Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A lot subtler, elegant and balanced than the initial vintage, the 2014 La Condenada showed more precise and subtle with a lot less impact from the élevage. They bought the semi-abandoned vineyard in 2012, when it had not been pruned in two or three years. The vines were planted in 1920 on very sandy soils, with a majority of Tempranillo, but also some 15-20% of other grapes, red and white. They are all harvested and fermented together, as well as matured in 600-liter oak barrels for one year. This also reflects the character of the soil, finer and more elegant, subtler, somehow floral. This has balance and freshness, and a beautiful nose. Superb. 93+ (LG)
Featuring old vines including Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano and Palomino plantings from a sandstone vineyard, this bottling is wonderfully fresh, with an intensity, freshness and seriousness of intent that would allow it to stand toe to toe with 1er Cru Burgundy from Chambolle or Nuits-St-George. Lovely fruit purity and concentration all but hide any evidence of oak ageing. Arturo and Kike (Artuke, get it?) Miguel Blanco are among a new wave of younger Rioja producers, producing wines from high-quality, organically farmed vineyards, very carefully considering oak usage, while being less concerned with the typical aging conventions (Crianza, Reserva, Gran Reserva) of the past, more concerned with forging a new path for village and vineyard-defined wines. While they are based in Baños Ebro in Rioja Alavesa, they also have vineyards in the neighboring villages of Abalos and San Vicente.
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