Acentor Rioja 2018

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Acentor Rioja was produced by famed winemaker Isaac Fernández with fruit that was estate-grown at Casa La Rad. A classic Rioja blend of 85% tempranillo and 15% graciano, it’s from low-yielding vines struggling in poor, rocky, lime-rich, clay soils at 550 meters of elevation. After selective hand harvesting in small bins to keep bunches in ideal condition, the fruit was brought quickly to the winery where the acclaimed winemaker fermented it with native yeasts in stainless steel tanks. After fermentation, he aged it for 8 months in used French oak barrels.

★ ★ 1/2 Excellent/Exceptional
"This savory red seems ideal for the weeks on either side of the autumnal equinox. It greets the nose with jammy late-summer aromas of blackberry pie, as well as a sense of a cool afternoon turning to dusk in a forest where the leaves have reached peak color and are almost, but not quite, ready to fall. This wine begs to be paired with meat cooked over fire. It’s young and should age well over the next five years if you’re willing to stock up. ABV: 14 percent. Imported by Grapes of Spain.” -  Washington Post wine writer Dave McIntyre