2012 Senorio de San Vicente Rioja

Year: 2012
Appellation: Rioja
Country: Spain
Wine Spectator: 90
Wine Advocate: 92
Vinous Media: 93
Wine Enthusiast: 93
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
Price :
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"Aromatic, with berry, floral and spice notes, this bright, lively red follows through with cherry, chocolate and orange peel flavors set in a light but balanced structure. Fresh and graceful. Drink now through 2022. 750 cases made. –TM" (WS)

"The 2012 San Vicente is produced from an extremely dry year. Tasted next to the 2013, there are some candied notes, ripe and with sweet fruit, and also more developed aromas of leather and spices--a style traditional drinkers of this wine will appreciate. The palate is serious, even a little austere with some chalky tannins and a dry finish that would welcome food. This is ready. 60,000 bottles produced.

It was fascinating to taste the 2013 and 2012 side by side, two vintages that are so different, 2013 really wet and 2012 extremely dry." (WA)

"Dark ruby. Deeply pitched, smoke-accented dark berry, floral pastille, cured meat and vanilla aromas are lifted by a spicy nuance. Sweet and expansive on the palate, offering intense blackberry and cherry compote flavors plus suggestions of cola and mocha. Dusty tannins build through a very long, spicy, lavender-tinged finish. Aged in all-new French and American oak." (VM)

"This modern-style Tempranillo is registering at max ripeness. Aromas of black fruits, raisin, tire rubber and toasty French oak project a dark outlook. In the mouth, this is tight and gripping. Flavors of blackened oak, cassis and blackberry finish firm and closed, with manageable tannins. Drink through 2025." (WE)


Though I’ve tasted what must be thousands of Rioja wines for many a decade, I’ve never had one like this 2012 San Vicente. Well, why is it so different? And first of all I would say that the vast majority of Rioja wines are light to medium bodied and modest in there tannin level. While, this 2012 San Vicente is a, dark-purple, huge rich full-bodied wine that if served blind to me I might have guessed it was a high-quality Rhone style wine made possibly from a goodly amount of Mourvedre, instead of the mostly Tempranillo it actually is produced from.

The predominate fruit flavor I found in this red wine is well-aged concentrated cassis along with complex aromas and tastes of leather, roasted-meats and fascinating spices and herbs. With such full boldness and tannins the wine is still somewhat austere and will mature and soften for another four or five years and keep well for at least an additional decade. This is an ideal wine to serve with a fine meal centered around roast meal, roasted duck or goose, and similar rich gourmet delights and, of course, a natural to serve with top-grade cheeses.

This is a serious rich wine that a knowledgeable wine enthusiast owes it to his or her self to experience something really good that marches to a different drummer.

RATING: 94/95
PRICE: $44.95, *** bargain
WHERE: Los Angeles Wine Co.
(Martin's Guide to Wine Bargains)

Winery Notes:
Señorio de San Vicente, a single vineyard, represents the dream of the Eguren family. It is a long-term project which started with the planting of the vineyard in the early 80s, and finished with the building of the winery stone-by-stone. The winery is directed by Miguel Angel Eguren; the winemaker is Marcos Eguren. This is a historic winery because it the first one to bottle this clone of Tempranillo by itself, and it may be the first winery in Rioja to use the concept of high density planting. Vineyards are located in San Vicente de la Sonsierra, Rioja Alta. Grapes are sourced from La Canoca, a vineyard of 45 acres (18 ha). This vineyard was planted with a high density of 1,875 vines per acre (4,500 per ha), which is dense, considering that the average in Rioja is from 2,500 to 3,000 vines per hectare. The average production in this vineyard is (4,500 kg/ha), while in Rioja the average is from 6,000 to 6,200 kg/ha. The altitude of the vineyard is 1,590 ft. (530 m) above sea level. The orientation of the vineyard is north to south. The vineyard is planted with Tempranillo Peludo, the best clone of Tempranillo found in Rioja. It is the least productive, earliest to mature, fruitiest, and smoothest of the Tempranillos found in Rioja. Climate of this area is Continental, with the influence of winds from the Atlantic.