Sinodo O Garnacha Graciano 19

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Amazing Rioja -- tiny production, enormous quality

Established in 2014 in the famed wine region of La Rioja, Sínodo Vitivinícola began from a shared vision to revive ancient vineyards scattered across the Rioja DO -- some of which date back over a century. These vineyards, with their unique grape varietals and traditional viticultural methods, are Rioja's living winemaking history.


This noble endeavor was a business venture and an important personal journey for three enthusiastic winemakers—Juan Antonio Blanco, Gorka Etxebarria, and Roberto Monforte. Their paths first intertwined during their oenology studies in Logroño, in the heart of La Rioja. Witnessing the trend among larger wineries to replace old, less productive vines with more profitable alternatives, they saw not just a business opportunity but a chance to safeguard a part of their cultural heritage. 


Despite the financial hurdles they faced as students, luck was on their side, as they were gifted several tiny vineyard plots from family members. The trio has garnered significant critical acclaim from these humble beginnings, allowing them to collaborate with other local families in Rioja while gradually increasing their tiny production.


An exciting development in Rioja is the designation "Viñedo Singular," a classification that highlights unique single vineyards in Rioja. This relatively new category requires vineyards to be at least 40 years old and produce significantly lower yields than typically allowed in the region. The wines that bear this label have not only met these stringent requirements but have also successfully passed a rigorous official blind tasting, not once but twice, ensuring their exceptional quality.


This initiative has been praised in particular by Juan Carlos Sancha, Professor of Viticulture at the University La Rioja. He believes the Viñedo Singular designation will be critical in preserving significant vineyards. Many in Spain also see it as a means to elevate the status of talented but lesser-known winegrowers. 


Notes from the Critics:

93+ Robert Parker

The 2020 Centales is a new single-vineyard bottle that has been given the Viñedo Singular category. It comes from a plot in Centales de Uruñuela bordering Huércanos and was planted in 1966 at 500 meters in altitude on limestone-rich soils where they have a field blend of varieties all fermented together that produces a characterful wine with a different, perfumed nose and a medium to full-bodied palate. The number of varieties gives the following breakdown: 52% Tempranillo, 25% Mazuelo, 14% Viura, 7% Garnacha and 2% Maturana Tinta that achieved 13.9% alcohol after fermenting in stainless steel and maturing in second-use French oak barrels for 11 months. Only 780 bottles were filled in September 2021. Drink 2022-2030


Tim Atkin :

Centales is a field blend of Tempranillo with 25% Mazuelo, 14% Viura, 7% Garnacha and 2% Maturana Tinta from a 1966 0.18-hectare plot in Uruñuela. Aged in new 500 liter barrels and making its debut in 2020, this has graceful, ethereal aromas, lacy tannins and citrus, pomegranate and red berry fruit. 2024-30.

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