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Flat front label of wine

Bodegas Montecillo Rioja Reserva 1998

Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
  • W&S91
0% ABV
  • JS92
  • WW91
  • WS90
  • RP90
  • RP91
  • WS90
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Winemaker Notes

A brilliant ruby red wine with brick-red highlights, Montecillo Reserva is well structured and balanced, with plenty of body and length and an elegantly youthful bouquet. As befits a Reserva Rioja, it is made from tempranillo grapes which are harvested in the Rioja Alta area.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 91
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Bodegas Montecillo

Bodegas Montecillo

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Bodegas Montecillo, Rioja, Spain
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In 1874, Bodegas Montecillo was founded by Celestino Navajas in La Rioja Alta. It is therefore one of the longest established wineries in the Rioja and with the greatest tradition in the making of wines protected by this Denominacion de Origen.

More than 130 years after it was founded, Bodegas Montecillo strictly adheres to its prime objective: to produce natural and full red wines with personality by carefully selecting the raw material, the grape, and by allowing its wines to naturally age and mature in their bottles. This results in a highly consistent level of quality year after year.

The winemaker, Mercedes Garcia Ruperez, has a degree in Oenology from the University of La Rioja and in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Madrid. On top of that, she has a master's degree in Oenology and Viticulture, also from the University of Madrid.

Highly regarded for distinctive and age-worthy red wines, Rioja is Spain’s most celebrated wine region. Made up of three different sub-regions of varying elevation: Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Baja. Wines are typically a blend of fruit from all three, although single-zone wines are beginning to gain in popularity. Rioja Alta, at the highest elevation, is considered to be the source of the brightest, most elegant fruit, while grapes from the warmer and drier Rioja Baja produce wines with deep color and higher alcohol, which can add great body and richness to a blend.

Fresh and fruity Riojas labeled, Joven, (meaning young) see minimal aging before release, but more serious Rioja wines undergo multiple years in oak. Crianza and Reserva styles are aged around six months to one year in oak, and Gran Reserva at least two (plus three years in bottle), but in practice this maturation period is often quite a bit longer—up to about fifteen years.

Tempranillo provides the backbone of Rioja red wines, adding complex notes of red and black fruit, leather, toast and tobacco, while Garnacha supplies body. In smaller percentages, Graciano and Mazuelo (Carignan) often serve as “seasoning” with additional flavors and aromas. These same varieties are responsible for flavorful dry rosés.

White wines, typically balancing freshness with complexity, are made mostly from crisp, fresh Viura. Some whites are blends of Viura with aromatic Malvasia, and then barrel fermented and aged to make a more ample, richer style of white.

Tempranillo

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Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins, modest alcohol, and bright acidity, Tempranillo is the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions. It is important throughout Spain as well as in Portugal, where it is known as Tinta Roriz and is an important component of Port wines and the table wines of the Douro region that Port calls home. California, Washington, and Oregon have all had moderate success with Tempranillo, producing a riper, more fruit-forward style of wine.

In the Glass

Tempranillo is often aged in new oak for the integration of spicy, woodsy, and herbal flavors, often with hints of vanilla, coconut, and dill. The grape itself produces medium-weight reds with bright red and black fruit aromas and hints of spice, leather, and tobacco, with no shortage of flavor.

Perfect Pairings

Tempranillo’s modest, fine-grained tannins and bright acidity make it extremely food friendly, pairing with a wide variety of Spanish-inspired dishes—especially grilled lamb chops, a rich chorizo and bean stew, or paella.

Sommelier Secret

The Spanish take their oak aging requirements very seriously, especially in Rioja. There, a system is in place to indicate on the label how much time the wine has spent in both barrel and bottle before release, which is helpful to the consumer trying to determine the style of an unfamiliar wine. Rioja can range from Joven (fresh, fruity, and unoaked) to Gran Reserva (complex and oxidized from extended barrel aging), with Crianza and Reserva in between.

CLW253528_1998 Item# 74989