Viñedos del Contino was created by CVNE – Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España and the family owners of the state in 1973.
CVNE claims to have established with Contino the “château” concept in the Rioja region, making wines exclusively from grapes grown and harvested around the winery.
The winery is located in an ancestral home inside a bend in the Ebro river. Its wines are made exclusively from the vine stocks planted on its 62 hectares in Laserna, near the town of Laguardia in the Rioja Alavesa sub-region.
This reserva wine is made from grapes that are manually harvested from a selection of Contino’s estate vineyards.
After fermentation in stainless steel tanks, the wine was aged in French and American oak for about 2 years, with the locally-traditionnal rackings every 6 months.
So How Good is this CVNE Contino Rioja Reserva in its 2009 Vintage?
The Answer is in the Tasting Notes:
The wine has a rather dark ruby color. Some purple on the rim, but also some yellow. The color has evolved, but also has some youthful characteristics.
Powerful nose openly exhibiting three main families of aromas, in order of decreasing intensity as follows: 1) Fruit, 2) spices, and 3) leathery earthiness.
1) Fruit: There’s intense exuberant notes of warm dark berries: blackberry, strawberry jam, cooked raspberry. Both jammy and fresh then.
2) Spices: These fruits and jams are spiced up though, like in a Christmas pudding: clove, nutmeg, vanilla, sandal would. These accentuate the hearty feel of the aromatic profile.
3) Leathery earthiness: Discrete on the background but adding in depth and complexity and some earthy tones, slightly animal too.
Palate is big: rich, full-bodied, warm, and tannic. It is smooth though.
Your mouth is filled with an impressive oily texture from the full body, some sweet jammy sweetness, dense velvety tannins, and exuberant cooked and spiced up berry flavors.
Like the whole tasting experience, the finish is smooth. Just a few granular tannins dry it up slightly. Long reminiscent flavors of vanilla, oak, prune, and coffee liqueur.
A super-ripe and oaky warm wine, filled with fruity lusciousness, fat body, and smooth dense tannins.
Unlike some bold wines (one thinks of some New World examples), winemakers have managed to infused just a touch of savoriness through earthy and leathery notes which make the wine appear a little more civilized, and underlines the not-so-evident ‘Old World’ origin of the wine.
For lovers of modern style Rioja wine, or amateurs of big bold old world reds in search of some European ‘exotism’.