2019 Manuel Quintano Rioja Alavesa


Available for purchase in the U.S. only excluding AL, AK, AR, DE, HI, IA, MS, ND, RI, UT, WV. 

Wine Details & Tasting Notes

I first tried this wine last spring at a trade show in Germany and have since consumed multiple bottles of the 2019 Manuel Quintano 2019 Rioja Alavesa "El Pionero", each one better than the last. It's a fantastic wine just coming into its own now and an incredible bargain. You simply cannot find old vine intensity and character at this price anywhere else.

The wine is produced by Spain's Castillo Labastida winery and named after modern Rioja's pioneering force, Manuel Quintano. Having spent time in Bordeaux making wine, Manuel brought back with him, what were in 1786, the secrets of modern winemaking. 

Produced from 40- to 100-year old vines grown at 450-650 meters of altitude and aged in French oak for 12-14 months, the "El Pionero" cuvee is a fitting homage to the man and his legacy. Rioja Alavesa's vineyard are planted on predominantly limestone and sandstone soils, making it clearly the “Premier Cru of Rioja”, a sort of cross between Burgundy, Champagne and St Emilion.

This fruit forward yet complex, lightly oaked wine (20% new) is a fantastic example of “cool-climate”, Rioja Alavesa Tempranillo. Ripe, well-defined fruit flavors of black cherries and bramble are framed by just a touch of French oak and refreshing acidity. Great on its own as an intellectual libation but also with a myriad of dishes given its velvet smooth tannins. It'll age gracefully for another 7-10 years.

Folks, trust me on this one, this is an insane value!

JAMES SUCKLING: 91-Points (Sept. 2021)
Crushed stones and black fruit with flowers. It’s full-bodied, yet nicely framed with creamy, chewy tannins that are polished. Flavorful finish. Slightly chewy. Needs time to soften. Better after 2022

Cameron's tasting notes: Complex aromas of licorice, lollipop, ripe berries and red fruits, intermingled with hints of pastries, coffee and balsamic nuances with raisin and liquor bass notes. With air, the cinnamon and jam notes surface with roasted and spiced aromas gaining definition. Supple yet lush on entry with balanced acidity and solid structure providing freshness that is nicely offset by the glycerine-like character, resulting in a fleshy feel. Finishes round and elegant, nicely reflecting the intensity and aromatic profile of the wine.

100% Old Vine Rioja Alavesa
~90-95% Tempranillo, 5% Grenache with tiny bits of Mazuelo and Graciano in the field blend.
12-14-months in French oak, 20% new
14% alc.
Projected: shipping December to arrive February and ship in March

On The List Yet?

Join our Wine Futures List to be the first to hear about new releases just like this wine. Many of our releases sell out instantly and we'd hate for you to miss out on the amazing finds Cameron Hughes has planned!

We Suggest You Check Out: