2010 Contino Reserva Rioja

SKU #1312372 96 points James Suckling

 Lots of plum character, chocolate, bay leaves and rosemary on the nose. Iodine, too. Full body and lots of concentration, yet this also delivers amazing freshness and balance. Ultra-fine tannins. Finish is very long, flavorful and wonderfully polished. This is all about refinement in combination with power. Drink or hold.  (12/2016)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2010 Reserva is a textbook Rioja, and in fact it surprised me with a very classic profile. This is usually a blend of 85% Tempranillo with 10% Graciano and 5% between Mazuelo and Garnacha; it fermented in stainless steel and matured in 50/50 French and American oak barrels for two years. It's a subtle vintage with very fine tannins. 2010 is a very good year for Rioja in general, but in Contino they consider it exceptional. This feels polished and developed with some forest floor and cigar box aromas. Very drinkable. (LG)  (8/2016)

93 points Vinous

 Brilliant ruby-red. A heady, expansive bouquet evokes ripe red and dark berries, cherry compote, vanilla and cigar box, and a sexy floral nuance emerges slowly. Smooth and seamless on the palate, offering sweet, concentrated blackberry, cherry-vanilla and mocha flavors that are firmed and given spine by a core of juicy acidity. Rich yet vibrant in style, displaying impressive finishing clarity, smooth tannins and a lingering spicecake flourish. (JR)  (5/2017)

91 points Wine Spectator

 This plump red shows black cherry and red plum fruit, with tobacco, cedar, tea and spice accents, supported by light tannins and orange peel acidity. Nicely balanced, in the traditional style. (JM)  (7/2016)

K&L Notes

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.

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Price: $39.99
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Staff Image By: Jason Marwedel | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/28/2017 | Send Email
You rarely come across wines that have the ability to be all things to all people. The 2010 Contino Reserva is one of those rare finds. Fruit? Absolutely - sweet, supple and incredibly pure. Savor? Yes - complex but not overwhelming flavors of earth and wood. Freshness? Without a doubt - bright acidity and mineral tones carry the day. Drink now? Happily - you will not be disappointed. Collectible? You bet - this wine is built upon vineyard pedigree that is second to none in Alavesa. Price? At $40 this is both the savvy collectors dream and a reasonable stretch for the budget conscious. Wines like this do not come around often - Enjoy!

Staff Image By: Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/27/2017 | Send Email
A superb example of the 2010 vintage. The cool vintage leaves this wine feeling super bright and fresh. The higher acidity balances out the intense dark cherry and purple fruit profile and highlights the tremendous minerality in the wine. The French and American oak regimen delivers a powder keg of spices, vanilla, cedar box, and refined tannin. It is extremely elegant and graceful, but never shy. I hope to drink this bottling for years to come because it will no doubt be a prized collectors item. Unfortunately for me, that will be a massive challenge since it's hard to not drink all of it now. I must concur with Joe's assessment that at this price, it is one of the best Rioja's I've had all year (and I just got back from a week in Rioja!).
Top Value!

Staff Image By: Joe Bruno | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/25/2017 | Send Email
The 2010 vintage was widely celebrated growing season in Rioja, and the respective Contino Reserva was a great example of this. A blend of predominantly Tempranillo (85%), with a splash of Graciano (10%), and the remainder being Mazuelo and Garnacha. Classic nose of dark cherry, stewed cranberries, and plum. Some prunes as well. A juiciness on the palate, with flavors of ripe red fruit, cherry in particular. Secondary notes of old leather accompanied by a dusty minerality. This wine would be a fantastic choice with food items that have a slight gaminess to them, such as rabbit, wild boar, or morcilla (Spanish blood sausage).

Staff Image By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/24/2017 | Send Email
One of my all time favorite Rioja estates, Contino Reserva is always delicious: a lovely balance of ripe, forward, rich fruit, baking spices, savory tones and bright acidity. As wonderfully consistent as Contino is, it really excels in certain vintages - typically cooler years and vintages where acidities and tannins tend to be a bit higher than normal. Due to their protected, slightly warmer site, it is these vintages where Contino often produces something truly special, and 2010 is the most recent example. Aromatically a rich confit of cherries and plums, along with baking spices, leads to a palate that in short order delivers waves of rich, intense fruit, followed by the balancing acidity which refreshes and should allow for long ageing in bottle. Perhaps there is no Rioja that will appeal to as wide a range of wine drinkers as Contino. For the price, this may be the best Spanish wines I've tasted this year.

Additional Information:



- 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.


- 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.


Alcohol Content (%): 14