Arrocal Reserva de Familia

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Ribera del Duero D.O.
100% tinto fino (Tempranillo) 70+ years old vines. Single vineyard “Guardavinas”
860 meters / very poor sandy/clay soils
Farming Methods
Organic methods
Very low yields, no more than 1 Kg per vine, Hand Harvest
The wine was fermented in French vats with malolactic oak barrels
Aged for 24 months in 70% French and 30% American oak barrels
Suggested Retail Price
Wine Name
Arrocal Reserva de Familia 2018
95 (VfC) 94 (W&S) 94 (WRO) 94 (WE)
Score Publication Review Copy
95 View from the Cellar The Reserva de Familia is the oldest-vine cuvée from Bodegas Arrocal, with these seventy-plus year-old vines hailing from the vineyard of Guardavinas, which sits at an altitude of eight hundred and sixty meters. The soils here are a thin mix of sandy and clay and the old vines produced very small yields, so that there were only a bit more than forty-four hundred bottles produced in the 2018 vintage. The wine undergoes malo in barrel and is aged in a combination of seventy percent French casks and thirty percent American oak barrels for two years prior to bottling. It is then given another six months of bottle aging in the cellar before release. The 2018 delivers a refined aromatic constellation of plums, black cherries, Cuban cigars, a complex base of soil tones, just a hint of nutmeg-like spice tones, a touch of dark chocolate and a classy oak framing of both vanilla and spicy wood notes. On the palate the wine is deep, pure and full, with already a nice sense of plushness on the attack, a great mid-palate core, superb focus and grip and a long, ripely tannic and complex finish of lovely balance. This still has a bit of backend wood tannin to absorb (probably from the American oak casks), but it will easily do so with bottle age. I do not know what percentage of the barrels here are new, but this is a wine of such stunning old vine personality that it would not be a crime to age it solely in one, two and three wine barrels in the future! Stylistically, this reminds me a lot of the vintages of Vega Sicilia from the decades of the 1980s, except that it is obviously being released at a much younger age than those vintages of Vega. But, the wine has enormous potential and will be an absolute treasure once it has seen enough time in the cellar. A great, great wine! 2032-2100.
John Gilman – Issue #98 March/April 2022
94 Wine & Spirits Magazine Rodrigo and Asier Calvo make this wine in Gumiel de Mercado, where the brothers trace their family’s roots past the planting of the 70-year-old bush vines that provide the fruit for this Reserva. While most of the barrels in the cellar are made of French oak, they age this wine in American oak barrels, pointing up a green-olive note in the tannins, but barely making an impression against the succulent beauty and purity of the fruit. It’s dark and supple, with the peppery clarity of a grilled piquillo and some cracked black pepper spice enlivening the youthful flavors of wild blueberries. A traditional take on Ribera del Duero, updated to contemporary tastes.
Joshua Greene - June 2022
94 Wine Review Online This medium-sized, family-owned bodega (they’ve been growers since 1850) is among the most rapidly rising in the region, and there’s no doubt that its fame will increase rapidly in the very near future. This is a new, top wine that replaces two former high-end releases called “Ángel” and Maximo,” which were last made in 2016. Both of those wines were terrific for multiple releases on end, which shows that things are really moving at this address under the leadership of a new generation (Rodrigo and Asier Calvo), even though though the place was already obviously on the rise. Everything is estate grown and all from within the village (Gumiel de Mercado) where the winery is located. This is 100% Tinto Fino from 70+ year-old vines located in the single vineyard called Guardavinas, which is situated at 860 meters of elevation. It was aged entirely in new oak (70% French and 30% American) for 24 months, and though it will become more fully integrated and complex, it is already off to a flying start, having absorbed much of its overtly new oak aromas and flavors. That shows how formidable the core of fruit is in this wine, which recalls black cherries above all, with accents of baking spices and a whiff of woodsmoke, plus multiple other subtle nuances. This is already wonderful, and will only get better steadily over the decade ahead, by which time my score may well look low in retrospect.
Michael Franz - April 26, 2022
94 Wine Enthusiast This deeply hued wine has fruit-ofthe-wood, mocha and rose-petal aromas. A medley of savory, spicy and fruity flavors is at play on the palate, notably notes of blackberry, anise, olive tapenade and roasted fennel bulb. Brilliant acidity, lavish tannins and a floral and spice-laden finish make for a satisfying sip.
M.D.- Cellar Selection - Best of the Year 2022
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Arrocal Reserva de Familia 2019
95 (WRO) 95 (OB) 94 (VfC)
Score Publication Review Copy
95 Wine Review Online Although this was notably woody and tight when first opened, it opened and broadened very impressively with an hour’s worth of aeration, and got nothing but better for 48 hours after being tasted initially. I’d expect nothing less from this already-superb and still-improving producer, which is family-owned and firmly rooted in its rather sleepy village of Gumiel de Mercado. This top-of-the-line bottling from 2019 is admirably concentrated and flavorful but without seeming overblown in any respect, staking its claim to excellence on purity of fruit more than sheer weight. The finish very long and virtually perfectly proportioned once the wine opens a bit, with fruit, acidity, wood and tannin all working together in beautiful harmony.
Michael Franz - Issue: June 20th, 2023
95 2019 Bodegas Arrocal ‘Reserva de Familia’ Ribera del Duero- The 2019 ‘Reserva de Familia comes from vines more than 70 year old that are grown in sandy clay soils. A brooding, deep color greets you, as the wine deftly battles both verve and power in the glass. In the end, like a heavyweight boxer, the power emerges, with massive dark and blue fruit flavors that are tamed with firm tannins and espresso ground flavors. A truly stunning wine, this is just a joy to consume now — but do your best to resist this massive wine for at least another year if you can. Drink 2024-2045-
Owen Bargreen - October, 2023
94 View from the Cellar The Reserva de Familia is the very old vine bottling from Bodegas Arrocal, as these more than seventy year-old vines all hail from the vineyard of Guardaviñas, which is planted at eight hundred-sixty meters of elevation and, of course, farmed organically. These old tempranillo vines produce very low yields and the wine is fermented with native yeasts, undergoes malolactic fermentation in cask and is raised in seventy percent French and thirty percent American oak casks for fully two years before bottling. The wine comes in at 14.5 percent alcohol in 2019, but is seamless and offers up superb depth in its bouquet of sweet dark berries, black plums, cloves, cocoa powder, stony soil tones, cigar smoke and a lovely foundation of cedary oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, focused and complex with a superb core of old vine fruit, excellent soil undertow and grip, ripe, buried tannins and impeccable balance on the long and very classy finish. This is still a puppy and deserves more bottle age to blossom fully, but if you splurge for a case, it is certainly not a crime to open a bottle or two in this first blush of youth! Great juice. 2030-2085.
John Gilman - Issue #103 January/February 2023.
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Arrocal Reserva de Familia 2020
95 (VfC) 95 (WRO) 94 (VM)
Score Publication Review Copy
95 View from the Cellar The Reserva Familial is the top of the line cuvée from Bodegas Arrocal. It is a single vineyard wine made from vines that are more than seventy years of age, planted at eight hundred and sixty meters elevation on very thin, sandy soils. The wine undergoes its malo in cask and si raised for two years in barrel, with seventy percent of the oak used being French and the balance American casks. The 2020 Reserva Familial tips the scales at 14.5 percent and offers up a deep and refined nose of sweet dark berries, black cherries, Cuban cigars, raw cocoa, a complex foundation of soil tones, beautiful spice tones (including a touch of fresh nutmeg) and a very polished framing of new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, elegant and beautifully balanced, with a great core of fruit, fine soil signature, fine-grained, buried tannins and lovely length and grip on the complex finish. This is truly an outstanding wine in the making. 2035-2080.
John Gilman; Issue 109, January – February 2024
95 Wine Review Online Bodegas Arrocal, Ribera del Duero (Castilla y León, Spain) “Reserva de Familia” 2020 ($85, Grapes of Spain / Aurelio Cabestrero): This is the top wine from a terrific producer, but I found it to be rather reticent when cracking into it last week, though it became more expressive when left uncorked during the days that followed (four days, to be precise). Accordingly, I have somewhat ambivalent advice: If you have a cellar and a love for great Tempranillo that’s been patiently aged, you’ll certainly love this wine when it really starts singing around the turn of this decade. Everything about it presages excellence at a minimum and greatness as a possibility, as it is very deep in color, quite concentrated and dense in physical terms, smartly aged with oak that is showy but not excessive, and loads of fine-grained tannins that seem very well measured in relation to the fruit’s intensity and richness. However, if you are looking for a wine that you can open to enjoy now, you’d be happier with Arrocal’s 2021 “Selección Especial” release, which is only half as expensive but just as satisfying for current consumption. That will change at some point that I can’t date precisely, when the 2020 “Reserva de Familia” is going to take flight and make my seemingly generous score of 95 points look low — possibly embarrassingly low.
Michael Franz May 28, 2024
94 Vinous Media The 2020 Reserva de Familia hails from Gumiel de Mercado in Ribera del Duero and was aged for 24 months in American and French oak barrels. Garnet-red with a purple sheen. The nose features blackcurrant and crushed plum aromas, accompanied by dried flowers and undergrowth against an oaky backdrop. Dry with a chalky texture, the balanced palate is full of energy, delivering a firm flow and refreshing mouthfeel. This is a long-lasting Ribera wine with a modern twist.
Joaquín Hidalgo; Nov 2023.
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