92 Points - "The 2005 Allende is 100% Tempranillo barrel-fermented and aged for 14 months in mostly new French oak. Purple-colored, it offers up an enticing bouquet of pain grille, crushed stone, spice box, scorched earth and blackberry. Ripe, layered, and complex, it has gobs of spicy fruit, several years of aging potential, and a lengthy finish." -Jay Miller, The Wine Advocate, February 2008.
COMPOSITION: 100% Tempranillo
91 Points - "Ruby-red. Sexy cherry and roasted meat aromas are complicated by dried orange peel and licorice. Bitter cherry and anise flavors develop a smoky quality with air and are framed by silky tannins. Gains sweetness on the long, spicy finish, which echoes the exotic orange quality. This is extremely suave." - Josh Raynolds, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar.
[Refers to 2004 vintage] - 92 Points - "The 2004 Allende, a 100% Tempranillo cuvee, was barrel fermented in a mix of new and used French oak, remained in barrel for 13 months, and was bottled unfiltered. The wine is inky purple-colored and has a superb nose of pain grille, mineral, violets, cranberry, and blueberry. The youthful palate reveals layers of fruit, ripe tannin, and excellent balance. The wine merits another 3-4 years of bottle age and should drink well through 2020. Kudos to Finca Allende for a magnificent set of 2004 Riojas!" -Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate.
ABOUT THE PRODUCER:
Hand-harvested grapes are fermented in open tanks. Fermentation lasts 15 days, after which the wine is held in tanks for 10 months. The wine is moved to oak barrels where it spends the next 13 months. The winery owns 480 barrels of which 50% are Virginian oak and 50% Allier. The wine is lightly fined and bottled without filtration or cold stabilization. The wine rests in bottle for 6 months before release.
The family’s estate of 60 acres (25 ha) in Briones. Vineyards are situated on both slopes on the hill. Some vineyards face north/northeast, others face south/southeast. They are planted with a density of 1,250 vines/acre (3,000 vines per ha). The grapes are multi-clonal selections of old Tempranillo which produce smaller berries and yields. The vineyards are 1,440-1,680 feet in elevation (480 to 560 m).
Typical of Rioja Alta, the climate is continental with Atlantic influences. Rains are normally in the winter and spring, with the prevailing winds from the north/northeast. Therefore, this creates two distinct micro-climates for the vineyards because of their different exposures. The vineyards which face the north/northeast are buffeted by the Atlantic winds that carry moisture and help to moderate the temperature. These vines produce grapes which are higher in acidity and more aromatic. The vineyards in the south/southwest slope produce grapes with higher alcohol levels and lower acidity.