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2016 R. Lopez Heredia Rioja Vina Cubillo Crianza

The 2016 Viña Cubillo Tinto Crianza was surprising, spectacular, elegant, clean and fresh like few vintages before. It was a superb year, with quality, quantity and freshness. It’s quite the opposite from the previous 2015, which was a much warmer and riper year. The 2016s have moderate alcohol and especially the perception of less ripeness (even though the alcohol is very similar). It feels very young, still quite primary. Mercedes explained, "Cubillas, a 24-hectare plot, is a vineyard that could produce Gran Reserva wines. It’s a very good vineyard, but we would miss the Crianza in our range". In fact, the comment was that this vintage is even a challenge for the Viña Tondonia red "because of its price." It is indeed a bargain. "But it doesn’t have the finesse of Tondonia," concluded María José. Anyway, it’s super tasty. 92,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in November 2022.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 94 RP

94
RP
As low as $26.99
2018 marques de murrieta reserva Spain Red

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

94
RP
As low as $28.99
2018 jose luis ripa rioja rosado Rose

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

94
JG
As low as $29.99
2019 hermanos pecina senorio de p pecino cosecha Spain Red

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

90
RP
As low as $13.99
2019 Muga Rioja Reserva Seleccion Especial

The subtle and harmonious 2019 Selección Especial reflects a very complete and good vintage. It has to be one of the finest vintages for this wine. 2019 is a powerful vintage with balance and freshness. The grapes ripened thoroughly and developed a full set of aromas and flavors. It’s complex and nuanced, with abundant, fine-grained tannins and a long, dry and tasty finish. Selección applies to the vineyards but also the barrels and everything that contributes to this wine; it’s not only a selection of lots, which was the case before the 1994 vintage. 274,992 bottles produced. It was bottled between April and June 2022 after 26 months in barrel.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RPFresh and demure nose with lots of cocoa powder, blackcurrants, blackberries and a hint of cigar and charcoal. Excellent depth and class here with a very juicy center palate. Medium to full body with a long and layered finish. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 95 JSBlack, somber and rich, this has the gravitas of old-fashioned Rioja. Selección Especial is made primarily from vineyards in the hills stretching from Villalba to Abalos, after the first cut from those lots goes to Torre Muga. These parcels, close to the mountains, are influenced by limestone in the soils, while two others, including a cool, north-facing parcel, add fruit from clay soils to the blend. That coolness shows up against the warm scent of rosemary and Mediterranean scrub, alongside this wine’s blueberry-skin tannins. Youthfully suppressed, it’s concentrated and substantial, suited to long aging. If you open it now, decant it long before dinner with a butterflied leg of lamb grilled with rosemary stalks.Wine & Spirits Magazine | 95 W&SThe 2019 Selección Especial blends Tempranillo, Garnacha and Graciano from vineyards on Montes Obarenes and the slopes of Sierra Cantabria. Aged for 26 months in the winery’s French oak barrels, this garnet wine offers a balsamic core with delicate cherry and elder notes, accompanied by hints of licorice. Dry, intense and creamy, the chalky flow lingers, concluding with a velvety, complex finish. This red stands out for its crystal-clear expression, showcasing a range of Rioja’s virtues.Vinous Media | 94 VMSavory aromas of forest floor, leather and tar transition to reveal a creamy core of crushed mulberry, cherry and wild strawberry fruit, red licorice and singed orange peel flavors. Shows muscle and focus, but this is elegant overall, marrying sculpted tannins with layers of flavor and length. Tempranillo, Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano. Drink now through 2034. 20,000 cases made, 6,000 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 92 WSDeep garnet to the eye, this wine has a nose of blackberry, green bell pepper and cedar chest. It is spicy at first sip, offering notes of eucalyptus, menthol and clove. Forceful tannins provide a backdrop for these spicy notes plus blackberry, black cherry, dark chocolate, violet and orange zest flavors that sail into a floral and cool herb finish. Wine Enthusiast | 90 WE

95
RP
As low as $39.95
2020 alegre valganon tinto rioja Spain Red

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

93+
RP
As low as $20.99

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