Story and photo by Manos Angelakis


Montecillo Gran Reserva

Bodegas Montecillo 2011 Gran Reserva and 2014 Reserva

Just got two exceptional wines from Bodegas Montecillo, a winery founded in 1870 in Spanish Rioja.

The Montecillo Gran Reserva is a classic Rioja, full of flavor, elegantly complex, balanced and very well priced for the quality it represents.

Blackberries, blueberries, leather, cigar box, vanilla and anise dominate the nose. The palate confirms the nose and adds the fruity tastes of cassis and lime and a touch of sour cherry and so you have a beautifully complex wine that will get even better and smoother with a little more cellar time. Some oak tones are present but are not overpowering. The tannins are smooth and polished. The wine is a blend of 92% Tempranillo and 8% Graciano. This is one of those wines that has to be decanted for the aromas and flavors to fully develop.

The Montecillo Reserva is also a classic Rioja, but from Rioja Alta, and feels considerably younger. The palate is silky, clean, with polished and velvety tannins. It is well balanced with a long and well defined finish. The 2014 Reserva vintage seems to have almost as much residual sugar as the 2011 Gran Reserva.

Light oak, vanilla and tobacco dominate the nose; wood smoke, leather and nuances of licorice balance the background with black fruit notes i.e. blackberry, plum and black cherry very evident on the palate. Clean and dry, it is well crafted and also well priced.

I have enjoyed Bodegas Montecillo wines in the past very much and I’m sure I will in the future, especially if global warming increases the grape maturity so that there will be even more pleasure secreted in this producer's bottles.



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