|95||Wine Review Online||I confess that very few white wines from Rioja provide much excitement for me, but this is a fantastic exception to the rule. If you looked at the Vintage date: and saw 2010, you might head in either of two direction: optimism, as this was a truly great year in Spain generally and in Rioja in particular, or pessimism, as we’re talking about a decade-old white wine. Trust me, optimism is the right turn, as this is not only still in good shape, but is actually only now entering its prime, with at least another five years of improvement ahead of it. The fruit is derived from 95-year-old vines (95% Viura and 5% Garnacha Blanca) and was fermented and aged in large (500 liter) new oak barrels (85% French, 15% American). All of that seems quite promising, and the wine really delivers. Enough time in bottle has now passed that the wine has absorbed most of the overt oak notes on the palate, and is no longer texturally “grippy,” though it does show excellent structure. The wood mostly lends aromatic complexity, with some lovely spicy and toasty notes. Rich but not heavy, it is very complex, and there’s actually not much point in writing specific descriptors here, as the wine develops very dramatically over the course of multiple hours, and shows different facets all along the way. Believe it or not, it is actually much, much more interesting after a few hours of aeration, and likewise better at room temperature than when pulled from the refrigerator. Frankly, I have my doubts that other reviewers exercised the patience needed to see this amazing wine at its best. Very few white wines from Rioja deserve to be whispered in the same breath as those from Lopez Heredia, but this one deserves to be shouted at the same time. This producer also turns out a very good Barrel Fermented Rioja Blanco, and I scored the 2017 at $22, but still recommend that you steal another $28 to trade up to the 2010 Gran Reserva, which is a truly great wine.
Michael Franz - October 2020
|93||Vinous Media||Light, bright gold. Smoky, mineral-accented orchard and pit fruit aromas show excellent clarity and take on a suave floral overtone with air. Chewy and sharply focused on the palate, offering pear skin, nectarine, anise and honey flavors underscored by a touch of vanilla. The impressively persistent finish is sharpened by hints of bitter quinine and smoky minerals and shows a hint of chamomile and a briny element. Aged for 30 months in 85% French and 15% American oak barrels. 2021 – 2027
Josh Raynolds - April 2021
|93||View from the Cellar||The 2010 Rioja “Gran Reserva” Blanco from Viña Otano is all from the same, ninety year-old vineyard, with the blend here ninety-five percent Viura and five percent Garnacha Blanca. It was fermented in stainless settle (both alcoholic and malolactic fermentations) prior to aging for thirty months in cask, with the mix of oak eighty-five percent French and fifteen percent American wood. It is starting to really blossom nicely on the nose at ten years of age, wafting from the glass in a blend of lemon, breadfruit, salty soil tones, dried flowers, incipient notes of orange peel and vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, focused and complex, with a lovely core of fruit, excellent mineral drive, still a fine girdle of acidity and a long, poised and perfectly balanced finish. This is first rate Rioja Blanco! 2020-2045.
Issue #86 - March/April 2020
|93||Washington Wine Blog||The 2010 ‘Gran Reserva’ by Vina Otano is a blend of nearly all Viura (95%) with just a touch of Garnacha Blanco. Right away you are impressed by the aromatic range from kumquat zest and salted Marcona almond alongside the melon, wet stone and Japanese pear tones that all build in the glass. Once on the mouth you notice the weightless character of the wine, as this deftly glides cross the mid-palate. The silky texture entices with layers of Macadamia nut, kiwi, orange rind and shades of damp earth they all mingle on the palate. Gorgeous to enjoy in its youth, this beautiful wine has many years ahead of it. Drink 2020-2032.
Dr. Owen J. Bargreen, CS - July 2020
|94||Wine Review Online||"I’ve been eager to taste the newly released 2014 rendition of this wine after being amazed by the stellar quality of the 2010 vintage. This release is terrific already, and shows sufficient potential to pull even with the 2010 or perhaps even surpass it — provided it is given sufficient time to develop. When hoping that it will be “given time,” I’m hoping for more than one thing: time in one’s cellar, obviously enough, but also time in a decanter after being pulled from a refrigerator. My bottle of the 2010 was significantly better after being open for a couple of hours, and also better at room temperature, and better still on the following day, unlikely as all three of these findings may seem to readers. Knowing that the great majority of bottles of this wine will not be tasted that way, I’m writing this initial review of the wine based on tasting it how we know (from market research) almost every bottle of white wine is consumed: Immediately on release and immediately after being chilled. In that state, it is undeniably delicious, with at least as much richness and physical density as most bottlings of red Rioja Gran Reserva, for which it could conceivably be confused if tasted “triple blind.” (Doubt that if you will, but expert tasters who’ve undergone the humbling experience of tasting “blind” out of black tasting glasses who try this wine will admit readily that this could fool even the most expert among us.) The aromas show lovely fruit notes recalling apricot above all, but are nutty and spicy above all, which is not surprising when one knows that this went through elevage in 100% new oak (though in 500 liter casks rather than 225 liter barriques, so the oak isn’t as assertive as you might imagine). These same notes echo on the palate, with mandarin orange joining the apricots (both fresh and dried), and the flavors are very deep and authoritative, but not as heavy as the wine’s density might lead one to believe (that density can likely be ascribed to the 95-year-old vines from which this was made). The finishing notes are continuous with the aromas and flavors, with oak riding in essentially perfect sync with the fruit. The whole ensemble is energized by plenty of integrated acidity, and this is poised for years of improvement. That being the case, this review is only provisional, and may be updated as soon as next week on WineReviewOnline — once I’ve had an opportunity to re-taste the wine after being opened for longer and brought up to room temperature. Superb for sure, and potentially mind-blowing like the 2010."
Michael Franz – Aug 10, 2021