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A real blockbuster, the 2003 La Vina de Andres Romeo (100% Tempranillo) is exquisite, but, again, a mere 200 bottles will make it to America. Lucky readers who run across a bottle, and have the financial resources to purchase it, are in for a decadent treat.Robert Parker | 95 RPDeep violet. Bright, pungent scents of cherry, floral oils, exotic oak spices, incense and minerals. Fresh and crisp, with no excess fat, just vibrant, pure, explosively sweet dark berry flavors. Seemingly weightless on the finish, where the blackberry, boysenberry and blueberry flavors display uncanny lift and persistence. Tangy mineral nuances contribute even more vivacity.Vinous Media | 94 VMThis bold, tightly wound red shows keen acidity, with expressive plum, cranberry and orange peel flavors framed by vanilla and toasty oak notes. Sharp now, but food should moderate the acidity, and time should bring it into harmony. Drink now through 2012. 17 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 90 WS
An ethereal and classic style with tertiary semi-dried plum, strawberry, cedar, mocha and coffee oak aromas and flavours, silky tannins and well-integrated zesty acidity. A magnificent wine that needs spicy lamb chops.Decanter | 97 DEC
The rosé 2018 RIPA Vino Rosado follows the same path as the 2017, 60% Garnacha and 40% Tempranillo aged and matured in 225- and 500-liter oak barrels where the wine matured for 30 months. The vintage was quite cold, and the grapes were picked on October 20. The wine has a more vibrant palate and a lower pH, with more freshness. It’s quite marked by the long élevage, so it takes on a specific profile with more nutty and spicy notes and a hint of nutmeg and cinnamon. It’s spicy, vibrant, still round and lush, with a dark color, very different from the pale Provençal examples... 6,200 bottles were filled in December 2021.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 91 RP
The flagship red 2018 Rioja Reserva was produced with a blend of 86% Tempranillo, 8% Graciano, 4% Mazuelo (a.k.a. Cariñena) and 2% Garnacha selected from their 300 hectares of vineyards that exemplifies the character of the vintage and the place. 2018 was a year with good rain and a cool season that resulted in a late harvest, which started on October 1 and was slow and delivered grapes with good freshness. Each variety and plot fermented separately in stainless steel. and the wines aged separately in American oak barrels for 21 months and then settled in concrete until bottling. It follows the path of the 2016, where I noticed a change that is taken further in this, controlling the power and increasing the freshness. It’s very aromatic, a year completely different from the 2017; it has less structure and more freshness and subtler balance and enough oomph, concentration and power neatly compensated by freshness. I believe 2018 was a very good vintage to implement this change. It’s perfumed, fresh, elegant and medium-bodied, with a velvety texture. Superb! 960,000 bottles produced.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 94 RPSavory cured-meat, tobacco and grilled-spice notes to the bright plum, red-date, cherry and green-olive aromas. Quite a juicy, medium-bodied Rioja with fresh and extremely silky tannins caressing the zesty orange and crunchy red-berry flavors. Nuanced, fluid and effortlessly drinkable. Long and extremely elegant. A vintage that highlights layering and freshness, rather than power and depth. 86% tempranillo, 8% graciano, 4% mazuelo and 2% garnacha. Delicious now, but will hold well.James Suckling | 94 JS(Rioja “Reserva”- Marqués de Murrieta (Rioja Alta)) The 2018 Reserva from Marqués de Murrieta has not been released yet, but the bodegas kindly sent me a sample for inclusion in this article. The wine is excellent on both the nose and palate, offering up a ripe and complex bouquet of black cherries, raspberries, cigar wrapper, clove-like spice tones, a beautiful base of soil, incipient notes of nutskin and cedary oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied, focused and complex, with a fine core of fruit, lovely mineral drive and grip, fine-grained, buried tannins and a long, ripe and well-balanced finish. The ripeness of the 2018 vintage is evident here, but it is handled seamlessly and the wine is really going to be lovely. I suspect it will age very much like a top 1982 Rioja. (Drink between 2028 - 2075)John Gilman | 93 JGFresh and elegant, with a mouthful of ripe, crushed cherry and red currant fruit, this medium-bodied red is framed by crisp tannins and a minerally underpinning. Enticing hints of eucalyptus, dried fig and cigar box play on the finish. Tempranillo, Graciano, Mazuelo and Garnacha Tinta. Drink now through 2028. 80,000 cases made, 14,000 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 91 WS
No written review providedIn 2012, Sandra Bravo settled in the high altitudes of Rioja Alavesa, where she found small parcels of old-vine garnacha that reminded her of vineyards she had worked with in Priorat. This 2018 is the first release of her Garnachas de Altura, from a collection of small parcels in Rivas de Tereso, a village of 21 people in the northern reaches of Rioja, above San Vicente de la Sonsierra. The vines average 70 years of age and grow at elevations of 2,300 feet in a mix of clay and limestone soils; Bravo has purchased some of the parcels, and farms them all, converting them to organics. She allows the wine to ferment spontaneously in old casks, then ages it in clay pots. You can taste the influence of the altitude and the limestone in the bright, zesty coolness of the fruit, in the light intensity of the strawberry flavors and crushed-black- peppercorn crunch. It’s a lithe Rioja delivering the beauty of the hills, a wine to enjoy fresh and young.Wine and Spirits | 94 W&SThere is a new 2018 La Dula Garnachas de Altura produced with grapes from high-altitude vineyards in the village of Rivas de Tereso, small plots of old vines at 650 meters in altitude. It fermented with indigenous yeasts in 300-liter amphorae at low temperature, which means a very slow fermentation. The wine has a bright ruby color that is quite attractive and a perfumed and floral nose. It’s medium-bodied and textured with very fine chalky tannins, and it has good freshness and very good balance, purity of flavors and length. It matured in foudre for eight months, but the oak is perfectly integrated and not noticeable. This is plain delicious. 3,650 bottles were filled in August 2019.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93 RPThere’s an apple and pear mix here that has fresh allure on the nose and delivers a zippy and attractively fresh palate that has good weight, flesh and a gently creamy, apple sorbet-like finish. Drink now.James Suckling | 93 JS
The juicy and chewy unoaked red 2019 Señorío de P. Peciña Cosecha Tinto has bright ripe fruit and an earthy touch, a medium body and soft tannins that give it a supple texture. It’s a blend of Tempranillo with 3% Garnacha and 2% Graciano fermented with indigenous yeasts and kept in tank until bottling.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 90 RP(Rioja “Cosecha”- Bodegas Señorío Pedro Peciña (Rioja Alta)) The 2019 Rioja “Cosecha” from Bodegas Peciña is a lovely wine, with plenty of black fruit informing both the nose and the palate. The bouquet is bright and jumps from the glass in a mix of black cherries, dark berries, cigar smoke, just a touch of Rioja spice tones and a good base of soil. On the palate the wine is vibrant, full-bodied and tangy, with a fine core of ripe fruit, good focus and grip, moderate tannins and a long, well-balanced finish. This is still a young wine, but it is eminently drinkable already and will only get better with a bit of bottle age. This augurs extremely well for the Crianzas, Reservas and Gran Reservas we will see down the road from the 2019 vintage, as this wine is really excellent for its level! (Drink between 2021-2040)John Gilman | 90 JG
The house red 2020 Tinto showed superbly. It’s a blend of Tempranillo from the Obarenes Mountains (Sajazarra and Fonzaleche) with 20% Garnacha from Cárdenas on clay and some 5% white that has 14.2% alcohol but feels perfectly balanced and integrated. It has a serious, harmonious nose with complexity and depth but also youth. It has a soft and juicy texture with focused and clean flavors, finishing with an almost salty twist. Super tasty and easy to drink! Great value too. It matured in a mixture of 1,000- and 3,000-liter oak foudres and 225- and 500-liter barrels. 22,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in February 2022.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93+ RP
A traditional red blend of 80% Tempranillo with 10% each Garnacha and Graciano, the 2020 Horizonte de Exopto combines grapes from Ábalos and, since 2016, also San Vicente de la Sonsierra, as he cannot produce village wines from there as his winery is in Laguardia! This year he also added the new plots from Baños de Ebro that represent 15% of the blend and which he feels add fresh red fruit notes and silky tannins. It showcases the Sonsierra zone with fresher Tempranillo with balance, length and the chalky sensation from the limestone soils. It fermented in concrete vats with indigenous yeasts and matured 50/50 in 600-liter demi-muids and 225-liter barriques for 12 months. It follows the path of the 2019 with a little more freshness. 12,000 bottles were filled in November 2021.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93 RPHibiscus, blackberries and some cherry compote and spiced dark fruit. A full-bodied Rioja, loaded with juicy yet resolved tannins that seal off the palate, before a delicious, peppery finish. Tempranillo, graciano and garnacha. Drink now.James Suckling | 93 JS
The entry-level red 2020 Sierra de Toloño was produced with Tempranillo from Rivas de Tereso, fresh and energetic, representing the high-altitude vineyards produced in a simple way. It has 13.5% alcohol and a medium body with good freshness, clean berry flavors, vibrant acidity and fine tannins. 35,000 bottles produced, the largest production by far. It was bottled in July 2021 after eight months in neutral barrels.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 91 RP
This is the fourth vintage of Sandra Bravo’s brilliant old-vine Garnacha from Rivas de Tereso and it’s every bit as good as its predecessors. Aged in 300-litre clay amphoras, it’s wonderfully perfumed and intense, with engaging bramble and red cherry fruit sweetness, tannins and a long, energetic palate. 2023-32Tim Atkin | 96 TA
The very young white 2021 Blanco de Sierra de Toloño is mostly Viura with some Calagraño and Rojal that is pure, fresh and straightforward, with a floral touch and a tasty finish from what Sandra Bravo described as "the finest vintage of my life." The grapes ripened late, at the same time as the old-vine Tempranillo. It has 12.5% alcohol and a pH of 3.23, medium-bodied, fresh, vibrant and tasty. Great value. 9,000 bottles were filled in March 2022 after resting in tank with lees.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 92 RP
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