Region / Rioja

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Valenciso Rioja Rosé 2019

R250.00 inc. VAT
Produced with Tempranillo and aged with lees for nine months, the bright pink 2019 shows high ripeness and quite a full body for a rose. It has notes of ripe strawberries and a: twist with a round palate that reveals ripe flavors, finishing dry and with a bitter touch. 4,000 bottles produced. This is the first time I've tasted this rose, but it's not the first year they've produced it. bottles were filled in July 2020.

La Rioja Alta Vina Alberdi 2015

R330.00 inc. VAT
The classic Haro-styled red 2015 Viña Alberdi, sold abroad with the mention of Reserva and in Spain as Crianza, is a good introduction to the house style: balsamic reds with abundant notes of sweet spices and cigar ash, developed aromas of forest floor and a creamy twist making small concessions for a fresher and cleaner profile in the last few years but keeping the classic style. There are notes of ground tobacco and earth, and the palate is seamless and sleek, with polished tannins and a soft mouthfeel. There are 550,000 bottles of this wine, all produced from a single master blend. It was bottled in September 2018 after two years in American oak barrels.

Valenciso Rioja White 2019

R350.00 inc. VAT
Yields were down a third in 2019 because of the heat, but this organic cuvée of Viura with 30% Garnacha Blanca doesn't taste over-concentrated. Subtle and aromatic with fermentation and ageing in (15% new) Russian oak it's a wine that needs time to exert its charms, with jasmine aromas and subtle baking spice and orange zest flavours.

Valenciso Rioja Red 2014

R395.00 inc. VAT
Cooler vintages like 2014 are ideally suited to the Valenciso style, which always has one eye on longevity and bottle age. This refined Tempranillo comes from vineyards in Briones, Haro, Ollauri, Rodezno and Villalba and has an appealing combination of structure, depth and minerality with fine 20% new oak integration and layers of bramble, raspberry and black cherry fruit.

La Rioja Alta Viña Ardanza Reserva 2012

R530.00 inc. VAT
Garnacha is an important component in the 2012 Viña Ardanza Reserva, where it represents 20% of the blend (the rest is, of course, Tempranillo). 2011 was a difficult vintage for Garnacha, so Viña Ardanza was not produced that year and they jumped from 2010, which had the mention "Selección Especial," to 2012, where it returns to the regular Reserva. The wine is a prototype of polished and aged Rioja with a ruby color with some orange and a developed nose with subtle aromas of decayed leaves, sweet spices and some cherries in liqueur even, quite complex and harmonious. The palate is velvety but rich, with resolved tannins and a fine chalky mouthfeel, sleek and elegant, terribly balanced. The flavors are pure and defined, and there is an overall sense of harmony that I like very much. Brilliant Ardanza! They produced no less than 600,000 bottles of this wine, which is remarkable. It has been in bottle since March 2016, so it's very approachable but should also age nicely in bottle. Drink or keep. - Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate

Valenciso Rioja Reserva 10 Años Después 2010

R595.00 inc. VAT
"A wine that is released 10 years after the harvest, the 2010 10 Años Después (10 years after!) was kept in concrete and barrel for a long time, 4.5 and 5.5 years, respectively. It combines the texture and mouthfeel from traditional Rioja with the cleanliness and precision of the more modern examples. Furthermore, in a vintage like 2010, it combines power and elegance, while still quite young and lively. It has notes of fine woods and smoke with dry flowers, berries and aromatic herbs, quite complex and elegant, insinuating more than in your face. It's medium to full-bodied with great harmony and elegant tannins. It finishes long and dry. It's approachable now but should continue developing nicely in bottle. 4,500 bottles were filled in January 2020." - Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate

Bodegas Benjamin de Rothschild & Vega Sicilia Macán Clásico 2016

R695.00 inc. VAT
In 2016, they fermented the wine in stainless steel and reduced the number of new barrels to 50%, while 5% of the barrels were produced with American oak at the Vega Sicilia cooperage. The new winery was 100% ready and now has much better facilities. The élevage lasted 12 months, and this has contained ripeness and integrated oak. The year had freshness and balance and helped to produce lighter and more expressive wines, like this one. This has to be one of the finest vintages for this cuvée.

La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 2011

R975.00 inc. VAT
The 2011 Rioja Gran Reserva 904 has been one of my go-to cuvées since my earliest days as a wine lover. This latest release is a blend of 60-year-old Tempranillo from Briñas, Rodenzo and Villalba (89%) and the remainder Graciano from the Montecillo vineyard. Fully de-stemmed and aged for 54 months in American oak, it was bottled in November 2016. This is more reticent and less forthcoming on the nose compared to the Viña Ardanza, gradually unfolding to reveal enticing scents of raspberry, crushed strawberry, warm leather, terra cotta and a touch of meat juice. This needed more decanting than the Ardanza. The palate is beautifully balanced with fine-grained tannins, and ultra-smooth in terms of texture. Layers of red fruit laced with clove, sprigs of fresh mint and blood orange dovetail into a soy-tinged finish that you expect to fan out, though it declines; it needs maybe another 12–18 months to really show what it is capable of. Magnificent. - Neal Martin, Vinous

Bodegas Benjamin de Rothschild & Vega Sicilia Macán 2015

R1,150.00 inc. VAT
"The current vintage of the first wine is the 2015 Macán, fermented in oak vats and matured in new French oak barrels for 12 months, followed by a further five months in oak vats and kept in bottle for almost three years before it's released. 2015 was a warm and dry year, and the wine feels riper when tasted next to the 2016 Macán Clásico, which comes from a very different year. The use of foudres helps to give the wine length and elegance—a good tool to fine-tune warmer vintages like this one. This is stylistically different from 2016, with darker fruit and an earthy touch. It's powerful, with structure and plenty of tannin, a dense wine, with concentration to get polished in bottle. 74,465 bottle, 2,563 magnums and some larger formats produced. It was bottled in May 2017." - Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate

La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 Tinto 2011 Magnum

R1,890.00 inc. VAT
The 2011 Rioja Gran Reserva 904 has been one of my go-to cuvées since my earliest days as a wine lover. This latest release is a blend of 60-year-old Tempranillo from Briñas, Rodenzo and Villalba (89%) and the remainder Graciano from the Montecillo vineyard. Fully de-stemmed and aged for 54 months in American oak, it was bottled in November 2016. This is more reticent and less forthcoming on the nose compared to the Viña Ardanza, gradually unfolding to reveal enticing scents of raspberry, crushed strawberry, warm leather, terra cotta and a touch of meat juice. This needed more decanting than the Ardanza. The palate is beautifully balanced with fine-grained tannins, and ultra-smooth in terms of texture. Layers of red fruit laced with clove, sprigs of fresh mint and blood orange dovetail into a soy-tinged finish that you expect to fan out, though it declines; it needs maybe another 12–18 months to really show what it is capable of. Magnificent. Neal Martin, Vinous

La Rioja Alta 6 Bottle Mixed Case

R3,290.00 inc. VAT
The La Rioja Alta 6 Bottle Mixed Case includes: 1 x La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 2011 1 x La Rioja Alta Viña Arana Gran Reserva 2014 2 x La Rioja Alta Viña Ardanza Reserva 2012 2 x La Rioja Alta Vina Alberdi 2015