2005 Contino Reserva Rioja

SKU #1054522 92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Inky ruby color. Sexy, highly perfumed aromas of blackberry, cassis, minerals, black tea and smoke. Wonderfully ripe and dense but youthfully firm and dry; thick but energetic, with deep dark berry and bitter cherry flavors and fine-grained tannins. Extremely young Rioja with strong finishing grip and lingering notes of bitter cherry and candied blackcurrant. Put this one away for a long time.  (10/2009)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2005 Contino Reserva is made up of 85% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano, and 5% Mazuelo and Garnacha aged for 2 years in a mix of new and seasoned French and American oak. Crimson-colored, it presents aromas of smoke, spice box, roses, leather, black cherry, and blackberry. Elegant on the palate in a slightly racy style, the fruit is balanced by lively acidity and the flavors are ripe and savory. This lengthy offering will continue to unwind for another 4-6 years and will deliver optimal drinking from 2015 to 2025. (JM)  (6/2010)


 Five stars and Gold from 2012 Decanter Wine Awards. Sumptuous aromas of vanilla and blackcurrants in syrup with earthy, woody notes over a bold, juicy palate with an intense damson core, violets and aniseed.  (12/2012)

Jancis Robinson

 Mid crimson. Absolutely true rioja fruit and oak on the nose. Still pretty youthful with the oak still prominent but the fruit is just as it should be. Needs time but very promising.  (10/2013)

Wine Spectator

 Supple and lively, this fresh red offers cherry, leaf and light chocolate flavors, with a food-friendly balance of light tannins and crisp acidity.  (11/2009)

K&L Notes

In 1973, Contino was founded and became the first of the new wave of single vineyard Rioja estates. Today, winemaker Jesús Madrazo makes some of Rioja's finest wines, polished and comparably modern, but with a sense of balance and restraint that gives them amazing elegance and great longevity. Simply put, this is modern Rioja executed perfectly. The wonderful 2005 vintage boasts shimmering, pure dark berry fruit, with a character that shouts out Rioja while showing you something a bit new, likely due to the estate's excellent, carefully harvested Rioja Alavesa fruit. Contino's Rioja also boasts a healthy 10% dollop of Graciano, which enhances the wine's color, freshness and ageability.

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Price: $39.99
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- A very important red grape varietal that's native to Northern Spain, grown across the north and central regions of the country. Low in acid and alcohol, with subtle strawberry, leather and tobacco notes, the grape responds well to oak aging and plays particularly well with others. Tempranillo is an important component, when combined with Garnacha, Mazuelo, Viura and Graciano, of Rioja, with the best examples coming for the cooler, higher-elevation regions like Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa. It is also grown in significant quantities in the Ribera del Duero where it is called Tinto Fino and Penèdes where it is called Ull de Llebre o Ojo de Llebre. Tempranillo hasn't gained a particularly strong foothold outside of Spain, achieving some success under the name Tinto Roriz in Portugal. There it is used as a component of Port and in the table wines of the Ribera del Duero and the Dão.


- With more land under vine than any other country in the world, Spain is the great sleeping wine giant. In recent years, a great deal of money and passion has been poured in the burgeoning Spanish wine industry, helping to improve quality among its vast array of wines from sparkling Cava to Sherry to Rioja Gran Reserva. The most important red-wine-producing regions are Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Navarra in the north and Priorat and Penedes in the northeast.


Alcohol Content (%): 14