LA RIOJA - SPAIN
Miguel Ángel de Gregorio, one of the great revolutionaries pushing for modernity in Rioja, is the man behind this project. His idea was to regain the region's essence based on the great wines of yesteryear. From this point of view, De Gregorio is a staunch defender of terroir, starting from village wines up to the most renowned vineyards. All Finca Allende vineyards are in Briones and neighbouring villages on the right bank of the river Ebro. De Gregorio praises this area’s northern exposure which gets less protection from the Sierra de Cantabria than vineyards on the slopes of the opposite bank. Red clay topsoils and gravel are Briones’ archetype of Briones. The calcareous gravel substrate - a legacy of the ancient river course - allows roots to develop well into the subsoil and explains the minerality of the wines.
The flagship red and bearer of the winery's name, Finca Allende, is a 100% Tempranillo from the village of Briones, where the winery is located. It carries the house signature: ripe grapes, considerable concentration and a judicious use of French oak. Aurus is Allende's most ambitious card, inspired in the classic Riojas from the 1940s and conceived to withstand time. It is made from old Tempranillo and Graciano vines planted on calcareous clay soils over gravel and facing north to capture the fresh Atlantic winds.
The range also includes two pago-style labels presented in Burgundy bottles. Calvario is a rich, deep red with seductive textures, explosive fruit and cellaring potential. The white Mártires comes from a vineyard with distinctive clay-loam that sets it apart from any other plots in the vicinity. A Celtic sanctuary once stood there and the chapel of the Holy Martyrs (hence the name of the wine) was built afterwards.
Finca Nueva is Miguel’s second project in Rioja. He likes to call them his ‘fun wines’, ready to be enjoyed upon release, yet reflecting the region’s styles and categories at far more affordable prices than the more serious Allende wines.
Jancis Robinson has described Allende Blanco as“the finest white Rioja I have ever tasted”, while the Rioja Tinto and single vineyard wines have been given big kudos by the Wine Spectator, Tim Atkin MW, and Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (with several 98 point reviews for Calvario and Aurus).
*** Finca Allende is classified as one of the few ‘First Growth’ bodegas in Tim Atkin MW’s definitive Rioja Classification, every year since 2015 ***
Finca Allende Rioja 2010
94 points, Decanter -"It's hard to recall a better vintage of the 'entry point' Allende red, demonstrating the balance and poise of the year. Floral, nuanced and elegant with stylish oak, it has a stony minerality and the sweetness and purity of great Tempranillo. Drinking Window 2018 - 2025.”
Wine Advocate - “The 2010 Allende Tinto is pure Tempranillo harvested after October 18 from vines averaging 45 years of age in Briones, fermented in inox (including malolactic), aged for 14 months in French oak barrels (one-third new) and racked every four months before being bottled unfiltered and unfined. It displays a very ripe nose with notes of peach and violets, raspberries and morello cherries, with a touch of licorice and iron. The medium-bodied palate is round, the wood is perfectly integrated and the wine ends with precise flavors of violets. This is delicious.”
Finca Allende Rioja 2009
Wine Advocate - “The 2009 Allende is more expressive on the nose at this stage, with pure blackberry, briary, mineral and citrus notes. The palate is very well-balanced with fine, supple tannins and wonderful cohesion. To be frank, the 2009 puts recent vintages in the shade in terms of its elegance and poise. Outstanding!”
Finca Nueva Rioja Gran Reserva 2005
Wine Advocate - “The classical and polished 2005 Gran Reserva is pure Tempranillo fermented in stainless steel after a six-day cold soak and aged in French oak barrels for two years. It's subtle and elegant, developed but not too much, with spices, tertiary notes, mushrooms, truffles and leaves. The palate is medium-bodied with fully resolved tannins and some acidity. An updated classic.”