Contino Rioja Reserva
- A classy palate showing juicy, herbal fruit with delicious vanilla sweetness.
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- Contino is unusual in Rioja, because itÂ’s a single estate, making estate-bottled wines. Half-owned by Cune, it was established 28 years ago. Contino are trying hard to analyse the different vineyard plots and understand their terroir. The first result of this work was discovering the potential of a patch of Graciano vines; the second was discovering the potential of the parcel of vines known as Â‘OlivoÂ’ after the 800 year old olive tree growing there. ItÂ’s the driest part of the estate and is responsible for the Viña del Olivo.
The Contino estate has 10 ha of Graciano, and makes a varietal version (5000Â–8000 bottles a year). It is a grape with good natural acidity (the highest of the red grapes used in Rioja) and colour, and is a useful blending component. There are however just 477 ha of Graciano left out of a total vineyard area of around 60 000 ha. Only five producers make a varietal Graciano, and one of these is in Australia.
The lovely expressive sweet herbal nose leads to a restrained, classy palate showing juicy, herbal fruit with a delicious vanilla sweetness. Very expressive and herby, and drinking well now. Very good/excellent.
- 'There isn't a roast in Britain that wouldn't welcome this gentle, mellow single vineyard (that's VERY rare), with ripe red plum and strawberry fruit wrapped in vanilla, losing its youthful exuberance now, but as yet nowhere near the carpet slippers, pipe and footstool of full maturity.' - Oz Clarke, Let Me Tell You About Wine
- Bronze Medal Winner International Wine Challenge
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- Food match:
An excellent companion to a special Sunday lunch of slow-roasted shoulder of lamb.
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