2011 Miguel Merino "Unnum" Rioja

SKU #1326218

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 vineyards (Miguel is a fan of his slopes) within the cooler climate Rioja Alta town of Briones, which makes his wine a terrific showcase of the terroir (especially in a region where wines blended from various villages are more often the norm). Unnum is Miguel's son's stylistic take on their old vine holdings. It is aged in only French oak, 40% of which is new. A big wine that pushes the Merino style to its maximum, but still allows Briones' terruño to shine through. 95 points Tim Atkin, MW: "The soils in this 85-year-old vineyard are a mixture of sand and limestone and the freshness and poise are apparent in the wine. It handles the 70% new oak with ease, such are the quality and intensity of the fruit and the refined tannins. Long and very well balanced, this will age further." (February 2017)

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Price: $34.99

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Staff Image By: Ivan Diaz | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/15/2018 | Send Email
The new vintage of Unnum comes to us bigger, livelier, and more delectable than ever. Made from all old vine selected fruit, it shows darker and toastier than the Vitola. Juicy black cherry, cassis, plums, anise, tree bark, coffee bean, and it keeps going as it breathes. The fullest, richest offering from Miguel Merino should be enjoyed with steak or morcilla (blood sausage).

Staff Image By: Joe Bruno | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/30/2018 | Send Email
The fruit sources in this wine from Miguel Merino are from vines up to 80 years old. It also uses exclusively French Oak (around 40% new), being one of the only wines in their portfolio to do so. A nicely layered nose of dark fruits, plum sauce, vanilla, cedar, and a touch of soy. Texturally, this wine shines. It possesses richness but is complemented by lively acidity. Long finish. While drinking well now, this wine will only get better with age. I recommend holding this for at least another 3-5 years

Staff Image By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/30/2018 | Send Email
Take fruit from Miguel Merino's two oldest vineyards (planted in 1931 and 1946), hand harvest, sort and ferment as normal, and then rack to exclusively French oak barrels, a portion of which are new, and leave the rest to the winery's heir apparent, Miguel's son (also Miguel), and you have Unnum. It's a big wine, more deeply pitched than the Gran Reserva, and in some ways more tightly structured. It is a lot of wine, capable of improving nicely in bottle. One of the more fascinating wine ageing experiments I plan to conduct involves ageing the same vintages of Miguel Merino Gran Reserva and Unnum, and seeing where they are at 10, 15, 25 years old. Same vineyards, different barrel and bottle ageing. I will have to report back once the results are in....

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Tempranillo

- 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.
Country:

Spain

- 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.
Sub-Region:

Rioja

Alcohol Content (%): 14.5