Our Top Shelf Selection of the Week is a stunning Rioja from a great vintage and a great producer. Sierra Cantabria was founded in 1957 by the Eguren family, and it is still owned and operated by the same family. Marcos Eguren’s vineyards are all located in the Rioja Alta zone in the towns of San Vincente de la Sonsierra, Labastida, and Laguardia, all considered “prime terrain” in the region. The combination of these great vineyard sites, careful work in the vineyards and the cellar, and expert winemaking decisions come together to make the 2010 Sierra Cantabria Rioja Reserva “Unica” a wine that you will remember.
All of Sierra Cantabria’s vineyards are located in Rioja Alta, long regarded as the best sub-zone in the region. Whenever you see “Alta” attached to a wine name, whether it be from Spain or Argentina, think high altitude. In fact, Sierra Cantabria is actually named after the mountain range that protects the region from the cool, northerly winds. The Eguren’s vineyards are situated at 1,400 to 1,700 feet above sea level, and it is in these high, cool vineyards that grapes ripen slowly and evenly, developing finer, more intense and more complex aromas and flavors.
In 2010, the wine is composed of 97% Tempranillo and 3% Graciano sourced from vineyards in the 30 to 40 year old range. Due to the coolness of these vineyards, the grapes were harvested the last week of October (that’s late!) at optimum ripeness. All harvesting was done by hand and the grapes were then carefully transported back to the winery where they were carefully sorted. Fermentation took place in stainless steel followed by 24 months aging in French and American oak. The wine was bottled without filtration.
When we say that we carry artisanally made wines, this is the process that makes them artisan. The meticulous, careful, and thoughtful steps that were taken to make this wine can definitely be tasted in the finished product. Stephen Tanzer of the International Wine Cellar agreed, awarding the wine with 92 points……..and he’s tough!
In the glass, the wine has that lovely garnet/ruby color that lets you know that it’s not too heavy, but not too light. The bouquet immediately grabs your attention with notes of ripe, but fresh red fruits, exotic spices, flowers and a whiff of smoke. On the palate, the wine is medium to full bodied, elegant, and bursting with juicy cherry, raspberry and strawberry fruit followed by more complex notes of cinnamon, cardamon, and white pepper. Sumptuous, silky, delicious and in some ways resembling a really good California Pinot Noir, I would guess that this one will drink well through 2020 or so. I’ll have trouble keeping my hands off of it though! Even better, this would be a great red to serve with Thanksgiving dinner and if you buy a solid case, you not only get more than 25% off, you also get the wooden box!
2010 Sierra Cantabria Rioja Reserva “Unica”
Regular Price: $29.99/bottle and worth every penny!
On Sale Through 11/19 or As Long As Supplies Last
$26.99/bottle if you buy 3 bottles (10% off)
$25.49/bottle if you buy 6-11 bottles (15% off)
$21.99/bottle if you buy 12 or more bottles (Over 25% Off!)