Grape(s): 100% Tempranillo
Localization: Rioja, Spain
Tasting Notes: The San Vicente is a garnet red cherry. Delicate nose, good reduction, and toasty creamy notes with rich licorice flavors and mountain herbs in this generous red, offering an elegant palate, fresh with well-integrated tannins and a smooth finish.
95 points Jeb Dunnuck: Not yet released (it will be released in October), the 2016 San Vicente checks in as 100% Tempranillo that was aged 20 months in 90% new French and 10% new American oak. Its deep purple color is followed by a beautiful perfume of blackberries, plums, lead pencil shavings, cedarwood, and crushed rocks. Elegant, full-bodied, with ripe, present tannins and a great finish, this wine is another brilliant vintage. Give bottles 2-4 years and it will keep for 2-3 decades. Rating: 95+
The Domain: At a time when Rioja producers were entrenched in a classic style of production, Marcos and Miguel Angel Eguren strove to produce a Bordeaux-styled single vineyard wine. The tradition in Rioja was blending vineyards and varieties, which lost the identity of single vineyards in the resulting wines. Marcos and Miguel Angel selected one of their finest and most unique vineyards, Finca La Canoca, to produce San Vicente. Located in a tiny valley at the foothills of the Sierra Cantabria, Finca La Canoca is 100% Tempranillo Peludo planted on extremely high-density trellises. The specific clone of Tempranillo, combined with the vineyard’s location produced a different expression that the Eguren family sought to highlight in this wine, which was built from the vineyard. The vineyard is located in a tiny valley on the northern fringes of what is considered to be an acceptable location for growing grapes in Rioja Alavesa. Any closer to the Sierra Cantabria mountain range, the grapes would have trouble ripening. However, the altitude produces an elegant, lively wine with deep character and concentration.
In 1991, when they began working on the project, there were no single vineyard Rioja wines. The Eguren family was the first to combat this outdated aging system, as there is nothing inherent about aging that makes wine better. San Vicente is a unique wine that marries the modern intensity of fruit and concentration with classic Old-World style Rioja aromatics of mountain herbs and licorice. The philosophy of this project is one vineyard, one cellar, and one wine.