jueves, 12 de julio de 2018

Tim Atkin Master of Wine (Urbina Rioja Report 2018)


Tim Atkin, is one of the best-known journalists and commentators in the world of wine. His resume o curriculum vitae is quite impressive. He is not only a Master of Wine, he has won over thirty prizes for his wine journalism and photography, has written for all the top specialist magazines (Decanter, The World of Fine Wine, Gourmet Traveller Wine, Imbibe) as well as popular publications like Jamie Magazine and is also the co-chairman of the International Wine Challenge, one of the top wine competitions in the world.

Now days, Tim Atkin has his own website where he publishes very useful reports and articles. He will explain everything you need to know about what's happening in Rioja right now. He travels to Rioja every year for a period of three weeks (2018, 2017, and 2016), for winery visits and wine tastings, plus his three decades of experience in this Spain's most famous wine region. Whether you like your Rioja in the modern or traditional style, whether you like minerally whites or single vineyard reds, there's something for you here. There's also something for fine wine lovers these days. Discover what makes Rioja rock, learn about the changes in the region, meet the young guns and the old hands, etc.

This comprehensive, 126-page guide includes:
- The Ten Things You Need to Know about Rioja.
- Top wines of the year (by style).
- Winemakers of the year.
- Scores for nearly 900 wines.
- 550 tasting notes (including drinking windows) for wines scoring over 90 points.
- Tim Atkin classification of Rioja's best producers.
- Evocative photos of the region and its winemakers.
- Recommendations for restaurants and further reading.
- All this for £20, €23 or $28.

Bodegas Urbina is a family winery with four generations since 1870 dedicated to grape growing and winemaking. The present winery designed, built and run by the family Urbina since 1986 has been created solely to facilitate the mission of the winemaker at the time of producing fine wines. The winemaking for commercialization dates from 1870 and performed in ancient underground Cuzcurrita drafts.

Bodegas Urbina has 75 hectares of native varieties of Rioja, whose sole purpose is the quality of their wines. The wines are a combination of grapes from Cuzcurrita, the westernmost part of the DOC Rioja; It produces wines with great aging potential, fit for the Gran Reserva and Uruñuela vineyards located in the heart of the appellation produce wines of great consistency and body, very nice.

Bodegas Urbina has the capacity to produce 200.000 bottles of red Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva and 25.000 bottles of White and Rose grapes from their own vineyards, which are grown under traditional practices, not using herbicides and limiting use of pesticides and fungicides. The cultivation is done in low-trained (vignes basses) and trellis, and does not force the production, not exceeding the 4,500 Kgrs. / Ha. Within the production capacity, wines are selected in order to be labeled as Urbina.


Rioja is beginning to fulfil its potential and that's great news for wine lovers. Spain's most famous region is increasingly exciting. Rioja is about to change how it classifies and promotes its wine. New grape varieties are being planted and old ones rediscovered. And pioneering wine-makers are bringing a fresh approach to what has always been an important but traditional wine-producing region.

This in-depth report covers Rioja’s top producers (big and small), great quality wines and good value wines, Riojas to drink and open later. Download the report for everything you need to know about what's happening in Rioja right now – based on three weeks of visits, further tastings in London, and more than three decades spent tasting and writing about the region’s wines. He has tasted 900 wines so you don't have to. He has also stuck my neck out (again) with his classification of the top producers, so you can drink and buy the best and most interesting wines from Rioja.


1994 Bodegas Benito Urbina Especial, Gran Reserva: 95 Points Tim Atkin, Special Report Rioja 2016: Showing the benefits of blind tasting, this remarkable blend of Tempranillo with 5% Mazuelo and Graciano from a family-owned winery in Cuzcurrita de Río Tirón showed very well at the 10 x 10 tasting in London. Amazingly fresh for its age, it has savoury, dried fruit notes, fine tannins, good structure and the intensity and acidity to age further. 2015-21


1996 Urbina Gran Reserva: (94 Points Tim Atkin, Special Report Rioja 2017). Urbina is not as well known as bodegas like López de Heredia, but it deserves to be. This is another mature, bottle-aged triumph that will have Rioja lovers purring with pleasure. Sweet, seductive and well balanced with classic red berry, game and balsamic notes. 2018-23

2001 Urbina Reserva Especial Reserva: (94 Points Tim Atkin, Special Report Rioja 2017)
If you’re a fan of traditional, oak- and bottle-aged Rioja and Urbina is not on your radar then you’re missing out. This fresh, mature, savour, sweetly oaked red from Cuzcurrita is an amazing bottle of wine for only £20. Such balance, such poise, such downright enjoyment. 2017-24.

2005 Urbina Reserva Especial Reserva: (94 Points Tim Atkin, Special Report Rioja 2018)
Picked late - and that means very late in cool climate Cuzcurrita - this pure Tempranillo suffered from a little shrivelling in the vineyards in 2005 but doesn’t show it on the palate. It’s another silky, scented, proudly traditional style from a winery that makes some of most reliably drinkable wines in the region. 2018-25.


1999 Urbina Selección Crianza: (93 Points Tim Atkin, Special Report Rioja 2017). No, I didn’t make a mistake with the vintage. This is indeed a Crianza from 1999, made by one of the very best traditional producers from Tempranillo with 5% Graciano and Mazuelo. It’s a silky, mature, gamey, hedonistic style with lovely balance and the acidity of a cooler area. 2017-22

2004 Urbina Reserva Especial Reserva: (93 Points Tim Atkin, Special Report Rioja 2018). Unlike the 2005 Reserva Especial, made in a more Mediterranean vintage, this had no “uva pasa” (shrivelled grapes) in the mix. Elegant, balsamic and showing a slight volatile lift, chalky freshness and savoury, fig and raspberry fruit, it’s another effortlessly stylish wine from the Urbina family. 2018-24.


2009 Urbina Crianza (92 Points Tim Atkin, Special Report Rioja 2018). I tasted this wine for my 2017 report, but have increased its score this year to reflect its development in bottle. Accounting
for half of this family winery’s sales, it’s pale, nuanced and elegant, with notes of wild herbs and scented oak and a savoury, balsamic finish. 2018-23.


2010 Salva Reserva (91 Points Tim Atkin, Special Report Rioja 2018). The maiden vintage of this Reserva from the Urbina family is aged for a much shorter period of time than most of its other
releases and is slightly, but only slightly less traditional in style. Positively youthful by the standards of some of the Urbina releases, this is released before its Reserva Especial reds. It’s more vibrant and primary than the older bottlings, but with the same filigree tannins and subtle, gentle oak integration.Scented oak frames this stylish, balanced, black-fruited Tempranillo underpinned by acidity and a top note of wood smoke. 2019-24.

2014 Bodegas Benito Urbina Garnacha, Genérico: 91 Points Tim Atkin, Special Report Rioja 2016. Why aren’t there more varietal Garnachas made in Rioja, given how delicious they can be? This has a vibrant, strawberryish rose with juicy gluggable spicy red fruit, and good structure. All about fruit and youth, rather than oak and age. 2015-20.

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