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A Superlative, Cellar-Worthy 96-Point Rioja - 11/06/2019 - Spain

Ranked among the top wines from the excellent 2015 vintage, the Señorio de San Vicente Rioja is a smart buy for those who enjoy classic, old-world reds. Earning a huge 96-point score from Jeb Dunnuck and priced just under $50, it one of the better values going in collectible, age-worthy wines. Made in a bold and flashy style, but with a distinctly Spanish profile, it will appeal to fans of Napa Valley reds as well as those who gravitate towards the classified growths of Bordeaux. Josh Raynolds of Vinous was taken by its “outstanding clarity,” while Luis Gutiérrez of Wine Advocate calls it a “serious and balanced” wine. While delicious straight out of the gate, this wine will develop quite nicely over the next two to three decades. Other comparable old-world reds of this pedigree and caliber often break the $100, so finding this one for under $50 is pretty remarkable. Blending excellent fruit with the perfect complement of oak spice, it is a terrific example of the outstanding value Rioja can deliver. It is easy to see why Jeb Dunnuck has it among the top ten Riojas of the 2015 vintage.

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2015 Señorio de San Vicente Rioja ($49.99)

96 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The single vineyard 2015 San Vicente comes from an older clone of Tempranillo and spent 20 months in 90% French and 10% American oak, all being new. This blockbuster sports a saturated purple color as well as a powerful bouquet of smoked blueberries, black cherries, scorched earth, and lead pencil. Beautiful on the palate as well, it's full-bodied, has a seamless, incredibly elegant texture, no hard edges, and a great, great finish. It's a beautiful wine that will age for 2-3 decades." (09/2019)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 San Vicente was produced with 18 hectares of Tempranillo Peludo, a particular strain of Tempranillo planted from a massal selection in 1985 in the village of San Vicente de la Sonsierra. The destemmed grapes fermented in French oak vats, and the wine matured in new oak barrels (90% French, 10% American) for 20 months. This really reminds me of the initial vintages of this wine, 1991 and 1994, but with the wisdom of the older vines, it feels very integrated and compact, in line with the 2005. It's a serious and balanced wine that's harmonious and has incipient complexity, with aromatic herbs and spices and a mixture of red and black fruit. It's elegant and medium-bodied, with fine-grained tannins, good grip and a remarkable finish. This has oak, but it feels quite integrated. It has the stuffing and balance to develop nicely in bottle. 2015 is behaving much better than expected. (LG) 94+" (06/2019)

94 points Vinous: "Youthful violet color. A highly perfumed bouquet evokes oak-spiced dark berries, potpourri, vanilla and incense, along with a smoky mineral overtone. Sappy, plush and seamless on the palate, offering deeply concentrated raspberry, boysenberry and spicecake flavors that deepen steadily on the back half. The impressively long, spice-tinged finish displays sneaky tannins, outstanding clarity and an echo of candied rose. (JR)" (02/2019)

Staff ImageKirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 01, 2019

This is a modern Rioja. I know that doesnt help. This is modern like Super Tuscans are modern. This comes from that period in the wine history when traditional regions in Europe (and the rest of the world) looked to the new wave of Bordeaux and Napa Valley for inspiration. Rich and flashy, new oak and extraction rather that medium bodied and austere. This come from a single estate in Rioja Alavesa, with that magical limestone rich clay soils, planted entirely to organically grown Tempranillo Peluda. An ancient clone of Tempranillo, native to Rioja Alavesa, that was essentially abandoned because of low yields (a quick aside: this varietal makes so much sense now when you hear viticulturalists/winemakers artificially reducing their yields, why not use a variety that does that naturally?). This modern wine sees almost 2 years in new oak, 90% of which is French. This is Rioja that speaks with a French accent. But you never miss that distinctive Alavesa Riojaness to the wine. Tempranillo, regardless of the clone, on those special soils is pitched higher, no matter how extracted it is. There is also that distinctive mineral extract on the finish. The nose is rich and heady with lots of dark rich red fruits that are framed and focused by the French oak and seasoned with the savory mountain herbs of Rioja. The wine is full of lots of intense Tempranillo fruit that is corralled by the oak. The tannins are present and polished. Hiding in the middle is the hint of Ameri