Produced from en vaso (goblet, or bush trained) vines on a uniquely sited calcareous, sandy and clay vineyard just outside of Laguardia, El Sacramento may be a new project (this is in fact the first vintage) but should quickly become one of the top wines in all Rioja. Belgian proprietor Etienne Cordonnier has longstanding family ties to Bordeaux and wine brokering, as well as a connection to Basque country through his mother, who grew up in the province of Guipuzkoa. Cordonnier retained former Contino winemaker Jesús Madrazo to help with the project as well. Tim Atkin 97 points: "Now established in his own state-of-the-art modern winery and the owner of 19 hectares in Laguardia, Navaridas and Lapuebla de Labarca, divided into 19 different parcels, Etienne Cordonnier is producing one of Rioja's most distinguished wines. The 2016 is the best release yet, made from Tempranillo and 8% Graciano and showing scented, floral elegance, fine tannins and subtle wood. Margaux meets Rioja? 2022-31"
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