Wine Spectator Top 100 Of 2017 Rank 17 Wine Spectator (WS 92) This red shows grace and depth. Black cherry, plum, mineral and smoke flavors mingle harmoniously over well-integrated tannins, while lively acidity keeps this focused. Not showy, but all the pieces fit together. Balanced, in the modern style. Monastrell. Drink now through 2025. 10,000 cases made. -TM Score: 92, Thomas Matthews
WA 91+. The first wine in the range is the 2016 Monastrell, which in reality contains some 8% combination of Garnacha and Syrah, cropped from a more continental, cooler and dry vintage. Like all the wines from the property, it fermented with indigenous yeasts, in this case with grapes from different plots, and matured in used oak barrels for eight to nine months. Juicy, primary, incredibly fresh and with a vertical palate, longer than wider, like a hypothetical blend of 2013 and 2015, cool but dry. This is always a great value, even more so in 2016. 160,000 bottles produced from a single blend that is bottled throughout the year. LG Dec 2017.
WA 92. The 2014 Les Alcusses has always been a blend of local and French varieties aged in oak barrels; this year the blend is approximately 30% Monastrell, 20% Garnacha Tintorera, 15% each Petit Verdot and Syrah, and 10% each Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot fermented destemmed with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel and aged in 225- and 500-liter oak barrels for eight months. I also noticed a strong balsamic strike here, full of aromatic herbs, thyme, rosemary and a touch of esparto grass and tree bark. The oak is very nicely integrated, with contained ripeness (they aren't replacing as many barriques, and in 2017, they bought some...
WA 92+. Only in its second vintage, the 2016 Safrà is already a reference for the winery—it's more vibrant and livelier than Parotet but produced with the same grape, Mandó, which is complemented here with 10% each Garnacha Tintorera and Monastrell. It fermented in stainless steel and stone lagars with 30% full clusters and indigenous yeasts. Malolactic was in amphorae, where the wine matured for some six months. It has plenty of aromatic herbs, balsamic; in a way, it reminded me of a vermouth. At the end of the day, 2016 was a short vintage—the grapes ripened earlier, so they harvested them pretty early, keeping the freshness. The...
Buy 6 or more and pay $39 per bottle. The 2017 vintage has not as yet been rated. Previous vintages 14/15/16 were rated 92/92+/93 by Wine Advocate. The Garnacha Tintorera comes from 25-year-old vines on limestone and clay soils at 800 meters altitude, and the Moravia Agria (which represents 30% of the volume) comes from 40-year-old vines on limestone, sand and clay soils at 710 meters altitude. The Garnacha is kept unoaked, but the Moravia is put in neutral barriques for eight months. Richly perfumed, full bodied, brash and long. A real treat.
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...
WA 92. La Planella is a red wine from Montsant produced by the Joan d'Anguera winery. This winery, founded in 1820, owns 31 hectares of vineyards in the southwest area of Montsant. La Planella is made from Carignan (50%), Syrah (45%), and Grenache (5%). "La Planella 2016 is a tasty, intense and easy to drink red wine. In this vintage, the wine shows more freshness than in the previous one. On the nose, the aromas of fresh red fruit stand out, with spicy notes. In the mouth, it is balanced, easy to drink and with a certain volume." WA 92.
WA 94. The 2006 Viña Bosconia Reserva, always more rustic and powerful than the Viña Tondonia, was cropped from a warm and early harvest and is a blend of Tempranillo with 15% Garnacha and 5% Graciano and Mazuelo. This wine matures in used American oak barrels for five years. It has a very developed nose, and as winemaker Mercedes López de Heredia noted, "It could be confused with a Gran Reserva, as I see it more tertiary and developed." These are amazing wines, clean and complex, with polished tannins and surprisingly good acidity. I have the idea of 2006 as a warmer vintage, but it's not true throughout Rioja; as I've seen with other...
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 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 97. I was really looking forward to the 2010 Prado Enea Gran Reserva, as I've seen a very good improvement in this cuvée in the last few vintages, and 2010 is one of the more-balanced vintages of recent times. This is the most classical among the wines in the portfolio, the one with the longer élevage, a little bit like the wines from yesteryear but with today's knowledge about vineyards and vinification/élevage. This has settled to a blend of approximately 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha and the remaining 10% between Mazuelo and Graciano, from the cooler, higher-altitude vineyards, which means they only bottle it every two or three...
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,...
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...
2016 not rated but 2013/14/15/17 all rated WA 93. This is the WA review of the 2015..... "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. " LG Sept 2017. 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...
WA 93 A blend of the reds Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano and the whites Viura and Malvasía Riojana, it is fermented with indigenous yeasts in a combination of stainless steel and oak vats then matured in French oak barrels for 17 months. The nose has earthy aromas and notes of ripe orange peel giving old-style character to the wine marked by very well-integrated oak and an obvious Rioja character. There are cherries, plums and spices with licorice and ink aromas. The day after, it has more strawberries with very good freshness, so the evolution in bottle should be good. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannins and good acidity that...
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...
WA 93. The red 2016 Dido has the ripeness and depth of the 2015 but with extra freshness that makes it go an extra mile in length. It has the complex mix of grapes, mostly Garnacha with Syrah and perhaps 10% of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, and the different soils, as it comes from different vineyards in different parts of the appellation. Some 60,000 bottles produced. LG Apr 2018.
Viña Mayor Tinto Roble is a red wine from Ribera del Duero, a single-variety Tempranillo, produced by the Viña Mayor winery. The grape is harvested manually and transported to the winery in 300 kilo boxes. After carrying out a gentle de-stemming process, the harvested grape is left to ferment in stainless steel tanks at a constant temperature and undergo frequent pumping over. Viña Mayor Tinto Roble rests in American oak barrels before being bottled. Viña Mayor Tinto Roble 2016 is a soft, pleasant and medium bodied red wine. This vintage stands out for its pronounced nose of very ripe red fruit with light toasted notes. In the mouth it...
WA 93. The 2005 Viña Tondonia Reserva is a blend of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacho, 5% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo from their vineyards in the meander of the Ebro River, where they have some 100 hectares of vineyards. The wine fermented in the original oak vats that are now some 140 years of age. There is no temperature control and malolactic was also in the vat. The wine was transferred to oak barrels where it slowly matured in their deep, humid caves for no less than six years. After this, it was bottled unfiltered after being fined with egg whites. I think the quality gap between the Reserva and Gran Reserva has been getting smaller since the...
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