jamie goode's wine blog: Finca Allende Calvario: high-end Rioja that hits the spot

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Finca Allende Calvario: high-end Rioja that hits the spot

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Rioja. I recognize the brilliance of the terroirs, but I'm frequently upset to see them squandered by growers who aim too low, or who get sucked into spoofulating their wines with too much new oak and picking too late. Here's a heavyweight high-end example that actually hits the spot. It's expensive, though.

Finca Allende Calvario 2004 Rioja, Spain
Allende is located in Briones, and is a producer that seems to be able to integrate tradition wth modernity to great effect. The wines are vineyard based (unusual for the region) and aged in French oak, as opposed to the more usual American. This is a single vineyard wine from 60 year-old Tempranillo vines. Rich, slightly roasted red fruits nose showing subtly creamy raspberry fruit. The palate is fresh with lovely pure, spicy, dense, sweet red fruits backed up by firm tannins. A fresh, pure, intense red of real class. 94/100 (65 Berry Bros & Rudd)

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6 Comments:

At 8:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Spoofulating"???

 
At 8:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sorry but over 50 for Rioja - crazy n'est-ce pas?

 
At 10:31 AM, Blogger Jamie said...

search for 'spoofulated' on the web and you'll uncover the meaning and history of this fabulous term.

Yes, 50 is a lot of money for Rioja, but price is often driven by demand, and so I won't refuse to review great wines that are also very expensive (and because of this, not great value for money) - I guess if you have a lot of money, 50 is not crazy when the quality is there.

 
At 12:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know I'd rather have a 25 year old Tondonia or Imperial for less cash!

 
At 9:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know Rioja region, the local producers and its wines, old fashion and modern ones very well.
Calvario wine was borne to please Robert Parker in order to get the dreamed golden 100 points, like thousands of producers from around the world want.
The result is a extremely deformed tempranillo grape wine. Over-extraction and hiper-concentration was the aim with an extra dose of expensive commercially tasting barrels.
The point is that, this kind of wines can not claim any kind of authentic tempranillo varietal identification either geographic identity, if terroir really exists.
To much winemaking influence in the wine. An example were the aim is the seduce the wine gurus.

 
At 9:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know Rioja region, the local producers and its wines, old fashion and modern ones very well.
Calvario wine was borne to please Robert Parker in order to get the dreamed golden 100 points, like thousands of producers from around the world want.
The result is a extremely deformed tempranillo grape wine. Over-extraction and hiper-concentration was the aim with an extra dose of expensive commercially tasting barrels.
The point is that, this kind of wines can not claim any kind of authentic tempranillo varietal identification either geographic identity, if terroir really exists.
To much winemaking influence in the wine. An example were the aim is the seduce the wine gurus.

 

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