Benjamin Romeo, Carmen Gran Reserva

Benjamin Romeo, Carmen Gran Reserva

Rioja 2007

Spain, Spain

Regular price£295.00
Case Format
Duty Status
Style: Red Drink from:
ABV: 14.0% Drink to:
Packaging: OCC Stock arriving: In Stock
Critic scores
94 RP, 93 VM
Critic reviews
"The 2007 Gran Reserva is a blend of 82% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha and 4% Graciano and 4% Viura. It has better cohesion and purity than the 2008 Gran Reserva on the nose, with brambly, blackberry fruit, fresh violet and Spanish black olives. The palate is well-balanced with sappy black fruit, black plum, soy and a touch of balsamic. It is very composed on the finish and constitutes a superb Gran Reserva. One of the most memorable days in Rioja was spending an afternoon in the company of the inimitable Benjamin Romeo, the tour de force behind Bodega Contador. We flitted from one patch of twisted ancient vines to another, mainly around the medieval village of San Vincente, Romeo again and again propounding his mantra that terroir creates great wine. This involved one perilous drive through vegetation as thick as the Amazon until the 4x4 exited into a parcel of century-old, gnarly Tempranillo vines (upon which he mentioned that they were far more accessible on foot). Since leaving Artadi in 2000, he has gradually acquired around 80 parcels of old vine material, vinifying the fruit in a simple, modern, efficient winery, inaugurated in 2007, a facility that places functionality over aesthetic charms. Benjamin himself comes across as an intense, passionate, uncompromising winemaker, a little distant and apprehensive at first, but warming to someone who is patently interested in terroir. Bodega Contador is certainly a slick operation, fastidious down to the last detail, resulting in a set of sumptuous, silky smooth, curvaceous Rioja wines that are seductive, yet deserve considerable cellaring. Moving on to the 2010s, readers should note that these were bottled a week prior to my tasting them. Although Romeo’s name is synonymous with “modern” Rioja, he told me that he wished to make a classical wine for his mother, whom he described as a “classical woman” and fancied a “change of scene.”
Neal Martin, August 2012

"Brilliant ruby. Intensely perfumed red berry, cherry-cola and incense aromas, with suggestions of smoky minerals, vanilla and pipe tobacco building in the glass. Palate-staining black raspberry, floral pastille and spicecake flavors suavely combine power and finesse, with juicy acidity adding lift and spine. Fine-grained tannins build slowly on an extremely long, sappy finish that leaves notes of cherry compote and five-spice powder behind."
Josh Raynolds, October 2015

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Antonio Galloni,
Allan Meadows,
Gus McLean,
Jane Anson,
Jeb Dunnuck,
Jancis Robinson,
James Suckling,
Lisa Perrotti-Brown,
Neal Martin,
Tim Atkin,

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