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Bodegas Contador - Rioja

We have a very small allocation from one of the greatest names of Rioja & Spanish wine - Bodegas Contador by Benjamín Romeo. This pre-arrival offer includes wines from the stunning 2015 & 2016 vintage. The wines are due in December 2020.

Benjamín Romeo was a winemaker at Artadi having trained with Juan Carlos López de Lacalle - owner and chief winemaker at Artadi - and was a major contributor to some of the greatest Riojas made between 1985 and 2000.

The history of his own winery began in 1995, when Benjamin acquired a centennial cave under the castle of San Vicente de la Sonsierra . In 1996 he made the first harvest of the wine “La Cueva del Contador” there and began to buy vines for his project. During the following years he carried out small-scale winemaking in the cave and continued acquiring vineyards. In 1999 he made the first vintage of his “Contador” wine and in 2000, given the good reception of these first wines, he decided to dedicate himself exclusively to his personal project. 

The 2004 and 2005 vintages of “Contador” represented a very positive turning point for the project, as they achieved a perfect score of 100 points from The Wine Advocate. This recognition was unprecedented in Spain, given the small scale nature of his 'garage project'.

In order to give the project the size it deserved, between 2004 and 2006 Benjamín Romeo prepared the project for his current winery together with the architect Héctor Herrera . The new winery, which opened on June 21, 2008, is located at the foot of San Vicente de la Sonsierra and has a structure of 3 floors or terraces that reproduces the original slopes of the land and at the same time facilitates grape management. and wine by gravity .

Benjamín now works 75 plots, totaling 47 hectares of vineyards, with vines ranging between 25 and 110+ years of age. The annual production of his winery is around 150,000 bottles. The harvest is done manually and the grapes are transported to the winery in boxes of 14 kilograms of capacity and within a maximum period of half an hour. Once in the cellar, and always working by gravity, alcoholic fermentation takes place at a controlled temperature in French cone-shaped vats of 10,000 liters capacity. Both the emptying of the tanks and the filling of the barrels is also carried out by gravity. The wine undergoes malolactic fermentation in new French oak barrels. Regarding oak work, Bodega Contador works exclusively with the 10 most prestigious coopers in France and with the highest-end barrels of each of these coopers. Benjamin Romeo travels to France to personally select the best oaks.

Benjamin is a viticulturist & winemaker of extraordinary talent, a visionary who is driven to discover how Rioja can really exploit the minutiae of its multifarious terroirs and offer genuine nuances in a similar fashion to Burgundy - where place and terroir are everything. We feel privileged to be able to offer small amounts of these very special wines on a first-in first-served basis, to our valued fine wine customers. 

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