Robert Parker, Jr., The Wine Advocate: "The 2005 Gran Reserva is produced with the grapes of destemmed selected bunches from their own vineyards, over 60-year-old Tempranillo grapes fermented in cement vats, whose malolactic fermentation was carried out in new barrels and then transferred to used American and French barrels where it stayed for three years. The wine rested in bottle for a minimum of three years before being released. Only 2,700 magnums (and a bunch of bigger bottles) were produced. 2005 was a powerful vintage, but not as warm as the 2004. It is now open and expressive, very spicy, with developed notes of blond tobacco, leather and very fresh fruit (more red than black). It has juicy fruit and a very round texture, a serious wine that should develop slowly. The next vintage of this wine will be 2009, and the blend will start including even a small quantity of white. If you work out the price for a single bottle this magnum represents very good value. Drink 2014-2025.
Contino is not a brand name from CVNE, it's a completely separate winery and vineyard in Laserna in the municipality of Laguardia in Rioja Alvesa created as a joint-venture with the owners of a superb vineyard, house and old caves in a meander of the Ebro river in 1973. It is considered the first chateau style winery in Rioja. All their wines are produced with their own grapes sourced from the 63 hectares of vineyards within their San Rafael estate. The style is terroir-driven, classical-modern. In 2013 they suffered a terrible hail storm on September 6, so we'll see little Contino from the 2013 vintage. They just started experimenting with white in 2006 and they have only sold a couple of vintages. The Vina del Olivo was not ready with the new vintage (2010) so I quickly tasted the 2009, which showed extremely fresh and Atlantic for a powerful vintage, a highly drinkable wine which is already reviewed and available on the database." Dec 2013
Winery: "Big deep colour. Long rich deep palate, damsons in predominance and lots of strong, warm spices."