La Antigua Clásico Crianza$21 and under
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Brilliant ruby. Lively aromas of fresh, spice-tinged red and dark berries and candied flowers are complemented by suggestions of vanilla and woodsmoke. Juicy and energetic on the palate, offering appealingly sweet black raspberry and rose pastille flavors that deepen slowly as the wine opens up. Gentle, slow-building tannins shape a smooth, persistent finish that strongly echoes the floral note. -- Josh Raynolds.
La Antigua Clasico is one of Alberto Orte’s most enduring history projects and shows off an unexplored region of DOCa Rioja, the western mountain range of Sierra de la Demanda. Inspired by the style of winemaking that was popular in the first half of the 20th century, Alberto’s winemaking emphasizes freshness and minerality, leading to balanced, long-lived wines. To that end, he has found old vine Garnacha, Tempranillo and Graciano in Sierra de la Demanda, south of the Ebro river in Rioja Alta. The northern 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. This terrain is impossible to mechanize, and all vineyard work must be done by hand. The result is a handcrafted wine of precision and elegance – fresh and beautiful to drink now, with built-in longevity.click here for more information.