Review Round-up (March 24) - Boutinot

What's been said about our wines...

We truly believe our wines are fantastic, but you already knew that – we wouldn’t sell them if we didn’t!

That said, it is always nice when someone else recognises the quality in our portfolio, even better when they write a lovely review in the press to tell everyone about it…

Here’s a round-up of what they’ve been saying about us this last month!


Dominio de Atauta, Ribera del Duero, Castilla y Léon, Spain 2020: Classic Ribera from a producer in one of the region’s wildest and most rugged areas, the valley of Atauta. The bodega works with pre-phylloxera vines, 130-190 years old. These vineyards are located at 940m-1,010m, resulting in fresh acidity and elegance. To balance the wine’s lively backbone, it is fermented in either large wooden vats or concrete, then aged for 14 months in French oak. Beth Willard: A really complete wine with beautiful fruit, precision and great balance. The oak is fine and lightly toasted so doesn’t dominate the fruit. Tannins are supple, the palate velvety. David Williams: Keen and succulent: mulberry and cherry with a little bittersweet hit of blood orange and citrus pith. Complexity, and substance. Diana Rollan: Blackcurrant, liquorice, violets and plum compote. Muscular and concentrated with good balanced acidity and a savoury, herbal character. 95Pts Ribera del Duero: Panel tasting, Decanter (Feb ‘ 24)


Can’ Leandro La Lloma, DO Valencia 2022: The 2022 La Lloma is their young red from old vines, a blend of 60% Bonicaire and 40% Monastrell from head-pruned vines planted in 1946 and 1979 that they took over six years ago and had to recover. The varieties fermented separately, the Bonicaire with 100% full clusters and carbonic maceration and the Monastrell with 30% full clusters, and then they aged separately in used 500-litre barrels for two months before being blended and put back in barrel for another four months. It has 13.56% alcohol and notable freshness and acidity, with a spectacular nose, perfumed, floral, fresh and elegant, and a medium-bodied palate, fine-boned, with chalky tannins and very good grip. It’s superb, and a really good value too.  93 Pts Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (Jan ’24)

Can’ Leandro La Vella, DO Valencia 2022: The white 2022 La Vella is their young white from old vines, a blend of 80% Merseguera and the rest Malvasía and Tortosí from three hectares of vines planted in 1973 in that proportion on a north-facing plot at 600 meters in altitude on poor albariza-like sandy limestone soils. The full clusters were pressed and the juice fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel, where it matured with lees for around six months. It’s aromatic, very Mediterranean with notes of aromatic herbs, aniseed and fennel, pine needles and dry yellow flowers, with a dry and juicy palate, tasty, clean and balanced. 91 Pts Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (Jan ’24)

Can’ Leandro L’Arenal, DO Valencia 2021: I also tasted the 2021 L’Arenal, which has lower alcohol (13.85%) and higher acidity (6.3 grams) than the 2020 I tasted next to it. It was produced in a similar way, natural fermentation with some full clusters in oak vats with a soft extraction and aging in 500-litre barrels for some 10 months. The grapes were picked early and were crunchy, and it shows in the wine. Yields were lower because of hail and mildew, and the grapes ripened earlier with lower alcohol and more freshness. The wine is a bit more austere and varietal, with fine tannins and a chalky, dry finish. 93 Pts Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (Jan ’24)


Can’ Leandro Alt de les Flors, DO Valencia 2020: The single-vineyard Monastrell 2020 Alt de les Flors gets its name from one of the oldest plots in the zone, 1.2 hectares planted in 1946 at 500 meters in altitude on shallow white sandy soils. It fermented with 60% full clusters in open 500-litre barrels with indigenous yeasts and a slow infusion of 46 days. The wine, once pressed, went through malolactic and 12 months of aging in 600-litre French oak barrels. It has 14.2% alcohol with good freshness and very good acidity. This is very serious and austere, closed and subtle. This is very Mediterranean, varietal with the elegant rusticity of the grape, with fine tannins that give it a lot of grip, with some earthiness inherent to the variety. It is harmonious and balanced and should continue developing nicely in bottle. 94 Pts Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (Jan ’24)


Clos du Val Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley AVA 2021: Seductive oak spices and a plush mouthfeel come with abundant red and black fruits in this full-bodied, appropriately tannic wine that needs time to reach its full potential. Pine and rosemary accents merge nicely with the blackberries and blueberries. 94 Pts Jim Gordon, Wine Enthusiast (Dec ’23)


Fernando de Castilla, Antique, Fino, Jerez, Spain: Over the years the Antique range has won many medals from Decanter. For me this fino stands out. It’s made to the traditional style, fortified before bottling to 17% alcohol. Jan Pettersen’s bodega hides many treasures (including lovely brandy and equally good vinegar). He says he made the fino for his friends and was surprised to find that there was much more demand. Gloriously aromatic, with almonds and iodine. Intense in the mouth, with saline, citrussy and walnut notes. 95 Pts Sarah Jane Evans MW, Decanter (Feb ’24)


Waterkloof Boreas, WO Stellenbosch 2020: I can absolutely see why this lovely wine, which is delicious now and capable of long ageing, is worthy of Waterkloof’s top label, made only in the very best years. I gave the wine a score of 17 and thought it would continue to improve in bottle for another 10 years, probably longer. Marked by the herbaceousness of the Cabernet Franc and the stemmy herbal freshness from the whole bunches. But not in the least unripe just very aromatic. Intense dark-red fruits that dominate both the nose and the palate with an unexpected youthfulness. However, the tannins are rounded and silky-smooth while being firm enough to shape all that pure, leafy fruit. Elegant and scented on the palate, with a long finish showing excellent freshness and refinement. A lovely wine, perfect now but should age well. The oak is well integrated, helping to round out the texture, though it does still show in a chocolate-like sweetness on the finish. Fortunately the freshness is sufficient to outrun the oak impression. A clever, well-made wine that should appeal widely unless you really don’t like the herbaceous side of the Cabernets. 17 Pts Julia Harding ‘Wine of the Week’, (23rd Feb ’24)


Château Fabre Gasparets Corbières-Boutenac, AOP Corbières-Boutenac [Organic] 2019: A nose of toast and rubber. There’s delectable ripeness to the fruit, with squashed blackberry and menthol dominating. It’s plush, quite flashy, a little bit more jammy. 92 Pts Natalie Earl ‘Château Fabre Gasparets: 20 vintages from Languedoc’s Corbières Boutenac cru’, Decanter (Feb’24)


Gómez Cruzado Pancrudo Selección Terroir, DOCa Rioja 2021: Twenty years ago, Garnacha from Badarán had 10% alcohol,” says Juan Bautista, pointing out one of the few positive things about our warming climate. This varietal expression comes from three separate parcels and has wonderful perfume and precision, with a combination of scented new French oak and 35% concrete. Floral, racy, crunchy and beautifully balanced with some underlying ferrous grip. 2024-32. 96pts Tim Atkin MW Rioja Special Report 2024


Gómez Cruzado Viña Dorana Rioja Reserva, DOCa Rioja 2017 The idea is freshness,” was ex-winemaker David González’s description of this 60/40 blend of Tempranillo and Garnacha from 21 north-facing vineyards in the Alto Najerilla. Showing some ferrous grip from iron-rich soils, this is tangy, focused, vertical and very lightly wooded, with the acidity, minerality and structure to age. 2024-29 94pts Tim Atkin MW Rioja Special Report 2024


Gómez Cruzado Montes Obarenes Selección Terroir Blanco, DOCa Rioja 2021: Back after a break in 2020, Montes Obarenes remains one of the best modern whites in Rioja. Partnering Viura with 35% Tempranillo Blanco, Garnacha Blanca, Calagraño and Malvasía, it has some subtle gunflint reduction, citrus, wild herb and lanolin flavours and understated cinnamon oak. Beautifully judged by David González. 2024-30 96pts Tim Atkin MW Rioja Special Report 2024


Valenciso Rioja Blanco, DOCa Rioja 2022: Very appealingly priced given its quality and its ability to age in bottle, the latest release of the Valenciso Blanco is one of the best yet. Pairing Viura with 30% Garnacha Blanca, with ageing in Caucasian oak, this is appealingly fresh and understated, showing layers of pear, citrus peel, jasmine and honeysuckle and a hint of beeswax. 2024-30 95pts Tim Atkin MW Rioja Special Report 2024


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