Bodegas Amaren, Ángeles de Amaren, Rioja, Spain, 2018
Jon Cañas (Luis Cañas’ grandson) is the imaginative winemaker behind Bodegas Amaren.
Jon has been granted free rein to explore the character of Alavesa’s vineyards, giving us a raw, modern interpretation of Rioja Alavesa. Bodegas Amaren is comprised of some of best and highest altitude vineyards around the villages of Samaniego and Leza, where the soil is poor and gnarly vines, ageing up to and over 100 years old, produces small bunches, perfect for making highly concentrated Rioja wines.
The Amaren brand began in 1995 and was until recently the premium range from Luis Cañas. Following the immense commercial and critical success of these wines, Juan Luis determined it was time to create a winery devoted exclusively to their creation. At Ama- ren, he seeks perfection at every stage of the process; in the vineyard, during selection, and throughout the processing and ageing. And with nearly 50 percent of the vineyards older than 60 years, as well as a rational and environmentally friendly form of viticulture.
Upon entering the Bodega, the bunches are selected by Luis Cañas himself before being de-stemmed so the individual berries can be sorted based on their weight. The two varieties are processed and aged separately to preserve the fruit of the Tempranillo and enhance the complexity of the Graciano with its spicy characteristics. The fermentation process is carried out in stainless-steel under the strictest of temperature controls. Both varieties are then racked to new French and American oak barrels for malolactic fermentation, before ageing for a total of 16 months.
Type: French Oak
% wine oaked: 100
% new oak: 100
Cherry red. Incredibly intense fruit aromas over a delicate background of oak. Lactic nuances and spicy touches. Tasty and expressive with smooth, fresh tannins and balanced acidity. On the finish, it is long with reminiscences of red and black fruit. Fresh, lively and persistent.
Mild curries, white meats in sauces, pasta with white and red sauces, grilled mushrooms, foie-gras, salmon.
6 x 75cl
Award: Tim Atkin Rioja Report 2023 94 Points
Award: Tim Atkin Rioja 2022 Special Report 93 Points
Award: Guia Peñin 2018 93 Points