(2021) This spent two years in French oak barrels, and there is vanilla for sure, edining into plush coconut, a fragrant tobacco character and ripe black fruits. In the mouth this is plush and enveloping, lots of softness of fruit, oak and tannins, sweet and ripe, the vanillin edge adding more plushness, just a little hint of something more wild and gamey adding extra interest. Classic Rioja Reserva in its way, and bound to please.
(2021) From grapes grown at 600-metres altitude, Ramón Bilbao says this new wine represents a conscious step towards increasing their organic output. A blend of Tempranillo and Garnacha, it is dry, spicy and savoury, with a little tobacco, herbs and dark fruits. On the palate it is a farily light and brisk style of Rioja, a little vanilla, green olive and cedar filling out the finish, with gentle but firm tannins and acidity into an easy-drinking finish. Watch the video for more information.
(2020) This is a modern, taut and muscular style of Rioja, not the vanilla and coconunt softness of an aged traditional reserva, but instead a wine of bitter cherry and plum, a twist of liquorice and lift of kirsch on the nose, the palate firm, tannic and savoury, a rasp of plum skin roughness to add some rustic bite and the smooth black fruits always in that context. I might decant this for an hour or two, a wine with a bit of brawny, sinewy structure as well as fruit.
(2020) Daniel describes this as coming from a "Stunning single vineyard and family run property in the heart of Rioja Alavesa." Made from 100% Tempranillo, it spends 12 months in barrels, 60% French and 40% American oak. There's a sweet, solid black cherry sheen to the aromatics, a smoothing laer of creamy dark polished wood, and a lovely hint of tobacco spice. In the mouth quite delicious: the sweet black fruit surges across the palate, but again the whole picture smoothed by the creaminess of the oak and fine-grained tannins, balanced and long. Really lovely.
(2020) A total of 971 barrels of this wine were made, with Tempranillo from old vines in Ramón Bilbao's highest vineyards in Rioja Alta, situated at over 700 metres above sea level. It spent 14 months in a combination of French and American oak and is a big mouthful of wine: opulent with rich, chocolaty berry fruit, tobacco and exotic and musky spices, it's that intensity of blackcurrant and mint fruit that drives through. Joining it on the palate are suede-like creamy tannins and well balanced cherry acidity, giving light and shade to the wine, so the finish is spicy and fruity, but fresh too. Modern but substantial. Note that some retailers have moved on to the highly-regarded 2016 vintage already. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2019) A big and bountiful Rioja this, brimming with fruit, creamy dark oak and spice, and substantial with its 14.5% abv. Made, unusually, from Graciano rather than Termpranillo, 50% was aged in new French oak, 50% in American oak, for a total of 12 months. It has a wild edge of gaminess, but really it is all about plush, luscious, damson and chocolate on the nose, the palate sweet fruited and just as dark and glossy with fruit and vanilla. There is a sheen of polish to this with its creamy tannins, and freshness too, cherry-pit dry acidity seeing to that. In all, a big, bold, unabashed crowd-pleaser, and very well done. £10.80 for members of the Daily Drinker Wine Club.
(2018) Principally Tempranillo but with Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano in the blend too, this is a smooth, sleek and modern Rioja with plenty of spice and chocolate depth from its 14 months in American oak. Lush and dark-fruited on the palate, this is harmonious stuff, the American oak not at all dominant, finishing on ripe fruit and super-smooth tannins.
(2018) Rioja is such a go-to wine for most red wine lovers, rarely failing to deliver, and especially so from quality houses such as the Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España - CVNE. Mostly Tempranillo and aged for one year in French and American oak barrels, plus a further year in bottle, it's exemplary stuff striding confidently down a path between the traditional vanilla-rich sumptuous styles, and more modern, more taut styles where freshness is more prized. Crammed with black fruits wreathed in smokiness and with a graphite edge, the palate has masses of savoury, balsamic-touched fruit, a sheen of creamy oak and lovey framework provided by polished but present tannins and its tangy acidity. Watch the video for food-matching ideas and more information.
(2017) A selection from the oldest Tempranillo vines on the property, this is meaty and earthy, a touch of tobacco spice, a touch of leather. On the palate the sweet ripeness of the berry fruit comes through, but so does plenty of alcohol and a slightly astringent character. Concentrated for sure, but a tiny bit over extracted too in my opinion.
(2017) Aged in new French oak for 15 months and a further two years minimum in bottle, this is a selection of the best Tempranillo fruit. Fine nose, the graphite and firm smoky character of the oak nicely set against tight blue/black fruit, blueberry and blackcurrant. Some tobacco comes through. In the mouth it is savoury, taut and firm, a real grip to the tannins and the oak a touch prominent, but it just about has the fruit density and sweetness to handle it. Spicy in the finish.