Carlos Serres Crianza Rioja 2013

Estate: A pioneer in Rioja, Carlos [Charles] Serres left Bordeaux and founded one of the first wineries in the Haro area of Rioja in 1896. Fleeing phylloxera, Serres, an already famous French wine consultant, “found in Haro the perfect terroir to make Bordeaux style wines, with a climate and terrain which reminded him of the best terroirs in Bordeaux”. Merging French winemaking techniques with the Rioja terroir, Serres’ visionary approach focused on international export and was a phenomenal success. Forever changing the way wine was understood in the area, he remains “one of the key personalities in Rioja’s winemaking history”. Family owned and operated, with 150 acres of vineyards with an average vine age of over 30 years, it stands out as one of the few estates in the Rioja region that has been producing wine for over 100 years.

Winemaking: Grapes are handpicked from vines 10-20 years old. Aged 14 months in a combination of American and French oak barrels, followed by a minimum of 6 months ageing in the bottle.

Tasting Notes: Transparent garnet in colour, highly aromatic with black currant, black cherry, forest floor, vanilla and a trace of pencil lead. Layers of blackberry, plum, cherry and crushed black peppercorn are framed by silky tannins and fresh acidity. Fruit, spice and a hint of toasted oak linger between each sleek sip. Easy drinking and easy to pair with just about any dish. [It was fantastic with Mexican spiced roasted sweet potato, onion, pinto beans, soy chorizo, mole sauce and cilantro crema over a bed of pepper and lime wild rice.]

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Extremely versatile. A perfect match for Mediterranean cuisine such as vegetable or fish dishes, rice, pasta, beans, red and white meats, cheese.

85% Tempranillo, 15% Garnacha
Rioja
Spain
Estate Bottled by Carlos Serres S.L.
13% Alcohol
$12 [average price
Enjoy now thru 2019

 

Sample submitted for editorial consideration.

Carlos Serres ‘Old Vines’ Tempranillo Rioja 2015

Estate: A pioneer in Rioja, Carlos [Charles] Serres left Bordeaux and founded one of the first wineries in the Haro area of Rioja in 1896. Fleeing phylloxera, Serres, an already famous French wine consultant, “found in Haro the perfect terroir to make Bordeaux style wines, with a climate and terrain which reminded him of the best terroirs in Bordeaux”. Merging French winemaking techniques with the Rioja terroir, Serres’ visionary approach focused on international export and was a phenomenal success. Forever changing the way wine was understood in the area, he remains “one of the key personalities in Rioja’s winemaking history”. Family owned and operated, with 150 acres of vineyards with an average vine age of over 30 years, it stands out as one of the few estates in the Rioja region that has been producing wine for over 100 years.

Winemaking: Hand harvested grapes are sourced from old vines that are 50+ years in age. Aged for 5 months in oak barrels.

Tasting Notes: Dark garnet in colour with aromas of red berries, pencil lead and a trace of earthy funk. Pomegranate, cherry, red currant, blackberry and plum are complimented by silky tannins and fresh acidity. Peppery spice, tobacco and fruit span the dry, lengthy finish. Easy drinking and easy to pair with a wide variety of dishes.

Paring Suggestions from the Winery: A great match for grilled vegetables, creamy rice dishes, pastas, white meats and soft or lightly aged cheeses.

100% Tempranillo
Rioja DOC
Spain
Bottled at the Property by Bodegas Carlos Serres S.L.
13% Alcohol
$10 [average price]
Enjoy now thru 2019

Rated 92 points by James Suckling

 

Sample submitted for editorial consideration.

Dionisos ‘La Bodega de las Estrellas’ Tempranillo 2015

Estate: Following over a decade of working with organic vines, 4th generation winemaker Dionisio de Nova García returned to his family vineyards in Castilla. He is a pioneering force in biodynamic and organic farming. His cosmic calendar and planetarium in the winery have earned the winery’s nickname “The Winery of the Stars”. For a deeper look into his star based farming, click here. The original cellar dating to the 19th century contains his renowned clay amphora, used for fermenting and ageing. Click here for details on the benefits and effects of clay in his winemaking.

Winemaking: Hand harvested grapes are fermented with wild yeasts, malolactic fermentation in clay amphorae with bâtonnage of its lees. Very low sulfites, unfiltered. Aged in old clay amphora.

Tasting Notes: Dark garnet in colour with aromas of summer fresh berries. Loaded with fresh, sweet cherry, blackberry and raspberry, accented by pepper spice and earth hints. Good acidity keeps it refreshing, finishing clean and fruity. Fantastic on its own and super versatile at the table.

100% Tempranillo
Vino de la Tierra de Castilla
Spain
Estate Bottled by Dionisos Biológica S.L.
13.5% Alcohol
$46 [3L box equivalent to 4 750ML bottles]
Enjoy now

Flaco Tempranillo 2015

flaco

Winery: Alberto Orte and Patrick Mata founded Compañía de Vinos del Atlántico in 2002 with the goal of preserving and uniting the extensive winemaking heritage of their two families. Currently they produce wine from 18 different appellations within Spain.

Philosophy: To “handcraft “elaborar” wines that express the identity of the place where they come from”.

Winemaking: The grapes were sourced from organically grown, dry-farmed vineyards with clay soil. Aged in stainless steel and cement, preserving fruit purity.

Tasting Notes: Dark garnet in colour with aromas of cherry, white pepper along with a floral trace. Cherry, plum, red currant, a hint of liqurice, and earth culminate in a super spicy, dry finish. Simple and pleasant, versatile at the table, consistently a fantastic value.

100% Tempranillo
Vinos de Madrid
Spain
Bottled by Bottled by N.R.E. 28/40.527 for Cia de Vinos del Atlantico
13.5% Alcohol
$8
Enjoy now

Mundo de Yunter Tempranillo y Syrah 2012

mundo

A fantastic, organically farmed, $8 value Tempranillo blend from Spain that is straightforward, pleasant and great with a wide variety of dishes.

Winery: Bodegas Yuntero represents the organically farmed wines of The Jesús del Perdón Cooperative. Established in 1954 by a group of 102 wine growers wishing to develop and market their wines independently, today the coop boasts 700 members located in the heart of Spain.

Tasting Notes: Red-violet in color with aromas of blackberry and crushed black peppercorn. Red currant and blackberry flavors were backed by a cleansing acidity, woodsy elements and traces of black peppercorn harmonized in the plush finish.

85% Tempranillo, 15% Syrah
La Mancha
Spain
Produced and Bottled by Coop Jesus del Perdon
13% Alcohol
$8
Enjoy now thru 2015

Rated 90 points by The Wine Advocate