its spicy qualities.
It is aged for 16 months in new oak (50% French, 50% American).
Mild curries, white meats in sauces, pasta with white and red sauces, grilled mushrooms, foie-gras, salmon
- International Wine Challenge 2019, 92 pts & Gold Medal
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.
Grenache speaks loudly in the Bésoleil with notes of pomegranate, red raspberry, and strawberry leaf. The Counoise and Cinsualt bring bing cherry fruit and blueberry notes to the table, complicated by pepper and garrique. Mourvedre donates a wild meatiness to the blend, and a purple hue. Syrah rounds things out, adding texture, and flesh to the palate.
The first vintage where they’ve pushed the bottling back to give the cuvee 16-18 months in barrel, the 2015 Besoleil is a dead ringer for a high-quality Chateauneuf du Pape and offers perfumed notes of herbes de Provence, kirsch, licorice and sweet spice. It’s medium to full-bodied, textured and fruit-forward, with a hedonistic yet elegant profile that’s going to evolve gracefully.
Robert Parker 91-93 Points
Biondi Santi Tenuta Greppo Annata Brunello di Montalcino is made from 100 percent Sangiovese.
The Biondi-Santi flagship wine, the Brunello di Montalcino embodies the spirit of Tenuta Greppo and the signature style of our winemakers, forged over 150 years of history with its balanced combination of fresh elegance, depth and aristocratic personality.
The Biondi-Santi 2015 Brunello di Montalcino exudes dark, velvety fruit and concentration while maintaining the signature elegance, suppleness and lithe personalty that distinguishes the iconic Il Greppo estate. I found this new release to be quite distinctive and exquisitely beautiful, setting it apart from many of the past vintages we are most familiar with. This 2015 edition is dark, exuberant and bold, but precise, focused and sharp as well. It will live for years in your cellar, but tasted now in its infancy, the wine shows blackberry, dried cherry, plum and dark cassis. Those dark fruit tones segue to a rich presentation of tar, spice, earth, tobacco and sweet balsam herb. The bouquet offers seamless and smooth transitions. This warm and sunny growing season favored richness and phenolic weight. Wines from Biondi-Santi are made for the long haul, and the fresh acidity that characterizes this estate is the principle reason why. However, I'd argue that this wine from 2015 will evolve over the years not only thanks to the freshness but more so thanks to the important structure of this solid and profound wine.
-Wine Advocate 97+ Points
The 2015 Brunello is highly complex, with pine resin, clove, blood orange, and rose-hip. It offers a grounding richness and warmth from the vintage while maintaining transparency and lift. Structured and with a long finish, this bottle showed no sign of demise over several days. Cellar 1-5 years and enjoy over the next 20 years.
-Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
Nickel & Nickel Bear Track Cabernet Sauvignon is made from Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
Bear Track Vineyard is planted in three terraced blocks on the eastern hillsides of Napa Valley, just outside of the Howell Mountain AVA. The cool climate and iron-rich, volcanic ash soils result in small, tight clusters of concentrated fruit. Ample hang time before harvest yields a Cabernet Sauvignon with intense, dark fruit flavors and integrated tannins.
Nickel & Nickel Bear Track Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 Review:
With a plushness on the palate, this varietal wine offers spicy undertones of cedar, sage and oak, with woody tannin and thick, concentrated black fruit. Intense throughout, the berry richness is contrasted by flecks of iron and crushed rock. Enjoy 2029–2039. Cellar Selection
-Wine Enthusiast 94 Points
Deep cherry red in color with a garnet rim. On the nose, it is intense and elegant, with a base of ripe fruits that blends with the subtle tertiary aromas of sweet spices and cocoa. On the palate, it is balanced, full-bodied but with sweet and pleasant tannins, with a long and very persistent aftertaste.