Cult Wines of Spain 2
Cult wines of Spain is back for the second edition. This time featuring the super rare and sought after Amelia from the legendary Dominio de Pingus winery in Ribera del Duero. Amelia is a single barrel cuvée made from a special parcel of 100+ year old vines, only 25 cases produced! Yes, people we are serious when we say, “Cult Wines” this tasting is for Spanish wine aficionados. The tasting line up is made up of some the rarest bottles in the market. Take La Faraona from the iconic winemaker Alvaro Palacios, the great wine of Bierzo with vines over 100 years old. Since its first vintage in 2001, fewer than 100 cases have been made each year, and recent vintages of La Faraona sell for $700 to $900 per bottle in Spain. Finding.wine is proud to hold and share the last bottle of La Faraona 2006 available on the market. Alvaro Palacios superstar status has landed him two spots on this tasting selection, with his L’Ermita 1998. Lucky guests will be tasting history! The first vintage of L’Ermita was in 1995, this ground-breaking wine started the Pirorat trend that is so prominent in Spanish viniculture today. L’Ermita along with Dominio de Pingus are considered the most important Spanish wines in this generation. Rioja geeks, the Contino Graciano 2011 is a wine drinking experience not to be missed. Winemaker Jesús Madrazo makes some of Rioja's finest wines, this single vineyard single varietal wine is one of a kind. Simply put, this is modern Rioja executed perfectly. The mythical Vega Sicilia, the new cool kid on the block Dominio de Agulia, the gifted Bodegas Roda all showing face for this all-star lineup. To learn more about the wineries featured visit our event page.
Chef Dinner Menu TBA
Bodegas Roda is a leading winery in the Rioja Alta region of Spain, known for its densely fruity wines made predominantly from Tempranillo. The winery, founded in 1987, is located on the edge of the railway station district of Haro next to La Rioja Alta. The vineyards are spread over numerous plots, mostly in Rioja Alta, and are planted to bush vines.
Roda's flagship wine is Cirsion, a wine made from individually identified vines dotted throughout the vineyards. A specific team of harvest workers are trained to identify these vines, which must be low-yielding and more than 40 years old. Unusually for a premium wine, Cirsion only receives around eight months in barrel, 100% new French oak, as early trials for the wine revealed its smooth texture and fruit complexity with short-term aging.
Wine Enthusiast- 94 points “Fewer than 600 cases of this silky giant were made, but the best rarely comes in quantity. This is a ripe, weighty wine with earth and vanilla notes supporting cassis, black cherry and fresh-roasted coffee aromas and flavors. The feel is stacked and the finish very long. Tannic but not aggressive; a huge success from a broiling-hot vintage”
Wine Spectator- 92 points “Concentrated, lush and powerful, with ripe fruit flavors of blackberry and cassis framed by toasty, coffee oak and backed by big but well-integrated tannins. Stays fresh, with mineral and floral notes emerging on the finish. Modern in style. Drink now through 2013. 580 cases made. –TM”
Robert Parker- 94 points “From a vintage with record heat, the 2003 Cirsion is purple/black in color. On the nose, the wine offers roasted herbal aromas, forest floor, blackberry, and licorice notes. More structured than the 2001, on the palate it is dense and sweet with plenty of power but not the subtlety of the latter vintage”
Bodegas Gramona is a family-owned Cava house in the northeastern Spanish region of Catalonia. It was founded in the 19th century in Penèdes and makes both sparkling and still wines. Xarel-lo is the dominant grape, common in Cava blends, and Gramona's reputation stems from its uncommonly long average bottle-aging.
Gramona began as Celler Batlle in 1881 with the construction of its first winery. In 1921, Pilar Batlle married into the Gramona family, which had a history in wine production and came from the center of Cava production, San Sadurní. She took on Gramona as her last name and it began appearing on labels shortly after.
Today, the estate farms over 100 hectares (250 acres) of vineyards, divided equally between owned and leased vines. Since 2013, all the vineyards have been farmed biodynamically, and grapes are all hand-harvested, hand-sorted and pressed in whole clusters. Gramona built a new state-of-the-art gravity winery in 2001.
Gramona bottles both sparkling wines under the Cava DO and still wines under the Penèdes DO. The major Cava varieties Xarel-lo, Macabeo and Parellada are dominant but the Champagne varieties Chardonnay and Pinot Noir have been used in small quantities in blends since the early 20th century. After fermentation, the Cava is aged on its lees for an average of six years, which is much longer than is typical in Cava.
Celler Batlle Brut Gran Reserva 2001
Robert Parker- 96 Points “The 2001 Cellar Batlle Gran Reserva Brut (disgorged in 2011) has a lifted bouquet that shows the benefits of bottle age when compared to the 2002. It offers a citrus-driven bouquet with limestone aromas, a touch of lanolin and honeysuckle that emerge with aeration. The palate is (once again) extraordinarily precise on the entry with tangible minerality and hints of white truffle. The acidity is perfectly in synch with the taut citrus fruit, lending the finish laser-like focus married with unerring refinement. Drink now-2015+”
Wine Spectator – 88 Points “Smoky, offering subtle flavors of baked apple, poached peach, roasted nut and vanilla biscuit. Juicy, with a creamy bead. Drink now through 2016. 1,100 cases made.”
Alvaro Palacios is a wine producer most famous for its Garnach based wines from Priorat. Established in 1990 by Alvaro Palacios himself, the winery has been forefront of Priorat's rise to fame as one of Spain's most prestigious wine regions.
Palacios grew up in Rioja where his family makes wines under the Palacios Remondo name. After spending time working at Petrus in Pomerol, he bought his own vineyard in the then-obscure region of Priorat, where the steep, slate-based hillsides covered in gnarled bushvines had been forgotten about in the second half of the 20th Century.
Palacios soon grew his estate and now owns several vineyards in the area, which make a range of single-vineyard and blended wines. L'Ermita, the most famous of these, produces a varietal Garnacha wine of the same name that has become one of Spain's most collectable wines, often considered in the same league as Dominio de Pingus or Vega Sicilia.
Robert Parker – 97 points “...exhibits a full-bodied personality with copious quantities of sweet oak, a boatload of glycerin, and superb blackberry, cassis, and cherry fruit that explodes on the mid-palate and in the finish”
Wine Spectator- 93 points “Plush on the midpalate yet firm on the finish, this concentrated Spanish red delivers plenty of ripe fruit and toasty oak, balanced and rich. International style in its texture and polish, yet the flavors are distinctive and typical for the region. Best after 2003. 50 cases imported.”–TM
Riberia del Duero
Pingus is produced by the visionary Danish winemaker Peter Sisseck. Peter arrived in Spain in 1993 to manage a new project, Hacienda Monasterio. While planting and developing Monasterio, he began to dream about the old vines he saw dotted around the Ribera del Duero landscape. By the 1995 vintage, Peter had found a group of old vines that spurred him to embark on his own project. He called it 'Pingus,' after his childhood nickname. Peter’s vision was to push Tempranillo to its upper limits.
Soon after its first vintage in 1995, Peter Sisseck’s Pingus joined the ranks of the world’s most coveted wines. But because of its tiny production—and correspondingly high price—few get the chance to experience Pingus’ magic firsthand. The same can be said of the even rarer Pingus 'Amelia,' of which fewer than 25 cases are made
Robert Parker- 97 points “The 2005 Amelia is a single barrel cuvee made from a special parcel of 100+-year-old vines. It spent 18 months in its one barrel resulting in a 25 case production. It offers up a super-expressive perfume of toasty new oak, crushed rock, spice box, blueberry, and blackberry. Already complex, it is more structured than the Flor de Pingus and will benefit from 5-7 years of cellaring. Layered, splendidly balanced, and very long in the finish, it will be at its best from 2015-2030. Kudos to Peter Sisseck for a brilliant and enthralling set of wines.”
Dominio Del Águila is a family winery based in La Aguilera, a small village in Ribera Del Duero, and run by a couple Jorge Monzón and Isabel Rodero. Since 2010 they have joined efforts to make a dream come true…The winery is within the “Consejo Regulador de la Denominación de Origen Ribera del Duero” and within the “Consejo Ecologico de Castilla y León”, the institution that regulates organic wines. The domain's greatest asset is the vineyard, with 30 hectares of very old vines, mostly organically farmed, apart from 5 additional hectares relatively young vines (under 50 years). Where they have been supplying grapes for some of the main wineries in the region for over 10 vintages.
Jorge comes from a family of many generations of winemakers. His studies were based in ‘Soil, viticulture and oenology’ at the Universities of Bordeaux and Burgundy. Having worked with prestigious wineries such as Domaine De La Romanée-Conti for more than two years, the Vega Sicilia Group for a year and as technical director of Bodegas Arzuaga-Navarro for nine years. Since 2013 he works full time in Dominio del Águila.
Dominio del Águila is catching notability quickly, and the word of Jorge Monzón and Isabel Rodero love child is spreading like wildfire. Dominio del Águila is new to the American market making its debut at the Matter of Taste event hosted by Robert Parker in New York City 2017.
Canta la Perdiz 2013
Canta la Perdiz comes from a single vineyard located in the village of La Aguilera. This south-facing site is planted with ungrafted vines that date back well into the 19th century. As far as anyone can remember this site has been maintained by replacing vines that had died with cuttings from neighboring vines. This vineyard has a unique soil – pale, sandy and chalky limestone laid down in horizontal layers much like slate. Each vintage is labeled to reflect the growing conditions of the particular year – the blue, electric guitar for a cool vintage, the fiery piano for a warm one and a more composed eagle for a temperate vintage.
Robert Parker – 98 points
Vega Sicilia is widely regarded as the greatest wine producer in Spain. The estate in Ribera del Duero is known for its dense, complex red wines made principally from the Tempranillo grape variety. Its top wine, Unico, is one of Spain's most expensive and sought-after wines. The Vega Sicilia estate covers around 1000 hectares (2470 acres) of which around 210ha (520 acres) is under vine. It has been in operation since 1864, long before the development of the appellation in which it resides, and the current wine styles date from the 1910s. Quality has become more consistent since the current owners, the Alvarez family, took over in 1982. Vega Sicilia makes three cuvées: Unico is the flagship, and the Reserva Especial is a blend of several of the best vintages. Traditionally they would be aged for 10 years or more before release, although this has been reduced in recent vintages. The junior wine, Valbuena, is made from younger vines, and is released after five years in American oak.
Único Reserva Especial MV 1989
Wine Spectator – 94 points “This alluring red entices with floral and spice aromas, deepening on the palate, with plum, fig paste and loamy earth flavors. The tannins are well-integrated, kept fresh by orange peel acidity. Not muscular, but deep and complex. A blend of the 1996, 1998 and 2002 vintages. Drink now through 2026. 10 cases imported.”
Goyo García Viadero comes from one of the most respected winemaking families in the Ribera del Duero. Greatly inspired by natural winemakers, like Pierre Overnoy from the Jura, Goyo started to produce his own naturally made wines in 2003. He farms 3 tiny single-plots in the heart of Ribera del Duero, near the town of Roa, all of them interplanted with white grapes, on different soil types and altitudes. The idea is to come back to the past and let the vineyard –rather than each individual grape variety– fully express itself. To accomplish that he works with very old, traditionally head-pruned vines, harvests first for acidity, and then co-ferments red with white grapes together, as things were done in Ribera del Duero back in the good old days.
All of his wines are de-stemmed, fermented exclusively with wild yeast, and nothing is added during elevagé (including SO2). The wines are raised in old French barrels at an underground, century-old cueva located in Gumiel del Mercado.
Goyo also makes wine in Cantabria, the region where his mother comes from, high up in the Picos de Europa mountain range, where there is a little known out-cropping of old vine Mencia and Palomino planted on pure broken slate. With the help of a viticultor from the area, Goyo uses similar practices as his Duero reds to produce beautiful mountain-laden, mineral-inflected natural wines. That’s right, Palomino gone Wild!
Reserva Especial G.G.V. 2010 $175.00
Viñedos del Contino, the first Rioja château 1973, impelled by CVNE and the owners of the 62-hectare property located in the Rioja Alavesa. The history of the property dates from the 16th century, and is reflected in its name. The “contino” was the officer in charge of a guard corps of a hundred soldiers who protected the royal family "de contino” (continuously) from the times of the Catholic Monarchs onwards. According to the tradition, Saint Gregory, the patron saint of vineyards, passed through the lands of this same Rioja property, giving rise to the use of his figure in the logo of this winery, and to the use of his name for some of the plots now planted with vines.
The wine produced on this property, fruity and elegant, is heir to the best Rioja tradition. It is made with an individualized grape harvesting system in which only grapes from the same vineyards that surround the old manor house are used. Their origin in the various plots is noted. The perfect combination of soils, Atlantic-Mediterranean climate and refined technique have made Contino, more than 30 years after the first vintage, a reference product both in and outside Spain.
Contino Graciano 2011
Wine Spectator- 92 points “Lively and firm, this red delivers flavors of black cherry, pomegranate and licorice that are energetic and focused, with toasty notes, firm tannins and juicy acidity. Brings you back for another sip. Drink now through 2021. 250 cases imported.” –TM
R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia is a Rioja producer that is widely regarded as one of the world's greatest wine estates. It was founded in 1877, and is well known for its traditional approach. It is particularly associated with its Tempranillo based wines from the Tondonia vineyard, to the extent that this now forms part of the company name. R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia is also well known for its traditionally styled white Rioja wines.
The Tondonia vineyard extends for over 100 hectares (250 acres) in a picturesque site next to the Ebro river. The soil is made up of alluvial clay with a high limestone content, which has proved an excellent terroir for the Tempranillo and Garnacha vines that are planted there. Tondonia provides the grapes for López de Heredia's top wines, both red and white.
The dry, vanilla-laden López de Heredia Gran Reserva is predominantly Tempranillo with small amounts of Garnacha and Mazuelo, and sees ten years aging in barrel before release. The Reserva, which adds a little Graciano to the blend, only receives six years. The two nutty, perfumed Viña Tondonia white wines – a Gran Reserva and a Reserva – have the same respective time in oak as the red wines, and are made from Viura with a small amount of Malvasia.
Reserva Blanco Tondonia 1996
Wine Specator- 90 points “This traditional white is lean, but still very fresh, offering flavors of dried apple, subtle vanilla, herb and lanolin. Not vivid, but focused, with lively acidity to match with food. Drink now through 2016. 1,666 cases made.” –TM
Descendientes de J. Palacios is a leading producer of red wines from the Mencia grape in the Bierzo region of northwest Spain. It was founded in 1998, and is a collaboration between Alvaro Palacios of Priorat fame, and his nephew Ricardo Perez Palacios. The venture is credited with bringing the region to much greater prominence.
Bierzo is a hilly region, and the Palacios vineyards are located on steep hillsides with old bush vines. These are low-yielding, and give wines that are known for their juicy dark fruit characters with hints of graphite and a dry finish.
The range is underpinned by the Pétalos cuvée which is made from old vineyards located in various villages around the area. There is also a 'single-village' wine called Corullon, which is sourced from vines which are between 60-100 years old. Decendientes de J. Petalos makes five more single-vineyard wines, and the range-topping La Faraona, which is one of the most expensive and sought-after wines in Spain.
La Faraona 2006