Bodegas Amaren, Carraquintana, DOCa Rioja Alavesa, Spain, 2017
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.
Grown with a sustainable and rational viticulture system, Amaren are committed both to the pursuit of top quality grapes and to the preservation of biodiversity and the environment. They practice "à la carte" viticulture, which means that each vine is treated according to its own needs (variety, phenological stage and weather conditions).
Upon entering the bodega, bunches are carefully selected before being destemmed so the individual berries can be sorted based on their weight. Grapes are premacerated at 8ºC for five days. Only the most perfect grapes are allowed to pass to wooden vats of French oak for fermentation, which lasts seven days. The resulting wine is then racked to new French oak barrels for malolactic fermentation, during which the lees are pumped over periodically. The wine is later clarified with egg white to obtain a well-rounded wine with excellent oak integration. A total of 14 months in new 500L. French oak barrels from a selection of oak forests in central France.
% wine oaked: 100
% new oak: None
Dark cherry colour with black undertones and red hues. This blend that includes 10% white Malvasia creates a wonderfully floral and delicate nose that is unusual for a red wine. There is excellent conentration of dark red fruit from the majority of old vine Tempranillo. The palate is well structured and more powerful than the nose suggests, and has a tenaciously fruity and long finish.
Red meats, both red and white meat in sauces, stews, seafood stews, game, game in sauces and cured cheeses.
Ferran Centelles - Rioja's Finest for Jancis Robinson.com 17 Points
Tempranillo, Malvasía, Garnacha, Graciano. Vineyard at 570 m above sea level in Leza. Old vines. Integrated pest management, and sustainable viticulture aiding and respecting biodiversity. Alcoholic fermentation in concrete vat. Aged in oak barrels of 500 litres for 14 months. 2,428 bottles. Tasted blind. This Viñedo Singular has a bit of everything: balance, finesse, smoothness. The character of the fruit is sweet and very pleasant. Plum, cassis and high-quality oak stand out. Medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins. Rioja that strikes a balance between classic and modern. Long and very spicy finish. 17 Points, FC, March 2022.
4 x 75cl
Award: Wines from Spain Awards 2022
Award: Tim Atkin Rioja 2022 Special Report 93 Points
Award: Tim Atkin MW 2022 Rioja Report, 95 Points.
Award: Tim Atkin Rioja Report 2023 94 Points