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|Drinking Windows and Values|
|Drinking window: Drink between 2010 and 2015 (based on 31 user opinions)|
|Community Tasting History|
Community Tasting Notes (average 393 notes) - and median of 87 pts. in hiding notes with no text
| ||Tasted by Steve&Carolyn on 6/5/2015 & rated 86 points: Black fruits with an herbal fragrance. On the palate: Smooth tannins with cocoa, blackberries, tobacco, and black cherry. (490 views)|
| ||Tasted by kmicho on 4/8/2015 & rated 88 points: I think this wine is classic Rioja and drinks above its $11 price point. It's strong and bold. A little fizzy straight out of the bottle. Very strong earthy flavors. I get moss, dirt, and bark as the dominant flavors. Behind those, I get a small amount of vanilla and tartness like a really tart berry, but only in hints. |
I think it's quite well balanced and very long on the palate.
Again, really nice for an inexpensive wine. (520 views)
| ||Tasted by Smudge4! on 2/8/2015 & rated 86 points: Good with paella (934 views)|
| ||Tasted by kmicho on 11/30/2014 & rated 85 points: Musty. Tastes a bit like an old, damp basement smells. That is not to say bad. I've had other Riojas which tasted very similar. But it's not my favorite nonetheless. To me, this is a very old world style wine. (1502 views)|
| ||Tasted by wtianseter on 10/31/2014 & rated 82 points: This is a basic Rioja that has been in my cellar for 2 1/2 years. It has medium fruit and a dry tart cherry that is not in balance with the other components. Not much finish at all. Perhaps it may come together some in the next few years but for me it is not a wine that I will spend any money on in the future. (1699 views)|
| ||Tasted by Escher Cellars on 10/4/2014 & rated 77 points: I should have listened to the reviews; this should only be used for cooking. Very tight with bitter overtones even after aerating 3x's. Don't believe it was a defective bottle. RP must have been trying a social experiment giving it such a high rating - and we all jumped! Like other reviews; stay away. (1544 views)|
| ||Tasted by redz on 9/25/2014 & rated 87 points: same as last year, not improving, unfortunately (1624 views)|
| ||Tasted by daveyleis1 on 7/18/2014 & rated 88 points: At less than $9 a bottle, this wine fills a lot of cooking time and it drinks easy also. Not a big deal, just a good one. (1793 views)|
| ||Tasted by jayrod on 3/1/2014 & rated 87 points: Opened this bottle for cooking and was surprised at what I found. Quite nice wine with reserved tannins and nice fruit. Bottle variation on this wine is all over the place. Used it for cooking anyway......principle of the thing!!!!! (2371 views)|
| ||Tasted by Deputy on 2/10/2014 & rated 86 points: It was okay, but only okay, so I used it as my wine in my short ribs. It was pretty good that way. (2232 views)|
| ||Tasted by redz on 12/11/2013 & rated 87 points: I too was surprised by RP rating. Simple, light, fruity Rioja. Not many tannins, hard to see it improving much (2725 views)|
| ||Tasted by jayrod on 10/25/2013: Life is too short to drink bad wine.........|
Need I say more (2900 views)
| ||Tasted by knorthrip on 10/16/2013 & rated 87 points: Old fashioned Rioja style with lots of structure, red fruit, funk and plenty of oak. I wonder if this will benefit from a little more age. (2596 views)|
| ||Tasted by bzukaitis on 10/4/2013: Last bottle. Thank God! R Parker can suck it for giving that POS a 90 pt rating. Mmoss and I unfortunately took the bait and bought way too much of this horse bleep wine. Thought, just for 2 seconds, it might have finally got somewhere as it opened with fruit I had never experienced with this wine. Then it went off a cliff like Chevy Chase's career in the early 90's. Sour like it had gone bad. And quick. Had bottles with different labels and neck wraps. I think either Parker got paid or they turned everything they could into '09 Montebuena to try and cash in. This shit sucks. Sorry. I held off on the language as long as I could. I used to buy a lot of mid range Rioja's but now I am scarred. Yes, scarred, not scared. (1894 views)|
| ||Tasted by CieloVista on 8/27/2013 & rated 87 points: Similar to last tasting. (2155 views)|
| ||Tasted by Winenut30 on 7/20/2013 & rated 86 points: Small nose, approachable, blackberry, great for quaffing (2151 views)|
| ||Tasted by smithsondo on 6/22/2013 & rated 89 points: - Ruby color - Pairs well with pork. Excellent for the price (2163 views)|
| ||Tasted by tom_wine on 6/19/2013 & rated 86 points: Still evolving, but showing good structure. Nose is closed but opens n the glass. Would benefit from decanting. Lots of tannin left. Showing dark berry and cherry fruit with noticeable oak. Too much oak? (2061 views)|
| ||Tasted by CieloVista on 6/14/2013 & rated 86 points: Ruby red with aromas of red berries and anise. It was balanced, smooth, medium bodied with flavors of cherries and oak. The finish as medium and clean. It definitely needed to warm up to room temp to provide all of its flavors. (1885 views)|
| ||Tasted by DCSteve on 2/22/2013 & rated 88 points: Good weeknight wine for the price. (2943 views)|
| ||Tasted by PBANGELO on 2/6/2013 & rated 86 points: Ruby red. Licorice on the nose with a Good & Plenty mid-palate. No discernible fruit. Short finish. A mutt wine: no outstanding characteristics, but likable. (2697 views)|
| ||Tasted by bzukaitis on 1/12/2013 & rated 78 points: Bought 6 bottles after the famous RP 90 pt rating for $10 Rioja. I love Spanish wines and Tempranillos. Had my first bottle of this in late 2010, and this was shit. I should have known better when they had 10+ cases stacked up at 2 different stores. Drank several botltles over the next year and still had nothing going. My friend mmoss started to use in Sangria it was so worthless, even at $9 with case discount. I wanted to slap the taste out of RP's mouth. It might have already happened to give this a 90 pt rating. 1 year later and every store still had cases and cases of this wine. Noticed it had a red cover at first and now was a more purple color. Same vintage but looked like a dffiferent bottling, maybe. Bought a couple of these and still shitty. Waited over 1 year to try another bottle and was finally drinkable. Maybe it tasted better because I expected to taste a spritzer wine. Even now, just a very average under $10 bottle of wine. I usually don't write this much about wines I actually like, so this must truly be disappointing. (2921 views)|
| ||Tasted by KSWinegeek on 1/9/2013 & rated 85 points: Dark for Rioja. Simple, fruity, approachable,agreeable and inexpensive. Had at Jackson Hole resort (2857 views)|
| ||Tasted by goldgarf on 1/6/2013 & rated 82 points: Pleasantly smooth, with cherry flavors. (2809 views)|
| ||Tasted by jpinsb on 12/28/2012 & rated 88 points: A fruit forward and food friendly bargain at around $10 nationally. (1989 views)|
| ||Only displaying the 25 most recent notes - click to see all notes for this wine...|
NOTE: Scores and reviews are the property of Vinous. (manage subscription channels)
|By Josh Raynolds|
Vinous, September/October 2011, IWC Issue #158
(Bodegas de Familia Burgo Viejo Montebuena Rioja) Subscribe to see review text.
Tempranillo Varietal character (Appellation America) | TAPAS: Tempranillo Advocates, Producers and Amigos Society
Tempranillo is the premium red wine grape variety from the Rioja and Ribera del Duero region in Spain. Tempranillo's aromas and flavors often combine elements of berryish fruit, herbaceousness, and an earthy-leathery minerality. Being low in acidity and sugar content, it is commonly blended with Carignan (Mazuela), Grenache (Garnacha), Graciano, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The varietal is at its best in top Riojas, where oak aging is employed to generate increased complexity and harmony. From the best sites, these wines can be remarkably concentrated with great aging potential. New wines from this region are darker, and more robust, with more dynamic primary fruit flavors than traditionally styled examples. These wines seem to reflect the influence of Spain's other key region for Tempranillo, Ribera del Duero. Regardless of style, Riojas tend to be medium bodied wines, with more acid than tannins. These wines generally feature Tempranillo blended with Garancha, Mazuelo, and Graciano. For these wines, there are three quality levels, which will appear on the label. Everyday drinking wines fall under the category of "Crianza", "Reserva" denotes more complex and concentrated wines, and "Gran Reserva" refers to the most intense wines, made only in the best years.
The same labeling scheme applies to wines from Ribera del Duero, which, like Rioja, is dominated by Tempranillo and shares similar blending grapes. Again, Ribera del Duero wines are generally darker and more powerful than the most traditional Riojas. These wines also generally see less oak treatment than Riojas. From Rioja, we like wines from Allende, Marqués de Cáceres, Montecillo, and Cune. In Ribera del Duero, consider Dominio de Pingus, Emilio Moro, Convento San Francisco, and Pesquera.
Pair older-style Rioja with simple meats like chicken, leg of lamb, and pork loin. However, the newer style of Rioja and Ribera del Duero works especially well with bolder meat dishes or an aged Spanish cheese like Manchego or Idiazabal.
Spain Vinos de España - Wines of Spain (Instituto Español de Comercio Exterior) | Wikipedia
Spain is the third largest wine producing nation in the world, occupying the majority of the Iberian Peninsula with vast diversity in climate, culture, and of course, wine. From inky, dark reds of the [Priorat] to dry, white Finos from Andalusia, Spain can easily boast of elaborating a wide variety of notable styles. Within Spain there are currently 62 demarcated wine regions, of which a handful have gained international recognition: [Rioja], Priorat and [Ribera del Duero]. Yet these regions are only a small sample of the high quality wines Spain produces. Regions such as Cava, Penedes, Somontano, Galicia, Rueda and Jerez are only a few of the numerous regions worthy of exploration throughout Spain. Spain can also lay claim to having the most land under vine in the world, growing up to, by some accounts, 600 indigenous varietals of which Tempranillo is their most well known. Other popular varietals include [Garnacha], Bobal and Monastrell for reds and for whites; the infamous Palomino Fino grape which is used in the production of sherry wine, Pedro Ximenez in Montilla Morilles, Albarino used in the creation of the bright, effervescent wines of Galicia, and Verdejo in Rueda. - Source: - Catavino.net
Spain is not in the forefront of winemaking for its dessert wines, other than for its sweet wines from Sherry country including the highly revered Olorosos and Amontillados. But apart from Sherry Spain has a range of styles of dessert wines, ranging from the those made from the Pedro Ximenez grape primarily in Jerez and Montilla-Moriles) to luscious, red dessert wines made in the Mediterranean from the Garnacha (Grenache) grape. Some good Moscatels are made in Mallorca, Alicante and Navarre. The northwest corner of Spain, Galicia, with its bitter Atlantic climate, is even making dessert wines, called “Tostadillos” in the village of Ribadivia (similar to France’s “Vin de Paille”). The Canary Islands have made interesting dessert wines for centuries (they are mentioned by Shakespeare, for example) and in recent years the quality of winemaking has been improved and the Canary Islands wines are being better marketed now. The winemaking styles for “Vinos Dulces” are also diverse, from “Late Harvest” (Vendimia Tardía) to “Fortified Wines” (Fermentación Parcial). Based on in-spain.info.
La Rioja Consejo Regulador DOC Rioja - Control Board of the D.O.Ca. Rioja
Rioja Consejo Regulador DOC Rioja - Control Board of the D.O.Ca. Rioja
The wine region of La Rioja in Spain was first demarcated by the area's governing body, the Consejo Regulador, in 1926. The region extends for approximately 120 kilometres along both sides of the Ebro River and is, at its widest point, bounded by mountains on either side. In fact, the word 'Rioja' is a derivation of the two words 'Rio' (River) and 'Oja (the name of a tributary of the Ebro that runs right through La Rioja creating a series of microclimates and providing much needed water for the vines).
La Rioja has always been a vital part of Spain's history. Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Moors, and finally, medieval Crusaders have all played a part in the area's history. The Romans, however, made wine a part of their culture wherever they travelled, and La Rioja was no exception. Ancient sites of Roman wineries still exist in and around the area today.
After the Romans came the Moors, and winemaking all but ceased. It wasn't until after the famous 'El Cid' liberated Spain, and medieval Christianity brought trade via the Crusaders through the region, that it flourished again. The Benedictine monks of Cluny in Burgundy, known for their viticulture, helped to establish three monasteries in the area. The vines they planted were mostly white grapes. In the fourteenth century, English traders acquired a taste for a local Rioja wine, which was a blend of white and red wines called Blancos Pardillos. Over time, development of lighter reds came about satisfying eighteenth century English and French courts.
The real improvements to Rioja's viticulture began around 1780 when the need to prolong wine during transport brought about experimentation with different woods and preservatives. Studies were made of the techniques used by great chateaux in Bordeaux. With the outbreak of the Peninsular War, progress was halted until 1852, when the Bordelais came south to Rioja seeking vines because their vineyards had been blighted with oidium. French winemaking methods were eagerly taken up by great rivals the Marques de Murrieta and Marques de Riscal (who both claim to have been the first in Rioja to make wine in the Bordeaux fashion).
When phylloxera devastated Bordeaux in the 1870s and the French influence really took hold in Rioja, many of the region's finest bodegas started production on what we now consider as the great wines of Rioja. It’s important to remember that Bordeaux winemaking methods then were very different to those employed today in France, and involved long ageing in barrel, a factor that the Riojans took up enthusiastically. So enthusiastically in fact that to this day there are a number of Bodegas that still make their wine in a surprisingly similar fashion to that of the Bordelais in the later part of the 1800s and this also explains why oak ageing is such an important part of Riojan winemaking.
USE OF OAK
Pronounced vanilla flavours in the wines are a trademark of the region though some modern winemakers are experimenting with making wines less influenced by oak. Originally French oak was used but as the cost of the barrels increased many bodegas began to buy American oak planks and fashion them into barrels at Spanish cooperages in a style more closely resembling the French method. This included hand splitting the wood, rather than sawing, and allowing the planks time to dry and 'season' in the outdoors versus drying in the kiln. In recent times, more bodegas have begun using French oak and many will age wines in both American and French oak for blending purposes.
In the past, it was not uncommon for some bodegas to age their red wines for 15-20 years or even more before their release. One notable example of this is Marqués de Murrieta which released its 1942 vintage Gran Reserva in 1983 after 41 years of ageing. Today most bodegas have shifted their winemaking focus to wines that are ready to drink sooner with the top wines typically ageing for 4-8 years prior to release though some traditionalists still age longer. The typical bodega owns anywhere from 10,000 to 40,000 oak barrels.
The use of oak in white wine has declined significantly in recent times when before the norm was traditionally 2-5 years in oak. This created slightly oxidised wines with flavours of caramel, coffee, and roasted nuts that did not appeal to a large market of consumers. Today the focus of white winemakers has been to enhance the vibrancy and fruit flavours of the wine.
Most Riojan Bodegas believe that the ageing of a wine should be the responsibility of the producer rather than that of the consumer, and this is why much Rioja is more mature than wines from other countries. Rioja red wines are classified into four categories. The first, simply labelled 'Rioja', or 'Sin Crianza' (meaning 'without ageing') is the youngest, spending less than a year in oak. A "Crianza" is wine aged for at least two years, at least one of which is in oak. 'Reserva' is aged for at least three years, of which at least one year is in oak. Finally, 'Gran Reserva' wines have been aged at least two years in oak and three years in bottle. Reserva and Gran Reserva wines are not necessarily produced each year. Also produced are wines in a semi-crianza style, those that have had a couple of months of oak influence but not enough to be called a full crianza. The designation of Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva might not always appear on the front label but may appear on a neck or back label in the form of a stamp designation known as Consejo.
Located on the western edge of the region, and at higher elevations than the other areas, the Rioja Alta is known for more fruity and concentrated wines which can have very smooth texture and mouth feel.
Despite sharing a similar climate as the Alta region, the Rioja Alavesa produces wines with a fuller body and higher acidity. Vineyards in the area have a low vine density with large spacing between rows. This is due to the relatively poor conditions of the soil with the vines needing more distance from each other and less competition for the nutrients in the surrounding soil.
Unlike the more continental climate of the Alta and Alavesa, the Rioja Baja is strongly influenced by a Mediterranean climate which makes this area the warmest and driest of the Rioja. In the summer months, drought can be a significant viticultural hazard, though since the late 1990s irrigation has been permitted. Temperatures in the summer typically reach 95°F. Twenty percent of the vineyards actually fall within the Navarra appellation but the wine produced from the grapes is still allowed to claim the Rioja designation. The predominant grape here is the Garnacha which prefers the hot conditions, unlike the more aromatic Tempranillo. Consequently Baja wines are very deeply coloured and can be highly alcoholic with some wines at 18% alcohol by volume. The wines typically do not have much acidity or aroma and are generally used as blending components with wines from other parts of
The Riojans are master blenders (as they have to be because there are relatively few single estates in the area, the norm being to blend from a wide variety of vineyards and wine areas). Consequently they are able to reduce vintage variation by careful blending and many of the best wines vary relatively little between vintages.
VITICULTURE & GRAPES
Rioja wines are normally a blend of various grape varieties, and can be either red (tinto), white (blanco) or rosé (rosado). Rioja has a total of 57,000 hectares cultivated, yielding 250 million litres of wine annually, of which 85% is red. The harvest time for most Rioja vineyards is September-October with the northern Rioja Alta having the latest harvest in late October. The soil here is clay-based with a high concentration of chalk and iron (which provides the redness in the soil that may be responsible for the region's name, Rioja, meaning red). There is also significant concentration of limestone, sandstone and alluvial silt.
Among the Tintos, the best-known and most widely-used variety is Tempranillo. Other grapes used include Garnacha Tinta, Graciano, and Mazuelo. A typical blend will consist of approximately 60% Tempranillo and up to 20% Garnacha, with much smaller proportions of Mazuelo and Graciano. Each grape adds a unique component to the wine with Tempranillo contributing the main flavours and ageing potential to the wine; Garnacha adding body and alcohol; Mazuelo adding seasoning flavours and Graciano adding additional aromas.
With Rioja Blanco, Viura is the prominent grape (also known as Macabeo) and is sometimes blended with some Malvesia and Garnacha Blanca. In the white wines the Viura contributes mild fruitness, acidity and some aroma to the blend with Garnacha Blanca adding body and Malvasia adding aroma. Rosados are mostly derived from Garnacha grapes. The 'international varieties' of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot have gained some attention and use through experimental plantings by some bodegas but their use has created wines distinctly different from the typical Rioja.
Some of the most sought after grapes come from the limestone/sandstone based 'old vine' vineyards in the Alavesa and Alta regions. These 40 year old plus vines are prized due to their low yields and more concentrated flavours. A unique DO regulation stipulates that the cost of the grapes used to make Rioja must exceed by at least 200% the national average of wine grapes used in all Spanish wines.
Rioja (Red) Year %
2004 Superb vintage, classic wines Drink or Hold 94
2003 Hot, dry year, long-ageing wines Drink or Hold 91
2002 Smallest vintage in 10 years. Variable quality.
Keep to top names Drink or Hold 87
2001 Excellent year for long ageing Reservas
and Gran Reservas Drink or Hold 94
2000 A generally good vintage with fine Reservas Drink or Hold 89
1999 Smaller vintage of good quality Drink or Hold 88
1998 Good vintage Drink or Hold 97
1997 Unexciting so far, but quaffable Drink or Hold 84
1996 Good year, plenty of ageing potential Drink or Hold 89
1995 Very good vintage, Reservas now showing excellent fruit Drink or Hold 92
1994 Outstanding, some great long-ageing wines Drink or Hold 94
1993 Lesser wines, apart from best-known names Drink 77
1992 Rather light vintage Drink 80
1991 Still improving, average quality Drink or Hold 85
1990 Fairly ordinary but quaffable Drink 84
1989 Good, firm structure Drink 88
Rioja Reserva & Gran Reserva – Vintages of the Eighties Year %
1989 Goodish vintage, well balanced Drink 88
1988 Fairly good vintage, well balanced wines Drink 88
1987 Very attractive vintage, now at peak Drink 90
1986 Average year, now drinking well Drink 87
1985 Average year, now drinking well Drink 87
1984 Disappointing, with problem weather Avoid 80
1983 Don't keep it any longer Drink 86
1982 Now past its best Drink 83
1981 Superb wines, finest will keep longer Drink 90
1980 Average vintage, don't keep any longer Drink 86