The El Cristo de Samaniego single vineyard is a relatively young one for Bodegas Amaren when compared to their other vineyards, yet having been planted in 1980 the vines are starting to reach a very decent maturity. Planted at 685 metres above sea level in the harsh surrounds of the Sierra de Cantabria mountains, the vines need to work hard here just to battle the elements, bringing out a freshness and intensity in this individual Rioja. The altitude also provides a greater diurnal temperature promoting phenolic ripeness,a nd extending the growing season giving a longer, more even ripening. El Cristo de Samaniego is planted to Tempranillo (4724 vines), Garnacha (129 vines), Viura (333 vines) and Malvasia Riojana (88 vines), all of which bring their characters to the resultant wine.
The grapes are hand harvested into small crates and undergo a rigourous double selection at the winery to esnure only the very best grapes go through to fermentation, which takes place in concrete egg. Malolactic fermentation takes place in a mixture of 500 and 225 litre French oak barrels prior to a 14 months ageing in barrel. 2 more years in bottle in the Amaren cellars completes the process before release.
This wine shows a wonderfully deep ruby colour in the glass. It is intense and complex on the nose with ripe red and black fruit aromas, notably cherry, blackberry and raspberry along with spicy nutmeg, clove and menthol notes. The palate is smooth with high acidity and ripe tannins that are very well integrated with the oak. It is broad and balanced with a very long finish reminiscent of autumn. The presence of fruit stands out beyond all else.
“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”. 93 Points, Tim Atkin, Feb 2022.
Bodegas Amaren have some of the highest vineyards in the Rioja Alavesa and are dedicated to the preservation of native varieties whilst making highly individual, modern interpretations from some seriously old vines. The results are simply stunning and we are delighted to be able to offer a selection of these tiny production, highly characterful wines. Bodegas Amaren practise a form of ‘A la Carte’ viticulture whereby each strain is treated individually according to it’s variety, situation and the conditions of the vintage. This attention to detail certainly shows when you taste the wines.
You may also like
2022 Grenache Rose, Domaine La Colombette, Pays D’Herault
The Grenache Rose from La Colombette is pale and fresh with soft red berry fruits and nicely poised acidity.This is the perfect easy drinking summer rosé.
£9.95Out of Stock
2020 Cabernet Franc Seleccion, Bodegas Rio Del Elorza, Mendoza
The Verum Cabernet Franc Seleccion, Bodegas Rio Del Elorza has classic elements on the nose including wild strawberry, blackberry, pencil shavings and a hint of blackcurrant leaf. Lovely ripe fruits with a hint of stalky/vegetal character but not too much greenness, instead offering more body and depth of fruit and a slight touch of herbal mint. The full-bodied palate is elegant with firm tannins but a vital balancing acidity. Cedar notes show from the use of French oak and the finish is dominated by bright red fruit and mocha spice.
£21.95Add to basket
2021 Schiava Sonntaler, Kurtatsch Kellerei, DOC Sudtirol
Kurtatsch Kellerei Cantina is a medium sized co-operative with 190 members working 190 hectares in Alto Adige DOC in North East Italy that has been in existence for over a 100 years. The Schiava Sonntaler vines are between 60 and 90 years old with low yields but excellent quality fruit.
£23.95Add to basket
2011 Comtes de Champagne, Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs, Taittinger
Taittinger's Comtes de Champagne is a rare treat and only made in the finest vintages from 100% Chardonnay from 5 of the greatest Grand Cru vineyards in Champagne. 2011 was a particularly good vintage for Chardonnay, marked by its early ripening and drought conditions which forced the vines to delve deep in search of water for growth.
£150.00Add to basket