2007 Contino Gran Reserva Rioja (1.5L) (Previously $170)
A very powerful red with the structure and intensity of a great Rioja from the 1950s, 1960s or 1970s. Real gran reserva. Dried fruits such as plums, prunes and cherries. Hints of figs too. Layered and so structured. Full-bodied and chewy yet intense and persistent. A fabulous wine. So much potential here. Better in 2020.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
They started making small quantities of Gran Reserva in 1996, a wine halfway between tradition and modernity. The 2007 Gran Reserva is produced with over 60-year-old, destemmed Tempranillo grapes fermented in cement vats without epoxy coating. At every harvest, the inside of the vats are painted three times with tartaric acid before the grapes arrive, like in the good old days. Malolactic fermentation was carried out in new barrels and then transferred to used American and French barrel where it stayed for three years. The wine, only bottled in magnum (and bigger sizes), also rested in bottle for a minimum of three years before being released. It’s an elegant, clean wine, taking the best of the modern and traditional schools, and it’s both fresh and sweet, very drinkable, with good acidity and very elegant tannins. They try to always have 15% of fresh varieties like Graciano or Garnacha in the blend. This is developing aromas of sweet spices and has a clean, delineated acidity. It should age superbly. (LG)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Deep ruby. Heady, expansive aromas of cherry and dark berry preserves, incense and potpourri, with notes of spicecake and smoky minerals adding complexity. Sappy, palate-staining cherry-vanilla and boysenberry flavors boast superb concentration and pick up a sexy floral pastille nuance with air. Complex, focused and energetic Rioja with superb finishing clarity and gentle tannic grip. A real success for the vintage; I'll bet that this will age gracefully. (JR)
Coffee, tobacco and tarry notes frame the plum and black olive flavors in this savory red, with a polished texture, gentle tannins and balsamic acidity. (TM, Web-2014)
In 1973, Contino was founded and became the first of 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. Contino's Rioja also boasts a healthy 10% dollop of older vine Graciano, which enhances the wine's color, freshness and ageability. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish Wine Buyer)