WA 98 The impressive 1927 Pedro Ximenez Solera, from a Solera begun nearly 80 years ago, boasts a dark amber color as well as an extraordinary nose of creme brulee, liquefied nuts, marmalade, and maple syrup. Huge and viscous, yet neither cloyingly sweet nor heavy, it is a profound effort priced unbelievably low. It is meant to be drunk alone at the end of a meal.Drink now through 2050, or even longer. RPJ Nov 2015.
Founded more than 135 years ago, in 1877 by Don Miguel Martínez Berberana in the village of Ollauri, in the heart of La Rioja. Berberana is not only one of the oldest wineries in La Rioja but one of Spain’s bestselling wine brands worldwide. Over the years the Berberana name has become synonymous with quality wines from Spain thanks to its vocation to explore avant-garde, quality winemaking in any of the emerging, fast developing new wine regions of Spain. We were also one the pioneers to embrace Tempranillo as the icon grape of Spain.
Buy 6 or more and pay 39sgd/bottle. WA 92. The 2015 Solanera used to wear the ultimate Spanglish label, which said "Viñas Viejas of Monastrell" even if it was always a blend (in this vintage, the blend includes 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Garnacha Tintorera). The revamped 2015 has a completely different label that only keeps the "viñas viejas" moniker. In this wine... they used part of full clusters and sourced the grapes from Casa Marta, a nine-hectare, head-pruned, dry-farmed plot on very stony soils in the north of Yecla at the foot of the Mount Arabí. It fermented in concrete vats and open-top barrels and matured in barrique, each...
Buy 6 or more and pay 65sgd per bottle. WA 93+ I'm always looking forward to tasting CVNE's Gran Reserva bottlings, especially the 2011 Imperial Gran Reserva, as the year was highly praised, and I was very curious to see how it behaved. It's a classical blend of Tempranillo with 10% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo that matured in barrel for two years. It has good depth and complexity in the nose, nicely layered, very balsamic and tertiary. It feels elegant and harmonious. The palate is surprisingly fresh and vibrant, with finesse, freshness, fine and mostly resolved tannins and a fine thread of acidity that holds and lifts up the finish. 50,000...
Perrin 90. Tim Aitkin 93 As close to a "claret" style as Rioja gets. Echoes of Medoc in the blending approach. Vina Real Reserva is a red wine from Rioja produced by the Vina Real, a member of the CVNE group. The winery is located on top of Cerro de la Mesa in La Rioja Alavesa. Vina Real Reserva is made primarily from Tempranillo (90%) supplemented with Mazuelo, Garnacha and Graciano (10%). For processing, one cold maceration and an alcoholic fermentation in stainless steel tanks takes place at controlled temperatures. After the fermentation process happens, Vina Real Reserva is aged for 22 months in new barrels with a manual racking every 4...
Winemaker's Notes: Grape Varieties: 90% Tempranillo; 10% Mazuelo. Bouquet: Ripe fruit, clove and cocoa, with leather and cedar notes. Taste: Medium bodied with well-integrated tannins and a lingering finish. Serving Suggestions: A perfect compliment to all types of meats, casseroles and mature, hard cheeses.
Notes from Wine Advocate (2013 vintage 91 points). 2014 not yet reviewed. It's a blend of different plots and the varietal break up is approximately 95% Tempranillo, 3% Garnacha and 2% Viura (white). Since 2012, they have changed the style going for something more elegant, eliminating bleeding, with softer pumping over and maturing in barrels (mostly American oak) for some 14 months. It has a nose of ripe fruit and spices, quite balanced and elegant, and a similar, soft and silky palate, very drinkable.
WA 92. The very toasty eponymous 2014 Finca Villacreces follows the line of the 2012 I tasted last time. It's a blend of Tempranillo with 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Merlot from their estate vineyards in the village of Quintanilla de Onésimo. The vines are organically-farmed and the wines matured in French oak barrels for 14 months, where 50% of the barrels were new and the other half were second-use. It's a powerful, ripe and generously-oaked Ribera del Duero, with clout and concentration, but with good balance. The tannins are fine-grained and there is good freshness. It should develop nicely in bottle. 41,000 bottles produced. LG Apr...
Buy Six and Pay $36 net Suckling 92 points. Very ripe, bright, black fruits and tar aromas pour from the glass. Big and juicy, but the tannins are stronger than the sweet stuff. Long, clean finish and a lot of potential. ~ WA 90 ~ Finca Villacreces estate is located in Quintanilla de Onesimo on the 'Golden Mile', in the heart of Ribera del Duero DO. Its direct neighbour is Vega Sicilia. Winery Notes: GRAPE VARIETIES: 90% Tempranillo, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. AGING: 12 months in 3-year-old French barrels (Darnajou and Taransaud). TASTING NOTES: Deep, black cherry color. Aromas of red fruit embodied with toffee oaky hints from the aging in...
WA 94. A worthy follow up to the 2004 is the 2005 Viña Bosconia Reserva, a wine that they consider the most rustic and powerful in the winery, but that I find as elegant and subtle as it gets. This feels very much in line with the 2004, maybe a notch above even, a lower yielding year. The nose is somehow closed and feels young with the elegant rusticity lurking from the bottom of the glass, clean and precise. The tannins are velvety and there is great acidity--a constant here. The wine is terribly elegant. I simply loved this wine. 99,000 bottles were filled in June 2011. Lopez de Heredia has a problem many wineries would like to have; they...
WA 91. The 2012 Dignus is a blend of 50% Tempranillo , 25% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon from vines planted in 1970 that was aged 12 months in 3-year-old French oak. It exhibits lovely blackcurrant and black cherry fruit intermixed with licorice, Provençal herbs, loamy soil and hints of spice box and background oak. Medium to full-bodied with fresh acids, it is a zesty, opulent, delicious, complex red wine to consume over the next 3-4 years. RPJ Nov 2014.
At the end of the 19th century Bodegas Martínez Lacuesta was already stating Rioja to be the origin of their wines on price lists. The Denomination was not made official until 1926, in no small part thanks to the bodega's founder, Félix Martínez Lacuesta. It's a story which illustrates our spirit of both tradition and innovation, of being Rioja winemakers even before Rioja existed as such.
WA 93. The 2015 Mencía de Espanillo is, as in the previous vintage, a blend with some 15% Garnacha Tintorera (and a pinch of white Godello), sourced from ancient vineyards planted on slate soils at 700 meters altitude in the village of Espanillo. It fermented with part of full clusters in a 5,000-liter oak vat and transferred to a 2,500-liter foudre for malolactic fermentation and 11 months élevage. It's a serious Bierzo, a little closed at first, slowly developing some earthy aromas and notes of ripe fruit following the character of the year but still within the elegant and balanced style that is its hallmark. The tannins and texture show...
WA 94. The 2004 Prado Enea Gran Reserva is not quite as dense as the 2005 but is more expressive on the nose and rounder on the palate. It is a complete effort that should prove to be one of the best Prado Eneas Muga has produced. JM Oct 2010.
WA 96. The most classic cuvée was not produced in 2007 or 2008, so we jumped to the phenomenal 2009 Prado Enea. It was produced with grapes from cooler vineyards that enjoyed 20 extra days of slow ripening compared with warmer zones, which provided them with perfect ripeness and deep flavors. This blend of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha and the remaining 10% between Mazuelo and Graciano had an extended élevage, in this case no less than three years (alternating newer and older barrels). This is still a baby and I know Winemaker Jorge Muga would like to keep it in bottle for longer before selling it, but the commercial pressure is...
WA 92. I tasted from two different bottles of the 2014 La Montesa Crianza, one that had been decanted for 18 hours and one that was popped and poured. The wine had opened up, but showed no signs of fatigue or oxidation. The just-opened bottle felt a little more compact, serious and a little backward. It had only been in bottle for less than two months when I tasted it and it didn't feel dizzy at all. The amount of Garnacha is growing in most of the wines and here, it's already 85%, with the balance provided by Tempranillo; in 2015 ,the proportion is even higher at 92% and 8%. It fermented in stainless steel vats with natural yeasts,...
Buy 6 or more and pay 49sgd. Tasting Notes: Cherry red colour with violet edges. High aromatic intensity. Clean and appetising aromas of ripe red fruit over delicate toasted and expressive spiced hints and refreshing balsamic touches. Elegant, tasty and fresh wine. Long and silky mid-palate, full of fruit mixed with roasted nuances. Excellent acidity and kind, tamed and juicy tannins. Very pleasant and long finish with a great persistence. Pesquera Crianza is a classic red wine from the D.O Ribera del Duero region and is produced by Tinto Pesquera, a winery that belongs the Pesquera group. The area is home to a mediterranean climate with...
Peter Sisseck's recent project, PSI, has involved a lengthy and meticulous study of the greatest potential vineyard sites in Ribera, with the laudable aim of protecting the region's precious, but increasingly rare old bush vines, found around the region, but particularly in the sub-zone of La Horra. Once the top sites are identified, Sisseck pays a premium for the growers' fruit, in return for a promise not to grub them up. The wine is made in collaboration with the Alonso Y Yerro winemaker Pablo Rubio, at Bodegas Y Vinedos Alnardo. Unlike Pingus, the volumes are reasonable – more than 16,000 cases in 2010 – and the wine modestly priced.
WA 91. The 2014 Hado wants to showcase the freshness and typicity of Tempranillo in the zone of Laguardia in Rioja, where Pujanza's vineyards are located. 2014 was an early and warm vintage, and the grapes comes from a diversity of plots in Laguardia. The wine is fermented (malolactic included) in stainless steel vats and matured in French oak barrels for one year. This year he used a lot of grapes from the Valdepoleo vineyard (he doesn't buy grapes, but he doesn't want to sell them, either), so the wine has more character. It's usually a more straightforward wine and it has more freshness, from a clay-rich vineyard; but here, the aromas are...
WA 93. The 2015 Ultreia St Jacques is the entry-level red for the Ultreia range and is amazingly good for the price. Produced from old vines, this is a serious wine, with juicy fruit, a fine palate and good freshness for the conditions of the year. They have included new vineyards that they have been working for the last four or five years, so they are able to bottle a little bit more wine. This is a great value. 24,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in January 2017. LG Sep 2017.
Valdehermoso Crianza is a red wine from the Ribera del Duero region. It is produced by the Valderiz Winery and it made by using only Tinta del País grapes (Tempranillo). The grapes used to make this wine come from several vineyards located near the town of Roa. These vineyards cover over 70 hectares, divided into 35 plots, all covering different soil types. The winery follows ecological methods when winemaking, with no herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers being used. The local climate is mediterranean, with little rainfall and hot, dry summers. After they have been harvested, the grapes are quickly taken to the winery in order to preserve...
Among the 69 different plots of red varieties found in the Valquejigoso vineyard, the best plots are selected each year for the final blend of the V2. Located 45 kilometers south of Madrid, it borders on the La Mancha region. Each vintage, the varieties and their proportion used in the final V2 blend vary depending on the weather of the vintage and how each grape variety reacts in the vineyard. Only those varieties reaching a perfect ripeness are included in the final V2 blend, thus showing the utmost mineral expression of the soil and keeping the utmost expression of each specific plot where they come from. However, part of the blend, based...
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