|92+||View from the Cellar||I have seldom tasted a one hundred percent Graciano bottling from Rioja, other than the version made at Contino, so I was quite intrigued to try this 2012 from the Union de Viticultores Riojanos. The wine spends two years in cask, which is a combination of American and French barrels. The 2012 is excellent, offering up a deep and nicely sappy bouquet of cherries, cloves, cigar ash, a complex base of salty soil tones, a bit of spiced meats, incipient nuttiness and a nice framing of older oak. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, focused and nicely velvety on the attack, with a fine core, excellent soil signature, moderate tannins and a long, tangy and complex finish. The balance is impeccable here and this wine will age very nicely, but it is going to be very hard to keep one’s hands off in its relative youth, as it is already very tasty! Impressive juice. 2018-2040.
Issue #75 – May/June 2018
|92||Vinous Media||Lurid ruby. Sexy, smoke-and spice-accented cherry, red berry and potpourri scents show excellent clarity and mineral lift. Silky and focused on the palate, offering nervy raspberry and bitter cherry flavors that turn sweeter with air. The floral note repeats emphatically on the impressively persistent, focused finish, which is shaped by supple, deftly integrated tannins.
"Rioja Looks Back and Ahead" - February 21, 2019
|89||Wine & Spirits Magazine||There’s generous blackberry fruit underneath this wine’s substantial oak tannins. The structure makes it a little brash and bitter for now, but there’s enough fruit presence to hold it while the tannins relent over the next few years.
|94||Wine Review Online||I absolutely adored this wine, and my guess is that the winemaking team did also, and quite possibly bottled it as a varietal Graciano wine because they couldn’t bear to pour the barrels of this into a blend. It was not cold stabilized, and has thrown plenty of (utterly harmless) tartaric crystals unlike the other red releases from this house, which may offer further evidence for the idea that this was a labor of love in the winery. In any case, the toast and spice on the nose let you know you’re in Rioja, but the plush, soft, ultra-inviting texture and the open fruit flavors reveal a wine that’s quite distinctive for the region. After displaying lovely aromas of ripe fruit and restrained oak and light floral scents, it shows beautiful deep color and excellent physical density. The fruit is exceptionally pure and charmingly sweet (but not sugary), and this sweetness keeps the polished tannins at bay through the very persistent, completely charming finish. This gets better with time and air, but mostly because it gets more integrated, not because it needs to open or soften much, and frankly, it is also delicious as soon as you can get it out of the bottle and into a glass. It may get better in the years ahead, but it earned its score of 94 based on sheer deliciousness right now.
Michael Franz - November 3, 2020
|93||Wine & Spirits Magazine||The Montaña family makes this from graciano grown on bush vines that are more than 40 years old, planted in clay-limestone soils. The variety,
mostly used in small percentages to add color and fragrance to a blend, provides a radical view of Rioja in this beautifully ripened 2014.
It has the fresh scent of a conifer forest and savory notes of woodland mushrooms. The tannins are smooth and deliciously rich without
in any way diminishing the vibrancy of the fruit, a scent of green figs adding depth to the dark, spicy flavors.
|92||View from the Cellar||This bottling from Vina Otano is made from fifty-plus year-old graciano vines. It is aged for two years in French oak barrels prior to bottling. The 2014 version is pretty ripe, coming in listed at 14.5 percent octane, but offers up a deep and complex nose of black cherries, dark berries, Rioja spices, balsamic overtones, bonfire, incipiently autumnal soil tones, cedar and a lovely touch of savory elements in the upper register. On the palate the wine is bright, fullbodied, focused and complex, with a good core, lovely transparency and grip, moderate tannins and just a whisper of backend heat on the long and tasty finish. This is an excellent example of graciano! 2026-2055.
John Gilman - Issue #91 / February 2021