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Cortijo Tinto 2011

Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
  • RP88
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

This wine is a pure, bright expression of Estate fruit from Rioja Alta. 100% Unoaked. An impressive wine that sells for a song! The 20% Garnacha brings forth bright fruit flavors and complex red berry aromas.

The fresh, pure character of this wine makes this an extremely versatile wine to pair with food. Without the rotund weight of oak aging, this wine pairs well with white meats like pork and chicken and flaky fish like hake, cod or flounder. This has the fruit and acidity to match with red meats, as well.

Blend: 80% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha

Critical Acclaim

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RP 88
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Composed of 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha, the 2011 Cortijo Tinto is another excellent value from their winemaker, David Sampedro. Lots of ripe black cherry notes intermixed with hints of roasted herbs, loamy soil and spice box are found in this medium-bodied, fruity, spicy, fresh, lively red.
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Cortijo

Cortijo

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Cortijo, Rioja, Spain
2011 Tinto
Cortijo Tinto is a bright, fresh red wine produced by David Sampedro in the Rioja DOCa. Rioja is Spain’s most prestigious region and for younger or neophyte wine drinkers who want to learn more about this magical, storybook wine region, its grapes and its wines, there’s no better an introduction than Cortijo Tinto. Cortijo means ‘cottage’ or ‘shack,’ a reference by the emerging young winemaker David Sampedro that his shack makes better wine than most high-flown Chateaux in Rioja. David improves the quality of his wines by doing better work in his vineyards, the place where the grapes come from. David says, "If you want to make better wine, harvest better grapes." Rather than build a chateau or a beautiful tasting room, he’d rather pay to take care of the only meaningful ingredient, the grapes. Beginning with the 2009 vintage, Cortijo is made with estate grapes. The goal is to show a naked, unadorned expression of Tempranillo and Garnacha from Rioja Alta with no interference of oak. Cortijo is a sort of “non-profit organization” for David as opposed to most of his other wines, which are super-premium cuvées that collectors kill for. Cortijo is David's way of introducing people to great wine from Rioja at a value price.

Highly regarded for distinctive and age-worthy red wines, Rioja is Spain’s most celebrated wine region and also home to whites of equivalent quality but lesser renown. 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 high alcohol which mainly serve to add body to a blend. While fresh and fruity Riojas labeled “Joven” undergo minimal aging before release, a hallmark of more serious Rioja wines is the aroma and flavor of new oak—traditionally American, which imparts characteristics of dill, coconut, vanilla, and spice to the wine. Tighter-grained, subtler French oak, however, is becoming increasingly common. Crianza and Reserva styles are aged at least one year in oak, and Gran Reserva at least two, 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, providing complex notes of red and black fruit, leather, and tobacco, while Garnacha supplies body and alcohol. In smaller percentages, Graciano and Mazuelo often serve as “seasoning” with additional flavors and aromas. These same varieties are responsible for flavorful dry rosés. White wines are made mostly from crisp, fresh Viura, which is usually blended with aromatic Malvasia and weighty Garnacha Blanca. White Rioja has traditionally been made in a nutty, oxidative style, though a bright, unoaked version is currently in vogue.

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.

SKRSCR007_2011 Item# 120083

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