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K&L Staff Recommendations
95 points James Suckling: "Terrific aromas of currants, berries, cinnamon and perfume. Full body, ultra-fine tannins and a dense palate. Superb length and refinement. Compact. Super length. Superb quality considering the price. More delicate and refined than the 2010. Precise." (12/2016) 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The blend of the 2012 Rioja Reserva is significantly different from previous vintages, with more Graciano and Garnacha. The blend was approximately 77% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha, 8% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo. After a very dry growing season, the harvest was saved by some rains at the end of September, ...Read More »
Mas Codina is a 40 hectare estate in Penedès which dates back to 1681. This Brut Reserva Cava was hand-harvested from 20 to 30-year-old vines and estate bottled. Though it does not say it on the label, the current disgorgement is based entirely on the 2013 harvest. Vines are planted in calcareous and sandy clay soils which keep the wine minerally and lively. The wine undergoes secondary fermentation in the bottle, and is aged on its lees for a minimum of two years before disgorgement. Varietals include Macabeo, Xarel-lo, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. 100% ... Read More »
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The wonderful 2013 Crianza from Hacienda Monasterio is one of the great successes from a challenging vintage that resulted in a heterogeneous collection of wines, where you can find the best and the worst. 2013 was a shorter vintage and they didn't do a Reserva or Reserva Especial that year, so the very best grapes from their estate vineyards went into this Crianza. In fact, they sold 40% of their production in bulk. The final blend was 80% Tempranillo and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and they didn't use any Merlot this year. It's a very precise vintage, with ...Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "This has a beautiful depth of fruit with spice and dark fruits. Hints of parsley and cilantro. Full and super silky with a long and beautiful finish." (5/2013) K&L Notes: Composed of the same grapes in the same percentages as the Crianza, the Reserva is a barrel selection of wines that Angel feels can undergo longer aging in barrel and then in bottle. Aged a total of 27 months in barrels, then into concrete for more than a year, the Reserva also sees bottle aging until Angel deems it ready for release. This wine ramps up the intensity of the Crianza, with more pungen... Read More »
Wine Spectator: "Ripe plum and chocolate flavors have a slightly candied character in this round, supple red, backed by sweet-tart acidity and light tannins that give way to a fresh finish. Drink now. 8,500 cases imported. (TM, Web-2016)" K&L Notes: In the region of Cariñena, the Garnacha grape variety finds a lovely expression, one which is less high octane and lighter on its feet than in some of the neighboring regions. This easy drinker is a terrific bargain for anyone looking for a house red or a wine for a celebration.
The best Cabernet Sauvignon under $10 that I have tasted in nearly 9 years of working here. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish Wine Buyer) This was produced from a 30-year-old Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard in the Vino de la Tierra de Castilla appellation (a large swath of land in the region of La Mancha), this Cab has delicious, balanced dark currant fruit, and a subtle influence from a six-month stint in American oak barrels. This nicely priced Spanish Cabernet has been a staff favorite for two vintages running.
Our newest DI Rioja comes from Rioja Baja, where the climate is a bit warmer and more Mediterranean, but where the Garnacha is arguably the best in all Rioja, the Graciano ripens more easily and shows great promise, and Tempranillo, planted on choice parcels like they are here, is also quite good. Castillo de Viñas was a label put together for us by one of our contacts in Rioja, and is made by the Burgo Viejo winery, a group of growers who have some great quality vineyards in the area. 90% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano. Juicy red and mixed berry fruit, with... Read More »
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* Certain wines exude a sense of elevated excellence. This one gets to that level via aromas of spice cake, baked plum and tobacco aromas. A stocky saturated palate is structured and built to age, while this tastes of cool blue fruits, herbs, coffee and chocolate. A smoothly textured finish deals cocoa and mocha notes. Drink through 2040. (MS)" (4/2017) 94 points Wine Spectator: "*Top 100 of 2016, Highly Recommended* This generous red shows a traditional character, with leafy, dried herb, tea and spice notes framing dried cherry, licorice and leather flavors. Firm ta ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Ercavio Roble is pure Tempranillo that followed a classical vinification, fermentation in stainless steel, malolactic fermentation in cement and a short aging (six months) in used French barriques. The nose is very classic, too, nicely crafted, fine with a nice combination between berry and spice with subtle oak. It has a commercial profile in a very pleasant way. The palate shows very good volume and a fine texture with elegant tannins. It tastes like a much more expensive wine. This is superb value and a faithful representation of Tempranillo ...Read More »
95 points James Suckling: "Ripe and intense aromas of strawberries and blackberries with hints of black ink. Savory notes, too. Full-bodied, chewy and focused with linear fruit and character. Very finely crafted. Drink or hold." (12/2016) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Viña Alberdi is a Tempranillo blend from different vineyards from what they consider an extraordinary vintage. This wine is matured in American oak barrels built by their own coopers, the first year in new barrels and the second one in third-year barrels with four manual rackings. This is the younger of their wines, with even some red berr ...Read More »
As is the case with so many other great spots in Spain, Bodega Casa Juan is located opposite the village church, in the beautiful walled pueblo of Laguardia. The winery is a converted flour mill, featuring concrete tanks for fermenting and blending the wine; and for ageing, barrels that are used for up to seven years. These are traditional Riojas in elaboration and spirit, though the site specificity of their Laguardia and Villabuena vineyards confers a fruit character all its own to these wines. And what fruit! This crianza is a potpouri of mixed berrie... Read More »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2007 Viña Ardanza Reserva is a blend of Tempranillo with 20% Garnacha, the Tempranillo from 30-year-old vineyards La Cuesta and Montecillo in the villages of Fuenmayor and Cenicero, and the Garnacha from old head-pruned vines at 600 meters altitude in Tudelilla, in Rioja Baja, from plots next to their Finca La Pedriza. Those should soon be mature enough to go into the wine (they were planted in 2004 and they will make it into the Ardanza blend from 2007-2008). The grapes are fermented separately with natural yeasts and the Tempranillo then matured in ...Read More »
95 points James Suckling: "A complex nose of dried strawberries with slate and white-truffle undertones. Hints of Spanish cedar. Full body, juicy tannins and bright acidity that follows through to a long, clean and earthy finish. A great wine that shows structure and complexity. Drink or hold." (12/2016) 93 points Vinous: "(aged for 26 months in French oak casks) Bright ruby. Fresh red berry, cherry, mocha and floral scents are complicated by suggestions of cola and vanilla. Intense black raspberry, bitter cherry and rose pastille flavors deepen and pick up a sweet hint of mocha on the back half. The ...Read More »
A K&L Direct Import! Jesús Puelles is one of the most talented vignerons in Rioja. Hailing from a long line of vineyard worker/owners, Puelles knows the terruño in his little slice of land in the Rioja Alta town of Abalos. All of the grapes for his red wines come from his own 26 hectares, which are generally north facing and located between 300 and 600 meters in altitude, all within the village of Abalos, very rare in a region where sourcing from various villages and even sub-zones is more the norm. Produced from primarily estate fruit (Tempranillo, with... Read More »
Our second vintage of this DI Albariño, this wine shows everything we like in the grape: hints of lemongrass, lively stone fruit and a brisk, saline tinged palate. Located in the sub-zone of Condado do Tea, where the days are a bit warmer and evenings are slightly cooler, there is a wonderful mid-palate presence to complement the typically lean and mineral qualities of Albariño. A classic with any shellfish, especially Dungeness crab!
97 points James Suckling: "Gorgeous aromas of ripe fruit, Spanish cedar and dark chocolate. Full body with beautiful flavors of fresh strawberries and raspberries. Super polished and refined. Lovely tension. Refined and polished. A wine with superb depth. Always a masterpiece. Better in 2018 but a joy to taste now." (10/2016) 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "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 r ...Read More »
Based in the Rioja Alavesa town of Samaniego, Ostatu has worked diligently to fine tune the style of their rosado and truly has produced one of our favorite, everyday value pink wines from Spain over the past few vintages. A blend of Tempranillo with some Garnacha and Viura, this rosé's gently hued pink color suggests a light touch and relatively quick skin maceration, as does its fresh, lively, red fruited profile. This is a big gulp type of wine, delicious on its own or with charcuterie, cheeses, veges and aioli, grilled fish, cured anchovies, roasted ... Read More »
92 points Vinous: "Bright violet color. Heady, exotically perfumed bouquet of ripe red and dark berries, incense and candied flowers, with a smoky mineral overtone and a hint of Asian spices. Intense, deeply pitched raspberry liqueur and cherry-cola flavors stain the palate while displaying a distinctly vibrant quality. Blends power, depth and finesse in a way that's uncommon at anywhere near this price point. Closes sweet, supple and very long, with velvety tannins coming in late to add shape and gentle grip. These bush vines date back to the early 1920s and yield less th ...Read More »
Amats is both the brand name of the Txakoli as well as one of Zudugarai's vineyards. It's a beautiful vineyard, a sandy substrate covered in naturally growing green cover between the rows, with the Cantabrian Sea in full view to the north. Produced from Hondarribi Zuri grapes, this is classic Txakoli: zippy, crisp, tart green apple flavors are enlivened by a lovely sparkle from the CO2 retained in tank during fermentation. Try this refreshing, vibrant, low in alcohol white wine with a wide range of foods, from obvious choices such as seafood (grilled sar... Read More »
Albarino is the perfect summer white, but its naturally crisp acidity and peachy citrus flavors make it enjoyable year-round as an aperitif or paired with a variety of foods, particularly shellfish and seafood. It hails from the Rias Baixas zone of Gallicia, on the northwest coast of Spain. Walk through any given fishing village along the "rias" (fjords) in this beautiful, cool, maritime-influenced region and you will find fresh grilled "pulpo" (octopus) vendors at every corner! A classic Albarino nose of white peach, citrus and mineral aromas gives way ... Read More »
Can Mayol, which bottles under the trademarked name "Loxarel," is a winery that has farmed organically for 15 years. The Mitjan family, owners of Can Mayol, also employ some biodynamic treatments. They keep animals, including chickens, a horse and a donkey named Garnatxa. While the focus is on "Brut Nature" (no dosage added) sparkling wine production, they also produce some very interesting still wines. In their chalky, high-altitude vineyards (above 2,400 feet for their highest vines, among the highest in the Penedès D.O.), Xarel-lo, Macabeo, Parellada,... Read More »
94 points James Suckling: "Beautiful and aromatic with red cherries and cranberries plus slate undertones. Medium to full body, a super-soft texture, silky fine-grained tannins and a long, savory finish. A wonderful and elegant wine. Drink now or hold." (12/2016) K&L Notes: Fredi Torres has been steadily making a name for himself in the Montsant and Priorat regions. A leader of the new school in Priorat, Fredi prefers to let the fruit in the vineyard do the talking, playing around with some whole clusters and preferring that the oak imprint be dialed back in his wines. In this case, 85% of th... Read More »
*A K&L direct import! This is our latest arrival from Miguel Merino, whom we like to call "the hardest working man in Rioja." Having begun his humble "retirement project" in the early 1990s by restoring an older bodega just down the hill from the historic town of Briones, Miguel either owns or rents to own a total of around 8 hectares of vines, all of which are located in Briones; not only is this village specific Rioja, but it happens to come from one of the most sought after villages in all of Rioja Alta, where many top bodegas have some of their most ... Read More »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A new kid on the block, the pure Garnacha 2013 El Molar carries the name of the vineyards where the vines were planted in 2006 on sand and chalk soils covered with gravel. It was foot trodden and fermented in cement vats and aged for nine months in used 500-liter oak barrels. In 2013 the vines worked until the very end as it was a year where there was more rain than average and a relatively cool summer (sometimes ripening occurs because of dehydration rather than true ripening) resulting in a perfect ripeness but quite contained. It is light ruby color, ...Read More »
Raventos i Blanc was founded in 1986 by Josep-Maria Raventos, a member of the Codorníu family who wished to create a small, quality-oriented winery that would stand apart from the larger wineries in the area. Today they own about 300 acres of vineyards (with a high percentage of chalk in the soil, like Champagne) planted mostly to local varieties such as Macabeo (Viura), Xarel-lo and Parellada. All three of these grapes, as well as a small portion of direct-press Monastrell, are found in this delicate, beautiful rosé bottling.
91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Vivid purple. Fresh cherry, blackberry and incense on the highly perfumed nose. Lush, sweet and broad on the palate, offering fleshy blueberry and floral pastille flavors that turn spicier with air. Closes on a sweet note of spicy oak, with supple tannins, very good tenacity and a touch of fruitcake. (JR)" (9/2014) 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Tres Picos is the bodegas top cuvée of 100% Grenache from older, head-pruned vines planted on the hillsides of the Moncayo Mountains. Yields were less than two tons of fruit per acre. This was the first of the Grenaches to spend some ti ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Emporda is a small Catalan D.O. located along the Costa Brava, in the heart of Salvador Dali country! Espelt is a leading producer for value-oriented Garnatxa (Grenache). Always a popular favorite, this 2015 is fantastic. Floral and mixed berry aromas lead to a juicy and racy palate, with blackberry and floral notes, subtle candied and floral aspects and a pleasing, subtle bitter snap to the finish. A lot to like in this Grenache!
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The basic offering from proprietor Ramon Castano Santa, who owns a whopping 1,000 acres in Yecla, is the 2012 Hecula, which is sourced from a non-irrigated, single vineyard planted with 100% Monastrell. Aged in both tank and French oak, it comes from 60-80-year-old vines planted in limestone soils at a relatively high elevation of over 1,600 feet. Its opaque purple color is followed by copious aromas of blueberries, black raspberries, camphor, licorice, white flowers and a chalky limestone/dusty character. Full-bodied, rich and well-balanced, it is an in ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "All bottles from the new Classic Penedès category for sparkling wines have to carry a vintage, so what used to be non-vintage wines have been transformed into vintage ones, as is the case with the 2013 999 Rosado Brut Nature. This is a blend of an obscure clone of Xarello called Xarello Vermell and Pinot Noir that matured in bottle for a minimum of 15 months. The carbonic gas feels quite powerful and invaded my nostrils as soon as I put my nose in the glass, denoting youth. The aromas combine rose petals and red berries, not terribly complex, but clean a ...Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2007 Reserva showed a strong reduction when uncorked and should benefit from decanting in advance. Pure Tempranillo, it matured in barrels for 20 months. The nose, after the reduction has blown off, is quite classical but clean showing roasted aromas and hints of dark spices, balsam and perhaps leather. The palate is quite lively, with good, refreshing acidity and fully resolved tannins. (LG)" (4/2015) K&L Notes: Jesús Puelles is one of the most talented vignerons in Rioja. Hailing from a long line of vineyard worker/owners, Puelles knows the terruño in his littl... Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* Since its inception, Numanthia has never once bottled a disappointing Termes. Aromas of lemon peel and orange rind mix with blackberry and cassis notes. This feels tight and tannic, but structured and appropriate. Dark-berry and chocolate flavors finish tannic but healthy. This is true-to-form Toro. (MS)" (8/2016) 91 points Vinous: "Bright violet color. Powerful, smoke-accented aromas of ripe black and blue fruits, floral pastilles and minerals. Delivers a suave blend of richness and vivacity, offering juicy boysenberry and mulberry flavors and a building n ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A north-facing vineyard in the Catalan area of Spain, this 2014 Cara Nord red blend of 42% Grenache, 38% Syrah and 20% Garrut (an indigenous grape of Conca de Barbera, which is northeast of Priorat and Montsant) has produced a very fragrant Pinot Noir-style of wine, with notes of earth, forest floor, black and red currants, in a medium-bodied, easygoing, savory, lush style. Drink it over the next several years. (RP)" (7/2015)
Bright, citric and balanced, without any overt fruitiness, this Malvasia from volcanic soils on the island of Lanzarote is one of our favorite Canary whites. The minerality and pitch perfect fruit combine for a refreshing white to enjoy on its own, with seafood (cooked or raw), or for a taste of the canaries, with some herb roasted chicken, papas arrugadas and mojo!
91 points Wine Spectator: "*Top 100 of 2016, Smart Buys* A thick texture carries plum tart, orange peel, toasted vanilla and anise flavors in this ripe version, balanced by juicy acidity. The spicy, berry-scented finish is long and pure. (TM)" (12/2016) K&L Notes: Alvaro Palacios has roots that run deep into the soil of Rioja. He was born into one the region's most prestigious winemaking families, the force behind Palacios Remondo, yet his interests have always been grander. Rather than slide simply into a position at the family winery, Alvaro decided to go out and do his own thing for a while... Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 L'Hereu Brut is produced from what Pepe Raventós considers a great vintage that will be considered historic in the future. That year they harvested 25 days later than the recent average, so the grapes had time to ripen slowly to perfection with a long cycle that also held acidity and the wines are very fresh. This is sourced mostly form the Viña de la Plana, which has plenty of clay on the chalky mother rock (120 centimeters below) and quite deep soils that produce wines of good freshness and balance. They also use part of purchased grapes from ...Read More »
94 points James Suckling: "Very perfumed with dried flowers plus hints of leather and smoke. Lots of depth and elegance to this wine with polished velvety tannins and a long finish. Wonderful texture. Drink or hold." (12/2016) 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2004 Viña Tondonia Reserva is a completely different story. It is a worthy follower of the 2001, the greatest of the Viña Tondonia Reservas of recent times. It has the usual blend and usual levels of alcohol and acidity, bottled after six years in oak barrels. The nose feels savory (if that's possible–umami?) and developed, with tertiary aromas and good ba ...Read More »
92 points James Suckling: "Floral and subtle fruit character on the nose follows through to a full to medium body, soft and silky tannins and a flavorful finish. So refined. Hints of herbs and pepper towards the end. Drink or hold." (12/2016) 90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Baked, rooty aromas of sandalwood, exotic spices and berry fruits are attractive. Though slightly grabby on the palate, this shows the right structure and build. Flavors of up-front oak, herbal plum and raspberry finish dry, with firm, pinching tannins. Drink through 2021. (MS)" (8/2016) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Pretty fruit flavors of strawberry and raspberry mingle wit ...Read More »
A longtime participant in the wine business, Miguel decided that rather than retire, he wanted to fulfill his dream of owning vines and making wine. Based in the Rioja Alta town of Briones, Miguel Merino makes, as he likes to put it, an "updated classic" style of Rioja, all from his own 2 hectares of vines and several hectares of vineyards owned by a close friend. All the fruit is from sloped, primarily chalky clay vineyards (Miguel is a fan of his slopes) within the cooler climate Rioja Alta town of Briones, which makes these wine a terrific showcase o... Read More »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I’ve loved this wine in the past and the 2013, a blend of 90% Tempranillo and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 12 months in French oak, is stunning, simply over-delivering in so many different ways. This wine, which offers up copious quantities, of blueberry, black raspberry and black currant fruit, licorice, graphite and meaty notes, offers fabulous aromatics, medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, beautiful, pure texture and a long, heady finish with subtle oak. What’s amazing is the French oak is all two-year-old, super-expensive Darnajou barrels. For $20 this i ...Read More »
This is as elegant an example of Garnacha (a.k.a. Grenache) as you are likely to find. Catalan winemaker Marc Isart Pinos is taking old vines, applying excellent viticultural work, fermenting in foudre (with some whole clusters used, as well as long maceration on the skins for further complexity/elegance), and bottling with a minimum of sulphur to create this beautiful, expressive wine. A good bit more tangy, racy and serious than most Grenache at this price, the Camino de Navaherreros is sure to please those who prefer layered nuance and energetic flavo... Read More »
Looking for a consistently over-achieving, full-bodied red? How about this for a track record? (all scores from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate) 2003 - 96 points; 2004 - 97 points; 2005 - 95 points; 2006 - 95 points; 2007 - 94 points, 2008 - 94 points, 2009 - 90 points. The wine is a blend of 70% old vine Monastrell and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon that was barrel-aged for 22-26 months in French and American oak. It bears Clio's hallmark opulence, with bold aromas and flavors, a thick, dense palate, and a long finish. A powerful, decadent wine.
La Rioja Alta's Viña Ardanza has consistently been one of our most popular Riojas. As consistent as these wines are, particularly in great vintages such as 1970, it is no surprise that so many of our customers rely on this delicious Rioja to deliver a great experience, time and time again. If you only know more recent vintages of Viña Ardanza, the older ones are undoubtedly some of the finest older Riojas around. Fortunately, they are still quite reasonably priced given the quality. These bottles were part of a collection from a Spanish source we have pu... Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Ordoñez family, Jorge and his sister Victoria, were the first to try and produce a dry, crisp wine from 100% Muscatel de Alexandria in Malaga. This area is known for historic, sweet wines, with ancient history stretching back to 600 B.C. for viticulture. These steep, almost unreal hillside vineyards are planted in decomposed red slate, with a mixture of white quartz. They are complex soils, but the Botani has turned out to be an incredible success story and a great value. The 2014 Botani is light-bodied, shows flowery, fragrant notes with hints of fl ...Read More »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The NV Añadas is a solera of Viura wines from the 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 vintages, aged for an average of five years in barrel and bottled in July 2012. It's a fascinating, deep golden colored white that reminded me of the whites from Marqués de Murrieta and López de Heredia; it has those diesel-like aromas, hints of chamomile, dry flowers, honey wax, nuts, orange peel and pollen. The wine matured in 225-liter barrels of new and used French and American oak, and 5% Bulgarian acacia wood. The palate is fresh with lively acidity, pungent flavors a ...Read More »
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The first of the reds here is the 2008 Viña Cubillo Tinto Crianza from a cooler vintage that produced some austere and serious wines--a year with higher acidity and lively fruit. It feels effervescent and it makes you salivate. This is usually a blend of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, 5% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo from 50-year-old vines that ferments in ancient oak vats, and ages in barrel for three years. This cuvée has increased its quality tremendously since the 1990s. These cooler years provide citric freshness, and a very fine texture and vibrant acidi ...Read More »
Finca Garabato is a parcel of Valtea's oldest wines. You will notice that it says "2o Año" on the label, which refers to the fact that it ages in tank on its lees for a year following fermentation. This gives the wine a lovely richness, which, particularly in a cooler vintage like 2014, really ramps up the flavor and textural qualities of the wine. Still refreshing, only richer and ready to take on a meal.
Seventh generation winemaker Joan Sangenis has found an incredible niche in the village of Porrera, one of the eleven villages within the Priorat D.O. Making wine here since 1875, the Sangenis are one of the oldest grower families in the region, literally producing wines from vines planted by Joan's great grandfather. Mas d'En Compte is one of the few revered Catalan properties whose wines are actually consumed in other regions of Spain. A blend of Garnatxa Negra, Carinyena and Cabernet Sauvignon aged for 14 months in 30% new French oak and 70% in foudre... Read More »
93 points James Suckling: "Opened and beautiful nose of pure blackberries and blackcurrants with hints of white truffles and wet slate. Full body and supple and concentrated tannins. So polished and refined. A beauty. Drink now." (12/2016) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The red 2012 Reserva is sold as Crianza or Reserva depending on the market, but it's always a blend of Tempranillo with some 20% Garnacha, 10% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo from the lower part of the valley of the Oja-Tirón river. The varieties are fermented and aged separately until most of it (around 80%) is blended the summer after. Even when they do ...Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "There must be some 10% Garnacha (from Tudelilla on stony soils) and some 5% Mazuelo in the second vintage of the red, so they decided to label the wine 2014 Laventura, as it was not really a varietal Tempranillo. The Tempranillo comes from Laguardia and Mazuelo from San Vicente, the old 'traditional' Rioja blend of the three subzones. It started fermenting with some full clusters in open bins and finished in 600-liter barrels, where it matured until bottling. As I saw with the whites, 2014 seems to be riper, rounder and more approachable, very tasty and ...Read More »
Our newest DI Rioja comes from Rioja Baja, where the climate is a bit warmer and more Mediterranean, but where the Garnacha is arguably the best in all Rioja, the Graciano ripens more easily and shows great promise, and Tempranillo, planted on choice parcels like they are here, is also quite good. Castillo de Viñas was a label put together for us by one of our contacts in Rioja, and is made by the Burgo Viejo winery, a group of growers who have some great quality vineyards in the area. The Reserva quality fruit, combined with a warmer, more structured vi... Read More »