Perhaps above all other wines from this rejuvenated winery, this one represents the vision and hard graft of winemaker Mercedes Garcia. The long-standing and sometimes frustrating regulations of D.O.C. Rioja are effectively ignored here to produce a wine that matches her desire to express the intensity, vibrancy and suppleness afforded by fruit from wonderful old vines grown on calcareous clay soils.
This blew us away when we first tasted it at the old winery in Fuenmayor, its modern profile somewhat belying the ancient stone surroundings.
70% Tempranillo and 30% Graciano are fermented separately in steel tanks, the must in contact with the skins for 20 days. The wines are racked into a combination of new French oak and ‘mixed wood’ barrels – French staves interspersed with American – before blending and ageing for 6 months in these barrels. 18 months in bottle prior to release.
This is quite simply one of the best Spanish wines we’ve ever tasted, profoundly appealing on the nose with a big hit of ripe black fruits and touches of caramel and brioche. Powerful yet beautifully fresh and elegant on the palate.
Lively aromatics mingle with wood smoke and forest floor. Classy new oak character in a modern style. Delicious fruit, fine tannins and a persistent finish.
94 / 100 Decanter Magazine March 2018 (2010 vintage)
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