Monday 24 August 2015

Drinking Tonight - 1996 Cuvée El Campanario, Abadia Retuerta

Way back, in those days when a Parker score really meant something, at least for many of us, the notes of the wines of Abadia Retuerta meant that you should buy them on sight!

Now, many years later, a single bottle from them emerges in a recently bought mixed case. I pull out my now old 5th edition of the Wine Buyer´s Guide (1999) and reads the following:

"this powerful, rich, layered, wine could easily pass for a top-class Bordeaux in a blind tasting. Anticipated maturity: 2001-20120
With a score of 93+p.

Here we are now. It is 2015. Well within the anticipated time frame. Is it still a dead ringer for a fine Bordeaux? Lets pull the cork and find out.

1996 Cuvée El Campanario, Abadia Retuerta
This is 100% Tempranillo and it has been aged in 100% new French oak for 16 months. The nose is big, deep and mature with notes of dried strawberries, pipe tobacco, some oak vanilla still, raspberry liquorice and even some dill, that is one of Rioja´s tell tale signs. A fine round sweetness to the fruit. Very good, although on the soft side of things.
The taste is mature, round and warm with notes of spicy strawberries, pipe tobacco, liqourice and dill. The finish is long, warm and smooth. Should probably have been drunk 5+ years ago. The bottle was flawless, with a fill in the neck and the cork was perfect, so I don´t think this have been stored to warm or otherwise wrong. But Bordeaux like - no way. Very good though.
87p   (tasted 2015/08)


  1. I only bought the entry level but I remembered that they fell apart only after a year or so. I do not believe they were made for long term treatment. Long time ago I tried anything from them.

    1. Same here, only tried them when they were "the thing", fun to see what time had made with this bottle, not bad, but not anything to rave about either