Peter Maude Fine Wines

2020, Bodega Contador Rioja ALMA, SPAIN

$222

92% Tempranillo and 8% Grenache.

The new rate red blend.

 It was produced with grapes from three vineyards in San Vicente de la Sonsierra at different altitudes and is a blend of Tempranillo with 8% Garnacha with limited yields because of mildew. It matured in new French barriques for 20 months. He wanted a more classical image and perhaps a more classical profile of wine. It's perfumed and floral, with notes of aromatic herbs, a little balsamic and quite showy, with very fine tannins and freshness, as he used more grapes from the higher-altitude zones. It's powerful and elegant, and in a way it reminds me of the style of the initial vintages of La Cueva de Contador; it's clean and elegant. It's 14.5% alcohol with a pH of 3.55. It's very young but still drinkable, as the quality of the tannins is very good. I think this is the one wine I'd buy from their portfolio if I could only buy one. It transported me to the wines from the early 2000s. 10,000 bottles produced. 97/100 Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate

"Aromas of blueberry concentrate, balsamic purple fruit, hot stones, lavender and iodine. There’s a high level of ripeness and concentration on the palate, with purple and blue fruit that renders a brooding, almost pulpy feel. But the fresh acidity keeps it going, delivering a nice contrast to the weight and extraction. Long, dense and tight, but silky, too." 94 James Suckling

In 2018, Benjamín Romeo changed the style of the whites, moving away from very ripe and dense wines to more freshness and less ripeness and volume, looking for more drinkability, with more acidity, blocking malolactic. This all comes from an almost experimental white he did in 2017 (when he didn't bottle the Que Bonito Cacareaba), a wine that started the style, the Colección Nº 5 Parcela El Sauco. The change has been incremental each vintage, and the 2020s felt fresher than the 2019s.

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