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La Antigua Rioja

Note: this post was taken from the Some Good Wine newsletter. We send it out regularly with info on new wines and recommendations from the Some Good Wine staff. Plus, regular discounts on featured wines! 
          
This post was written by Some Good Wine owner Jeremy Boock. Call him
 at the store with any questions about these or any other wines: (212) 777-3151

    

Wines La Antiguar Rioja    
    

I can't begin to tell you how excited I am about this post and how much I want you to be as well. I feel like Indiana Jones discovering the Lost Ark and a eight-year-old waking up on Christmas morning all merged into one emoji.
  
Let me explain and do so without sounding a bit arrogant: I have tried perhaps anywhere from 500,000-1,000,000 wines in my life and for the most part, I thought I knew almost everything that was out there. With Rioja, I was led to believe that the dichotomy between traditional vs modern was rather well established with Lopez, CVNE, Murrieta, Pecina, and La Rioja Alta on one side (can't wait for the slew of emails complaining about this list), modern on the other side, and a little in between from time to time. Today's producer, La Antigua Clasico, is to me in the traditional sense but let's not be dogmatic about it. I consider Rioja to be traditional in two main reasons: 1. More than 100% Tempranillo is used for the cepage and 2. There is a mix of either American oak or used barrels. Modern Rioja tends to be more like a Napa Cab with thick creamy, vanilla based tannins.  Not for me. There is a certain scent I love and need in Rioja which La Antigua Clasico showcases. I think herbs and spice and, as always, well worth the price and one of the best QPR wines on the planet.
   
Another fun fact about La Antigua Clasico that we should mention, is that this Rioja comes from the vastly unexplored and unknown region of the western mountain range of Sierra de la Demanda. The north-facing, high-altitude vineyards receive far less sunshine than those in the valley, resulting in grapes that ripen slowly, showcasing intense flavors of greater balance and focus. This poses quite a risk that only hands-on viticulture can remedy: this area is one of the last to harvest in all of Western Europe, usually in early November! In addition to the cool climate, Sierra de la Demanda’s vineyards are extremely scattered and steep.
    
In short, please try these wines. I implore you...
— Jeremy Block, Owner @ Some Good Wine    

   

These wines from La Antigua are available at the shop now:

2012 La Antigua Clasico Rioja Crianza
70% Tempranillo, 20% Graciano, 10% Garnacha from vines planted from 1940 to 1955. 24 months in stainless steel tanks plus 24 months in 60% French and 40% American oak barrels. One of the best Crianzas with age––9 years––I have had in a while, Rusticity and herbs are bedazzling with expressive plum with as fine and older wines tend to; showcase of piney herbs, twigs and berries. Subtle hints of coffee and moca; rustic acid with fine long tannins laced within it. This wine is peaked to it's aged perfection and check out the price^^^^^.
JS 92 Points: I like the traditional flavors of dried fruits, walnut and balsamic. Full to medium body, dense fruit and a flavorful finish. Decadent at the end
find it on Some Good Wine

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2010 La Antigua Clasico Rioja Reserva
60% Garnacha, 30% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano with vines planted from 1940 to 1955, gown in red silica sandy soil. 72 months in 60% French and 40% American oak barrels. Absolutely singing nose (Janis style) with loads of pomegranates, naval orange; classic and traditional scents which is what I want Rioja to smell like. Firesh herbs come out trough the back end as more time develops. Plush, ripe and dense on the palate with meaty tannins that have grip and pizzaz. Years left on this!!!

92 Points John Gilman: The 2010 La Antigua Clásico Rioja Reserva is another excellent wine from this superb bodegas, offering up a deep and very elegant bouquet of raspberries, cherries, Rioja spice tones, a bit of meatiness, lovely, stony soil tones, cloves and a hint of cedar. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, focused and fairly broad-shouldered in style (this is predominantly Garnacha, with Tempranillo playing a supporting role in the cépages), with a fine core of fruit, ripe, suave tannins and excellent length and grip on the complex and bouncy finish. This wine is drinking quite well at age nine, but will be even better with another four or five years of bottle age. Fine juice.
find it on Some Good Wine

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2010 La Antigua Clasico Rioja Gran Reserva
70% Garnacha, 27% Tempranillo, 3% Graciano, with an average vine age of 75 years. 72 months in 95% French and 5% American oak barrels, followed by 24 months in bottle prior to release.  Young as hell on the nose, needs some time to get going with a little decant.  Fine notes strive to come out with finely integrated twigs, licorice  truffles, dried figs, cassis, cigar box, soy, all spice and cinnamon.  More ripe and open on the palate after some time with quenching and driving mouthfuls of fruit that melt in your mouth like a Toblerone chocolate before you knew what chocolate was supposed to taste like.  Long finish with a little twist throughout making the wine spicy, scrumptious and soothing. 
find it on Some Good Wine