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Biurko Gorri 2004 Graciano Rioja ($20) 88

This

is

a

lovely

fruit

forward

Graciano

deep

ruby

in

color

with aromas of dark cherry, black pepper and spice, and a touch of garrigue. On the palate, it offers concentrated wild cherry fruit flavors, good acidity, with a pleasantly tart

finish.

Biurko Gorri 2001 Biurko BK Rioja ($50) 90 The BK is mainly sourced from old Tempranillo and Garnacha vines. It displays a lovely dark ruby purple color with aromas of black raspberry, wild cherry, very ripe plum and charred oak spice. It is soft on the attack with dark plum fruit, leather rounded tannins, and big grip on the finish. A classic earthy Rioja.

H Bodegas Bretón combines traditional and modern winemaking techniques and styles at a new modern winery in Rioja Alta. Grapes are sourced from Breton’s own estates, Loriñon and Domino de Conte and from neighboring producers. The first winemaker at Bodegas Breton was the talented Miguel-Angel de Gregorio, currently making his own wine at Finca Allende. Bodega Bretón wines are competently made and primarily classical Rioja in style. Importer: Classical Wines, Seattle WA

Bretón 2006 Loriñon Barrel Fermented White Wine Rioja ($13) 87

100% Viura.

on

the

lees

Fermented

four

months.

in new American oak and left Pale green straw. Citrus aromas

with hazelnut and leesy notes. Simple palate of dry, refreshing citrus flavors. Touch of minerality. Nice long Moderate acidity.

crisp, finish.

Bretón 2004 Dominio de Conte Rioja ($41) 89 An attractive blend of 90% Tempranillo and 10% Graciano sourced from the 22 ha Breton finca in Briones. Spends 18 months in American oak. Dark ruby. Aromas of plum, cedar, vanilla and balsamic on the nose. Ripe, soft fruit forward attack with notes of cedar, tobacco and tea. Soft tannins and a long lasting finish.

Bretón 2004 Alba de Breton Rioja ($53) 88 100% Tempranillo sourced from 70-year-old vines. Spends 18 months in new French Allier oak casks. Deep ruby purple in color with aromas of earth, cola, meat and wood spice on nose. Little fruit. Soft, woody attack of vanilla. Good concentration. Round, ripe tannins.

Bretón 2001 Gran Reserva Rioja ($41) 90 Dark garnet. Aromas of raspberry, tar and balsamic. A soft attack of ripe red and black fruit, notes of spice and black pepper, good acidity firm tannins and a long finish. Well done.

C

H Bodegas Campillo was established in 1990, but the Campillo brand has been around a lot longer. The parent company is Faustino which also produces wine under its own label. These wines are traditional Rioja in style. Importer: Palm Bay International, Syosset, NY

15

Campillo 1994 Gran Reserva Rioja ($49) 88

Medium to deep garnet in color,

this Gran Reserva displays

aromas of dark cherry, charred oak and vanilla notes on the nose followed by fruit of medium concentration and notes of dill and vanilla. A fully mature wine that is at the end of its life, but is perfect for those who like the old classical

Rioja style.

Campillo 1999 Reserva Rioja ($34) 87 The 1999 Campillo Reserva reveals a deep garnet ruby color and aromas of ripe cherry, strawberry, earth and

game.

Aged

for 24

months

in American

oak and for 36

months

in the

bottle,

it shows

its age with

flavors of dried

fruit,

oak

and

vanilla

and

finishes

with

coarse

chewy

tannins.

H These are two first class wines from Castillo de Cuzcurrita, a small estate in Rioja Alta owned by The Bergé industrial group. Alvaro Ybarra is President of the winery and Ana Martin serves as winemaker. Modern vineyard management, rigorous selection of grapes, and gentle handling of fruit help explain the high quality of these new wave Rioja wines. Importer: Winebow Montvale, NJ

Castillo de Cuzcurrita 2002 Señorío de Cuzcurrita Rioja ($45) 89 This is an attractive earthy 100% Tempranillo that is aged for 12 months in French oak. It is dark ruby garnet in color and offers aromas of black cherry leather and roasted meat. These traits carry over on to the palate are complimented by round tannins, good acidity and a firm finish.

Castillo de Cuzcurrita 2001 Cerrado del Castillo Rioja ($80) 90 Made only in special years, and sourced from this estate’s high altitude single vineyard. 100% Tempranillo produced from 37 year old vines and aged for 13 months in French oak. Displays a medium ruby garnet color with aromas of black fruit, sweet vanilla, balsamic and earth. On the palate, the wine offers complex black fruit, secondary notes and attractive oak highlights. Finishes with big chewy tannins that will need time to age. Great aging potential.

Colina Verde 2006 Colina Verde Rioja ($18) 88 A blend of 80% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha and 10% Mazuelo. Medium dark garnet with an intriguing bouquet of smoky, sweet oak with a hint of mint. Tthe medium-

bodied

palate offers a

leather

and sweet oak.

lovely combination of Has a good structure

cherry fruit, and grip on

the finish.

This

food.

Importer:

is a wine that will show even better The Artisan Collection, New York, NY

with

H Viñedos de Contino is one of the very top performing

wineries in Rioja today.

Located in Rioja Alavesa, it is one

of the few wineries that produces all of its wines from its own 62 ha estate, which consists of low-yielding old bush vines. José Madrazo who served as winemaker at Contino until 1998 introduced many qualitative improvements which have been further advanced by his son, Jesus Madrazo who took over winemaking responsibilities in 1998. Contino is 50% owned by Campañia Vinicola del Norte de España. All the wines at this winery are top of the line classical Rioja wines. Importer: Pasternak Wine Imports Harrison, New York

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