2014 Orben Rioja

SKU #1415206 94 points James Suckling

 Very dense and tannic, but there's also plenty of fruit with mulberries on the nose. Is this pushing the envelope one step too far? Although the wine has powerful tannins, somehow it balances out and tastes fresh – an amazing feat. Better from 2018.  (1/2018)

93 points Wine Spectator

 This red shows depth and density, with black cherry and blackberry flavors supported by firm, well-integrated tannins and juicy acidity. Notes of smoke, licorice and mineral emerge on the finish. Harmonious. Drink now through 2028. (TM)  (10/2017)

K&L Notes

Orben was founded in the mid-1990s by the Anton family of Artevino fame (Izadi, Vetus, Villacreces) and a group of restaurateur-investors. Located near the village of Laguardia the estate farms 79 small vineyard plots all planted between 1945 and 1954. Due to the proximity and relative homogeneity of these sites located at 550–675 meters above sea level and on calcareous clay-limestone soils, the Anton family made the decision to create a separate estate to promote this individual terroir. The main variety is Tempranillo with a small amount of Graciano. All the vines are head pruned and are farmed sustainably. At harvest the grapes are picked by hand and transported to the winery in small boxes, once there they are destemmed, crushed and fermented in stainless steel tanks. Aging takes place entirely in French oak barrels for between 12 and 15 months. Tempranillo, Graciano (up to 5%)

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Price: $29.99

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By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/13/2019 | Send Email
Old vine (60-70 years old) head pruned Tempranillo with a little dash of Graciano all from small, organic vineyard plots that are owned by some of the most famous restaurateurs in Spain, who wanted to create a modern expression of Rioja Alavesa. It had me at old vine, Tempranillo and Alavesa. That is a magical combination in my book. From early on in my career there has always been something magical/romantic to me about the wines from the Basque subzone of Rioja. It could be the limestone, it is the limestone. When done right the precision, the lift, the extract from wines grown in soils with limestone just resonate with me. This wine delivers on that limestone promise. The fruit pops and has focus, there is beautiful core to it that runs straight thru to that fine mineral dustiness on the finish. Now is time to pay quick attention to the label, there is no age designation, there is only the vintage. This is modern Rioja there is enough oak to contributed to the texture, enhance the fruit and also add an exotic balsam aromatic but not too dominate. This wine is an expression of fruit and terroir not of oak and wine-making.

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