Bodega Contador La Viña de Andres Romeo Rioja 2012
One of the best showings for this wine in years, the 2012 Contador has an intoxicating nose of violets, lilies, blueberries and black cherries, with great harmony, denoting superb elegance. The palate is silky, with world-class tannins and texture, focused, clean flavors, very good balance and gob-smacking power and elegance. A rare combination. This is truly other wordy. It has the balance, stuffing, acidity and minerality to have a long life in bottle, but its exuberant youth is difficult to resist. Unfortunately, wines like this come at a price. I tasted two bottles, and even though it's not as polished as the Carmen Gran Reserva, it was approachable. But it would clearly benefit from more time in bottle. A couple of weeks later, I was served it and didn't recognize the wine at all; I found it extremely oaky and extracted, and in fact I guessed it to be a Tempranillo from Toro, which was disturbing when the wine was revealed as I didn't identify it at all (not even Rioja!). It showed very differently. We all know different bottles and circumstances show very differently, so I thought this was relevant to be mentioned here, as it made me hesitate. They told me the day of that blind tasting was a root day, but still I'm adding a question mark to my score, which might ultimately bee too conservative. 5,900 bottles produced.