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2011 Sierra Cantabria Rioja Reserva Unica

If you're searching for a fantastic Reserve level Rioja to add to your cellar, this is it. We have at least 3 reasons. First, smart, cool taste. Second, feels like a much more expensive wine. Third, high and consistent scores, including JS93, WS92 and AG92.

This 100 ha. vineyard combining tradition and modernity is producing quite a number of cuvees. It is situated at the foothills of 2011 Sierra Cantabria Rioja Reserva Unica(400 to 500 meters), so well it is very well protected. Rainfall on the vineyards is merely 500 mm(standard is 750mm) so vines are stressed in the good sense. From the less prestigious region of Rioja Alevasa and not from than from the better known Rioja Alta Region, this wine is of super value. Nonetheless, this region(north of Ebro, West of Logrono) gives the most elegant and finesse.

This 2011 Sierra Cantabria Rioja Reserva Unicais dominated by Tempranillo at 98%(and 2% graciano to add colour and structure) which spends 24 months in French and American oak barrels before bottling. A further 12-month bottle storage is required. This is an interesting wine filled with fresh, mixed, red and black berries. Though the tones release not in layers, it gives a wide dimension of nose, including but not limited to tones of coffee, bitter chocolate, cedar, Cinnamon, syrup, candies, smoke, cardamom, plum, pepper. A chiseled palate, giving zesty, fresh cut lemon peel, elements of mineral, and spicy(from wood mostly) finish. Bodied(but not clumsy), intense and structured. Very elegant.

Organic. Hand-Harvested .Grapes are carried to the cellar in 44 lb. (20 kg.) baskets. De-stemming is done manually and all bunches are analyzed, grape by grape, to select the best berries for this cuvee. Juice is manually pumped twice daily(quite mild extraction) and perform their fermentation in French oak barrels and Central European oak. ABV at 14.5%(but you dont feel it!!)

With just 1,500 cases of Sierra Cantabria's Reserva Unica produced and three impressive reviews, I don't expect this wine to last long at this price.

Consistently high scores!!

James Suckling: 93 Points

Extremely bright aromas of crushed dark fruits such as raspberry and blueberry. Mineral and stone undertones too. Full and refined with extremely polished tannins that give beauty and form to this wine. 24 months in used French barrels. 98% tempranillo and 2% graciano. Drink or hold.

Vinous: 92 Points

Opaque ruby. Sexy, highly perfumed aromas of dark berry liqueur, potpourri and Indian spices, with a building vanilla undertone. Supple, open-knit raspberry and floral pastille flavors show very good depth and breadth, with juicy acidity adding finesse and spine. The spicy, long finish leaves a refreshingly bitter berry skin note behind. Aged in 30% new French oak.

Wine Spectator: 92 Points

Energetic and focused, this red delivers cherry and cranberry flavors that are zippy and fresh, with notes of licorice, smoke and game adding depth. Light, firm tannins and citrusy acidity impart liveliness. Drink now through 2021.

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