Bodegas Amaren, El Cristo De Samaniego, DOCa Rioja Alavesa, 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.
A singular Vineyard in Samaniego at the foothills of Sierra Cantabria al 625m altitude. Soils are made up of sand and limestone.
Upon entering the bodega, bunches are carefully selected before being de-stemmed so the individual berries can be sorted based on their weight. Grapes are pre-macerated 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 French oak from a selection of oak forests in central France.
% wine oaked: 100
% new oak: None
Cherry red, the fine elegant and complex nose gives way to excellent concentration of black fruit and subtle touches of creamy oak as well as hints of roasted coffee and minerals. This is full bodied, fleshy and elegant with plenty of complexity and power.
Red meats, stews, game, cured cheeses and different types of blue fish.
Tim Atkin Rioja 2022 Special Report 93 Points
El Cristo de Samiego is a 1.86-hectare parcel at a once-marginal 685 metres that's co-planted with Tempranillo, Garnacha, Malvasia Riojana and Viura. Rose petal scented, this has the tangy acidity of its cool site, sinewy tannins, impressive structure and texture and a peppery, savoury finish. 2023-30. 93 Points, TA, Feb 2022.
4 x 75cl
Award: Ferran Centelles - Rioja's Finest for Jancis Robinson.com 17 Points
Award: Guia Peñin 2018 93 Points
Award: Tim Atkin MW 2022 Rioja Report, 95 Points.