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2018 Valderiz Ribera del Duero
Top Pick!
95 points Wine Spectator: "This velvety red offers generous layers of cherry reduction, espresso, clove and loamy earth notes that are flanked with licorice, graphite and floral hints. Shows freshness and concentration. (GS)" (09/2021) 93 points James Suckling: "Very clean and transparent Duero red with dark-berry, floral and dry-soil aromas that follow through to a medium body, fine tannins and a fresh finish. " (09/2021)
Price: $29.99

93 points James Suckling: "Blackberries and black cherries on the nose with walnuts, cedar and some sweet tobacco. Medium to full body with creamy texture and a juicy, deliciously ripe red. But balanced and soft. Drink or hold." (11/2020) K&L Notes: Based in the Southern Rioja Alta village of Badarán, Martínez Alesanco is a bodega producing expressive, regionally specific wines at very reasonable prices. They are entirely self reliant in grapes, all of which are grown in their home village of Badarán, one of the coldest zones of Rioja Alta. The vineyar...
Price: $29.99
Wine Club
$24.99

93 points James Suckling: "A Rioja with plum, blackberry, black truffle and hints of chocolate. Some walnut, too. It’s medium-to full-bodied with firm, chewy tannins and a flavorful finish." (09/2020) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The popular red 2017 Viña Real Crianza is a gastronomical blend produced with grapes from Rioja Alavesa: 90% Tempranillo and the rest Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano fermented in stainless steel and matured in oak barrels for 13 to 14 months, during which time it was racked every five to six months. The first thing...
Price: $13.99

93 points James Suckling: "Polished and transparent with blueberries and hints of mushrooms and dried flowers. Medium-to full-bodied, tight and focused. One for now or later. Always excellent. " (09/2020) 92 points Wine & Spirits: "This is the kind of brisk, savory red that sets Rioja apart, especially when you can catch it for $15 a bottle. Michael Kowalski of Miraval Berkshires in Lenox, Mass., described the savory mix of fruit as tart red cherry, celery leaf and pomegranate. You might also find a sweet earthy note of fruity black mushrooms, all of i...
Price: $12.99

2015 CVNE "Cune" Gran Reserva Rioja
Top Pick!
94 points James Suckling: "Blackberry, bark and wet-earth aromas follow through to a medium body with firm, lightly chewy tannins and a long, flavorful finish with hints of chocolate, and vanilla to the dark fruit. Tempranillo." (09/2021) 93 points Vinous: "Glistening ruby. Expansive red and blue fruit, pipe tobacco, potpourri and baking spice aromas, with vanilla and smoky mineral notes slowly emerging. Sappy and gently chewy on the palate, offering spice-accented black raspberry, bitter cherry and rose pastille flavors that turn sweeter on the back h...
Price: $34.99

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 pungent fruit as well as a real spicy and wild quality. As with many of the best Riojas, this wine is quite delicious right now if you want to drink some bottles wh...
Price: $39.99

A 50-50 blend of Tempranillo and Garnacha, with great structure, fruit and minerality, particularly for a sub-$20 bottle of red. Native South African Bryan MacRobert grew up in a farming family, and has been quietly making some of that country's best value wines. He fell in love with a girl from Rioja as well as the region's wines (we forget in which order) but quickly became fascinated with the inimitable terroirs and endless potential for wines in the region. A proponent not only of organic viticulture, but also a strong believer in the importance of l...
Price: Hidden

Luis Gutierrez of Wine Advocate writes: "There is a generational change at Miguel Merino, as Miguel Merino Jr. returned home in 2016 to join his father, after more than 10 years away from the family winery. I found wines cleaner than ever and an improved range that got me excited. This could very well be a brand new project. In the last couple of years, they have purchased four hectares of old vines in Briones, their village, have released two new wines and revamped the existing range. They now control close to 13 hectares in 24 small plots (six owned, s...
Price: $21.99

2015 Miguel Merino Reserva Rioja
Top Pick!
92 points Decanter: "Juicy, rich, deep, expressive, showing elegant American oak hints and a suave tannic architecture. Benchmark reserva, which could be taken as a gran reserva. Old-style Rioja, with a touch of extra fruit, and class. (SJ)" (11/2021) K&L Notes: 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 Br...
Price: $34.99

2014 Miguel Merino Gran Reserva Rioja
Top Pick!
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Like the Reserva, the 2014 Gran Reserva also shows brilliantly, complex, nuanced, polished and elegant, showing the essence of traditional Rioja in a clean and expressive way. They selected grapes from old vines (planted between 1918 and 1960) that fermented in stainless steel with indigenous yeasts and matured in new French oak barrels. The wine has absorbed most of the new oak by now and feels quite classical, perhaps a little creamier than the old-timers, with fine tannins and developed flavors. 4,821 bottles ...
Price: $44.99

2015 La Rioja Alta "Viña Ardanza" Reserva Rioja
Top Pick!
96 points James Suckling: "A rich nose of raspberry, crushed strawberry, blueberry, coconut, cedar and sweet spice. It’s medium-to full-bodied with fine tannins and fresh acidity. Creamy, balanced and layered with vibrant, spicy character. Long and polished. 80% tempranillo and 20% garnacha." (08/2021) 94 points Vinous: "Deep magenta. An intensely perfumed bouquet evokes ripe black raspberry, cherry cola, potpourri, tobacco and exotic spices, plus a smoky mineral flourish. Sweet and broad in the mouth, offering lush red and blue fruit, spicecake, mocha...
Price: $39.99

97 points James Suckling: "Sweet berries, cherries, cedar and dried flowers on the nose. Some lemon and lime zest, too! Medium-to full-bodied with tight, integrated tannins that show wonderful length and reserve. So fresh and vivid. Lots of energy. A wonderful, classic wine." (09/2021) 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "As with many wines this time, I had two vintages to taste of the Reserva from the Tondonia vineyard, 2009 and 2008, two very different, almost opposite vintages. The 2009 Viña Tondonia Reserva, a blend of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Gar...
Price: $54.99

Founded in 1890, La Rioja Alta is one of the most experienced and universally respected wineries in Rioja. Viña Alberdi is La Rioja Alta's juiciest, most approachable Rioja to drink on the younger side. That said, it still is one of the standard bearers of great quality, affordable, traditional Rioja, aged for two full years in barrels produced on site by the company's own coopers.
Price: $21.99

91 points James Suckling: "Pomegranate, dark cherries, dragon fruit and candied orange peel are interspersed among vanilla-bean and clove character. Quite muscular on the palate, which has a lot of tannins that surround layers of dark cherries." (06/2019)
Price: $15.99

2018 Ramirez de la Piscina Crianza Rioja
Top Pick!
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Blackberry, tar and violet aromas. Wet earth, too. Medium to full body with firm, racy tannins and a solid finish. A structured and very classic Rioja. " (08/2021)
Price: $15.99

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2020 LZ comes from an early harvest after a warm year not without challenges (mildew). The Tempranillo, Garnacha and Graciano grapes come from their own organically farmed vineyards and fermented in concrete vats with indigenous yeasts for 15 days; the wine matured in concrete for six to seven months before bottling. It's very primary and has notes of licorice and a juicy texture. Pablo Eguzkiza was telling me he likes 2020 better than 2019. The wine shows very good balance and fine, round tannins.(LG)" (08/2...
Price: $16.99

92 points James Suckling: "Really attractive, pure fruit here, showing cherries, berries and lightly toasted oak. Full-bodied with a very soft, creamy texture. Extremely satisfying and finely crafted red. Drink now or hold." (10/2020) K&L Notes: The Arzuaga farms 150ha of vineyards that are located within the “Golden Mile” of Ribera del Duero, what some people would consider the best terroir of the region. The vines are planted at almost 3000 feet in the clay and limestone rich soils. 100% Tempranillo, the grapes are destemmed and then fermented in sta...
Price: $14.99


94 points James Suckling: "Very pure fruit to this with blackberries and blueberries and some dried flowers. Medium-bodied with very fine tannins and a linear, refined finish. From organically grown grapes." (08/2021) 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The young red 2018 Viñas de Gaín follows the same philosophy as the white, grapes from a variety of vineyards in Laguardia and Elvillar ferment in oak and stainless steel vats followed by malolactic in barrel and an élevage in oak of nine months. It showcases the serious and fresh style of the bes...
Price: $23.99

2014 Bodegas Muga "Prado Enea" Gran Reserva Rioja
Top Pick!
97 points James Suckling: "Really beautiful aromas of crushed blackberry, brambleberry, hazelnut, walnut and light coffee, following through to a full yet so reserved and polished body with fine, creamy-textured tannins. Fresh and exquisite finish. This is a much more refined and harmonic rendition of their classic wine. Three years in French oak from their own production. Very enjoyable now, but this will improve with age for a long time." (07/2021) 95 points Wine & Spirits: "The Muga family got its start as winegrowers in Villalba, in the eastern mou...
Price: $79.99

2015 CVNE "Cune Imperial" Gran Reserva Rioja
Top Pick!
97 points James Suckling: "This is very ripe with blackberries, dried fruit, toasted oak and black licorice on the nose. Full-bodied with ultra-fine, linear tannins and a racy, refined finish. This has fantastic structure and length. It goes on for minutes. It needs time to open and refine even more. One of the best Imperiale Gran Reservas in a very long time. Drink after 2023." (09/2021) 95 points Vinous: "Deep, brilliant ruby. Offers sharply defined, mineral-inflected red and dark berries, cherry liqueur, pipe tobacco, vanilla and exotic spice scents...
Price: $79.99

98 points Tim Atkin MW "Wow! How good is this! La Loma is a 1.4-hectare parcel of co-planted Tempranillo and 10% Garnacha in Briones on red clay and limestone soils. It's always been a special vineyard, but Miguel Merino Junior has taken the resulting wine to new heights. Subtle and refined, with barely noticeable 50% new wood, svelte tannins, red berry and blackberry fruit and a ferrous undertone."
Price: Hidden

94 points James Suckling: "A perfumed nose of dark cherries, dried herbs, tea leaves, smoke and wet earth. It’s full-bodied with fine tannins and fresh acidity. Vibrant and balanced with a velvety texture. A beautiful red with tension and harmony. Long, flavorful long finish." (08/2021)
Price: $35.99

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I love the 2018 Los Cantos de Torremilanos, produced with grapes from their vineyards on boulder (cantos in Spanish), sand and limestone soils from the river. Despite being 14.5% alcohol, the wine is fresh and vibrant, balanced and tasty, with very integrated oak after 13 months in 225-liter oak barrels. 150,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in September 2020. (LG)" (06/2021) 90 points Vinous: "Vivid ruby-red. Fresh red fruit and floral scents are accompanied by subtle herb and spice flourishes. Seamless and...
Price: $17.99

2014 Remelluri Reserva Rioja
Top Pick!
93 points James Suckling: "Aromas of dried flowers, ripe berries and tobacco continue to the palate that is medium-to full-bodied with firm, silky tannins and a flavorful finish. Classic style. Better with a little more bottle age, but already very pretty." (09/2020) 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The estate red 2014 Reserva was produced with the grapes from a challenging year with abundant rain and high temperatures in September. They started picking the 11th of October and had to rush and do a severe selection of grapes. It fermented in sm...
Price: $37.99

2015 CVNE "Imperial" Gran Reserva Rioja (1.5L)
Top Pick!
97 points James Suckling: "This is very ripe with blackberries, dried fruit, toasted oak and black licorice on the nose. Full-bodied with ultra-fine, linear tannins and a racy, refined finish. This has fantastic structure and length. It goes on for minutes. It needs time to open and refine even more. One of the best Imperiale Gran Reservas in a very long time." (09/2021) 95 points Vinous: "Deep, brilliant ruby. Offers sharply defined, mineral-inflected red and dark berries, cherry liqueur, pipe tobacco, vanilla and exotic spice scents. Chewy and penetr...
Price: $169.99

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2018 Hacienda Monasterio, the wine that was previously labeled as Crianza, is a blend of 80% Tinto Fino, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot and 2% Malbec selected from the 100 hectares of their organically certified vineyard in the west part of Ribera del Duero. It had a traditional fermentation, destemmed and in 8,000-liter stainless steel tanks (a change from the 20,000-liter vats used in 2016) with indigenous yeasts, and it matured for 18 months in French oak barrels, 25% new. This wine represents the chara...
Price: $54.99

93 points Wine Spectator: "This polished red shows focus and depth. Cherry and currant flavors are balanced by sanguine, mineral and anise notes. Firm, well-integrated tannins and balsamic acidity provide a balanced structure. Expressive and elegant. (TM)" (10/2020) 92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Balsamic berry fruit aromas are appropriate for a warm year like 2012. This is bullish and tannic, and definitely riper than most vintages of Monte Real gran reserva. Plum and prune flavors stay giant on a tannic finish. (MS)" (10/2020) K&L Notes: Bodegas Rioja...
Price: Hidden

94 points James Suckling: "A deep and aromatic red showing ripe-blackberry, rosemary and slate character. Hints of bark, too. Full-bodied and round with firm and concentrated tannins in addition to a long, refreshing yet subtle finish with hints of tea. Delicious and balanced." (12/2016) 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Viña Real Reserva is a blend of mostly Tempranillo with Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano from Rioja Alavesa; it fermented in stainless steel and aged in new oak barriques for 22 months with rackings every four months. I ...

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2017 Lanzaga comes from a harvest marked by the killer frost (-5 degrees Celsius) of April 27th and 28th, but the higher-altitude vines from the village of Lanciego escaped the disaster. This is a blend from their 15 to 20 hectares of organically farmed vines, all head-pruned on slopes rich in clay and limestone, mixing red and white soils, places with more sandstone, others with more marl, looking for complexity. It fermented in 6,000-liter concrete vats with indigenous yeasts and matured in 1,500- and 2,500...
Price: $39.99

Located in the town of La Horra, part of the municipality of Burgos and one of the prime areas for growing Tinto fino grapes in Ribera del Duero, Viña Sastre is a serious producer and recognized throughout Spain and abroad as being amongst the elite producers of the D.O. The Sastre family owns many vineyards around La Horra and Roa. All are goblet trained and none of them have had chemical fertilizers or pesticides used on them since 1992. They farm organically and use biodynamic principles. The Reserva is 100% Tempranillo, which is hand harvested, it ...
Price: $42.99

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The wine that represents the traditional and serious reds from Haro, the 2012 Imperial Gran Reserva is a classical blend of Tempranillo with 10% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo that matured in barrel for two years. It has a textbook serious Haro nose, with dark spices, ripe fruit, something balsamic and a round, full-bodied palate within the straight and serious style of the wine. 2012 was a warm year, but the wines are fresher than those from 2011. This has fine, slightly grainy tannins with good grip. A textbook Imperi...

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The iconic Rioja Alavesa red 2014 Viña Real Gran Reserva was produced with grapes from their own vineyards in the villages of Laguardia and Labastida, mostly Tempranillo with 5% Graciano fermented in stainless steel with indigenous yeasts and matured in new and second use barriques for 24 months. As with the Imperial Gran Reserva, I found great balance and elegance here, transcending the character of the year. It's a little shy and takes time to show aromas of fine spices, decayed leaves, wild berries and flowers...

This Gran Reserva is from some of their oldest Tempranillo and Graciano vines, planted in 1931 and 1946. It is elegant, generous, and a precociously delicious treat for now, or over the next 15 years. 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 (...
Price: Hidden

95 points James Suckling: "A tight and linear red now with very long and direct palate that is driven and intense. Medium to full body, bright blackberry and mineral character. Just a baby now. Give it three to four years to soften. A beauty." (01/2019) 94 points Jeb Dunnuck: "Based on 85% Tempranillo, with the balance Graciano, Mazuelo and Garnacha, the 2015 Imperial Reserva was fermented in larger French oak vats and aged in a combination of French and American oak. Dense purple-hued, with a killer nose of smoked blackcurrants, vanilla, violets, oran...

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I tasted two vintages of the entry-level red, of which the young 2018 Pícaro del Águila Tinto had just been bottled and should be released soon. This is their most approachable red, and it has the depth, concentration and nuance of the best wines from many wineries. It's produced in a more jovial style, but the wine comes from old vines that always have a field blend with small percentages of whatever grapes that are all fermented together, and these vines always produce a serious and deep wine. In 2018, it matur...
Price: $37.99

94 points James Suckling: "A fine-tuned and polished gran reserva with lots of finesse and linear character. Medium body. Refined and beautiful." (07/2019) 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "There is a developed and subtle nose reminiscent of petrol (is it mineral?), hints of iodine and sweet spices. The palate is powerful and still a little tannic, as the wine was released even earlier because they skipped one vintage. Serious, austere, faithful to its character. (LG)" (10/2020) 94 points Vinous: "Shimmering ruby-red. An intensely perfumed no...

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