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Bodegas Santiago Ijalba 2004 IREP Rioja ($44) 87 Produced from low-yielding pre-phylloxera vineyards in Rioja Alta. Medium deep ruby, black cherry savory aromas, meaty note, carries over on to the palate. Moderate concentration, medium-full bodied well-balanced with a long finish.

Bodega Cooperativa San Pedro Apostol 2007 Herdad de las Suertes Rioja ($14) 88 Deep purple ruby. Youthful appearance. Ripe nose. Blackberry compote. Very young on the palate. Up front fresh, blackberry fruit, very light body. Flavorful, pleasantly astringent finish. Fermented in stainless steel, no oak. From vineyards 50+ years old. Very ripe, drinkable. Serve slightly chilled. Importer: Grapes of Spain, Lorton, VA

H These are two wines from Castillo de Sajazarra, a small winery located in the Northwestern corner of Rioja Alta with 48 ha of vineyards situated at 500-700 meters.

Castillo de Sajzarra 2003 Reserva Rioja ($27) 87 is sourced from estate grapes and spends 24 months in new French and American oak. It is dark garnet in color with an orange rim. Slightly musty with aromas of dried cherries, forest floor and herbs. A rather dry palate with more red berry fruit, a touch of vanilla and dry tannins.

Castillo de Sajzarra 2004 Digma Rioja ($75) 90 is the stronger wine of this duo. It reveals a dark ruby color with fresh plum, cherry and vanilla on the nose. On the attack it offers pure concentrated fruit flavors with elegant toasted notes, excellent balance and soft round tannins. A lovely new wave wine. Importer: Country Vintner, Oilville VA

Senorio de San Vicente 2005 Rioja ($50) 94 Senorio de San Vincente is a wine produced from an 18 ha (44.5 acres) high density low-yielding finca (la Canoca) in San Vicente de la Sonsierra, owned and operated by Marcus Egueren of Sierra Cantabria. The 2005 is very ripe and pure, offering aromas and flavors of black cherry fruit, earth, toast and minerals. On the attack it reveals a soft elegant texture and is explosive in the mouth with tremendous complexity, beautiful balance and structure, and good tannins for long aging. A tour de force in winemaking.

H Marcus Eguren’s Sierra Cantabria is producing some of the most exciting wines in Rioja today. His wines are both new wave and traditional in style, and of the highest quality. The Egurens started their own winery in the 1970s after many years as growers Today Marcus Eguren produces wine under three brands: Sierra Cantabria, Senorio de San Vicente, and Viñedos de Paganos.

Sierra Cantabria 2005 Amancio Rioja ($160) 94 The Amancio is a terroir-driven wine from a small single vineyard of gravel and limestone in San Vincente de la Sonsierra. Yields are less that 25 hl/ha (less than 2 tons per acre). Dark ruby with an opaque core, this lovely wine reveals aromas of raspberry, blackberry, pepper, spices, and minerals with scents of aromatic herbs, and mocha/cacao on the nose. Spending 24 months in new French oak, the wine is soft and lush on the attack, and offers pure dark fruit


flavors, round tannins and a long persistent finish. Still very young and requires at least a couple of years of aging.

Sierra Cantabria 2004 Crianza Rioja ($20) 90 Aged for 15 months in French and American oak, this

dark fruit with and

ruby garnet Crianza offers aromas of black with notes of minerals and earth.. Soft on the pure ripe fruit, toasted oak, good acidity, good








cherry palate depth style.

Sierra Cantabria 2001 Gran Reserva Rioja ($40) 91 This Gran Reserva exhibits a dark garnet robe with




It shows a very ripe nose of plum and framboise liquor

with mineral-like notes.

Soft and very sweet in the mouth

with intense fruit and balsamic flavors. Soft tannins with grip.

Lots of life vintage.












Sierra Cantabria 2006 Finca el Bosque ($160) 95? Sourced from a gravelly 1.5 hectare “pago” and aged for 18 months in new French oak, this newly bottled ( May 2008) Finca el Bosque displays a dark ruby opaque color with aromas of raspberry, dark fruit and hints of toasted oak, cocoa, wet rocks and violets. Young and assertive, the wine

is beautifully structured with grip on the finish. Needs at

to settle down.. (Tentative score)



ripe fruit, round tannins and least two years in the bottle market in September 2008.


H Bodegas








the winery of one of Spain’s most productive and innovative winemakers. Trained in Bordeaux, Telmo Rodriguez initially served as winemaker at Remelluri and later left to produce his own wines in other parts of Spain. Telmo currently makes wines in Ribera del Duero, Rueda, Cigales, Alicante, Toro, Valdeorras, Malaga and Rioja. He is one of the pioneers of the quality revolution in Spain These three wines all produced from Tempranillo are exemplary of his new wave winemaking style. They are sourced from vineyard parcels in

Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa. Pleasantville, NY

Importer: Vintus Wine Imports,

Telmo Rodriguez 2007 LZ Rioja ($17) 90

Dark ruby with aromas of plum fruit.

Soft on the attack

and offering mouth filling ripe Tempranillo fruit flavors with notes of minerals, spice and earth. Just enough acidity for freshness on the palate, soft round tannins and a long finish. You can drink this wine now, but it will also age nicely over the next couple of years.

Telmo Rodriguez 2005 Lanzaga Rioja ($34) 92 A lovely wine offering aromas of ripe plum and sandalwood followed by a soft attack of pure concentrated plum fruit flavors, herbs and minerals. On the palate it is elegant and beautifully balanced with soft silky tannins and a long finish. Although aged for 14 months in new French oak, the fruit and the wine are one. Excellent balance and a long finish.

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