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James Suckling: "A brambly array of violet and cassis aromas with a wealth of succulent, juicy and sappy berry flavors. Slightly rustic edge to the finish." (07/2019) 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 Escudero 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 o...
Price: $19.99

2017 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Crianza Rioja
Top Pick!
91 points Vinous: "Brilliant ruby. Aromas of cherry pit, blackberry, licorice and cola are complemented by a subtle hint of dill. Sweet and penetrating on the palate, offering cherry preserve, red berry, vanilla and rose pastille flavors that spread out slowly on the back half. Shows very good clarity and appealing juiciness on a long, supple finish framed by well-knit tannins. Raised in a combination of French and American oak barrels. (JR)" (04/2021)
Price: $12.99

2010 Bodegas Casa Juan "Señor de Lesmos" Gran Reserva Rioja
Top Pick!
Finally, the great 2010 Gran Reserva from our favorite Rioja winery has arrived! 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 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 th...
Price: $29.99

2007 López de Heredia "Viña Tondonia" Reserva Rioja
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96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Following the appreciation of the 2007 vintage from María José López de Heredia, the red 2007 Viña Tondonia Reserva is showing great, revealing unusual finesse and elegance. The nose is a little reticent but nuanced and complex, a little shy rather than explosive. The palate is medium-bodied, and the tannins are very refined. This has to be one of the finest vintages of Viña Tondonia Reserva of recent years. 200,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in November 2015. (LG)" (06/2019) 95 points James Suckling: "Th...

95 points Decanter: "Sarah Jane Evans MW - Truffly, balsamic, cherry aromas. Full-bodied and fleshy in the mouth, a really youthful wine, packed with energy. Notes of oranges, blackberries and redcurrants abound, then following through with a firm structure of tannin. Christine Parkinson - Spicy aromas of turmeric, cumin, strawberry and dark chocolate, which all carry through to the palate. Creamy layers of tannin are very appealing, and the strong core of acidity makes this a great wine for food. Very long, confident, concentrated finish. Beth Willard -...
Price: $19.99

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The red 2017 Laventura Tempranillo was produced with grapes from two vineyards, one in Labastida and the other one in Laguardia. This is the one red I tasted that seemed to take the 2017 heat better, and the wine is not far from the 2016. Yes, it's a little riper, and the fruit is a tad darker, but the wine keeps its poise and composition. It has balance and harmony, and there is only a touch of riper fruit on the finish. It finishes dry. 3,300 bottles were filled after 12 months in 500-liter oak barrels. (LG)" (...
Price: $19.99

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 vineyards are closer to the Sierra de la Demanda mountains, a range whose elevation and snow-covered peaks are even more dramatic than the Sierra Cantabria range to the north. This is made from 100% Tempranillo grown in iron rich clay soils. In fact, this red...
Price: $12.99

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 Miguel Merino Reserva Rioja
Top Pick!
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).
Price: $34.99


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: $14.99

2014 La Rioja Alta "Viña Arana" Gran Reserva Rioja
Top Pick!
96 points Decanter: "Arana commemorates one of La Rioja Alta's historic families. The Tempranillo (95%) and Graciano (5%) are aged separately in American oak barrels for three years before blending, then for three years in bottle (two years less than the 904, and six years less than the 890). The winery's keynote to this Rioja is 'freshness'. I agree. (SJE)" (08/2020) 96 points James Suckling: "Lots of mushroom and walnut aromas with plum and leather, too. It’s full-bodied, but very soft and creamy-textured with lots of old wood, mushroom and ripe frui...
Price: $41.99

97 points Decanter: "Expressive aromas of ripe red cherries with balsamic nuances.This is a superb Garnacha, it has such a generous fruit and lovely texture of sweet integrated tannins. (2019 Platinum, Decanter World Wine Awards)" (04/2019) 91 points James Suckling: "This is ripe and fruity, yet there is linear form to it that gives it length and energy. Lots of smoke and fruit at the end." (07/2019) K&L Notes: Based in the Southern Rioja Alta village of Badarán, Martínez Alesanco is a bodega producing expressive, regionally specific wines at very re...
Price: $35.99

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: $54.99

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

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I also tasted the 2018 Mazuelo de la Quinta Cruz, which follows the style of the 2017 with a bright ruby color and a classical, clean and balanced nose that denotes youth. The nose was a bit closed and took time to take off, but the perfumed fruit was noticeable in the palate straight away. It's only 12.5% alcohol, a little lighter and certainly more ethereal than the 2017, but it seems to have developed full flavors through a slow ripening process. This 2018 went through malolactic and 14 months aging in four 50...
Price: $34.99

Lesmos is back, and now in magnums, the ideal size for parties and for extended aging in your cellar! All estate fruit, hand harvested, and carefully vinified with native yeasts, this is a hand-sewn wine with the purity, texture, and elegance to prove it. Produced from 85% Tempranillo and 15% Mazuelo, the wine shows a rather Burgundian nose of cherries and plums, opening to reveal a hint of sandalwood that leads to a wonderful palate with persistent, tangy cherry flavors presented on an elegantly textured frame. Terrific acidity and a lasting finish. One...
Price: $24.99

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 legacy organically cultivated vines on top quality sites, Bryan is picky about where he grows and sources vines. The winemaking is...
Price: $19.99

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: $79.99

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

96 points James Suckling: "Very ripe still, with crushed berry and light jam. Vanilla undertones to the fruit. Turns to flowers, both fresh and dried. Complex cedar, tobacco and walnut. It’s full-bodied with round, soft tannins and a flavorful finish. Richer than past vintages, but turns linear and refined at the finish. Drink now. " (09/2020) 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2009 Viña Bosconia Reserva shows the ripeness of the very warm and dry year. It's structured and concentrated, quite different from the finesse of the Tondonia. Bosco...
Price: $42.99

94 points James Suckling: "Very complex aromas of ripe berries, sultanas, cedar and hints of chocolate. Full-bodied with round, ripe tannins that are layered and fresh. A delicious combination of mature fruit and mahogany add to the complexity of the wine. Holding on really nicely." (09/2020) 93 points Decanter: "Autumnal, bonfire character here: savory, truffle, cinder toffee and dried black cherry. A classic yet rich and concentrated wine that perfectly expresses the year and region. (panel tasting)" (01/2021) 92 points Vinous: "Deep garnet. Ripe c...
Price: $34.99

2016 Burgo Viejo "Licenciado" Reserva Rioja
New!
95 points Decanter: "Bodegas Burgo Viejo is the property of six farming families and comprises more than 200ha of vineyards in the Rioja Oriental region, from where the more full-bodied styles of Rioja are produced (see ‘Regional Profile’, p42). Historically, the bodegas sold their high-quality grapes to neighbouring wineries, until the arrival of the young winemaker Gorka Etxebarria, who saw the potential for them to produce excellent wines themselves. Tempranillo is a firm favourite for this producer, despite Garnacha being the most widely planted grap...
Price: $19.99

97 points James Suckling: "This is so powerful and tightly wound with so much intensity and power. Full body. Crushed berries and hints of walnuts and cedar. Purity in fruit. Very subtle character, but great tension and richness." (07/2019) 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "94+ points "The renewed classical red 2016 Reserva was produced as a blend of 85% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo. It fermented in small stainless steel and concrete vats and matured in 225-liter French (80%) and American (20%) oak barrels for 18 months. It has a ve...

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "I'm glad I had time to pay a quick visit to the vineyard where Bryan MacRobert grows the grapes for the 2016 Barranco del San Ginés. It's a 1.18-hectare plot in the village of Laguardia that was planted in 1935 (or at least registered that year) with an old selection of Tempranillo on small terraces on a slope at some 570 meters in altitude following the contour lines. The vineyard has been organically farmed for the last five years, and it's full of life; it's a vineyard like the old Rioja used to be, intermixed...
Price: $74.99

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. 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: $169.99

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 Vinous: "Saturated, brilliant ruby. Explosive, seductively perfumed aromas of dark berry preserves, cherry-cola, incense, floral oils and vanilla, along with suggestions of mocha, licorice and woodsmoke. Sweet and seamless in the mouth, offering intense blackberry, cherry preserve and violet p...
Price: $84.99

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...

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...

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