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Finca Allende Rioja Tinta 2009

The Experience

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One by Harry Nilsson
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Singular pursuits
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Lancashire hotpot

The Oddbins Take

Ordinarily, Rioja is made up predominantly of Tempranillo, with a whack of Grenache adding some juicy, weighty fruit to Tempranillo’s manly, savoury flavours. But this 100% Tempranillo stunner, from the noted Finca Allende winery, shows just how well this grape can shine as a solo performer. Intense cherry in colour, it has fulsome blackberry, cranberry and wild forest fruits over the notes of oak, which is perfectly integrated and reminiscent of cedar and tobacco. Essentially, this is a bit like John Lennon after The Beatles – it works well in the band, but shows a spectacular character and originality when left to its own devices.

The Vital Statistics

Best Drunk Now & Over the Next 5 Years
Bottle Size
Regular - 750ml
Residual Sugar
1.6 g/l
Alcohol Units

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Was £21.00


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The Style

Tempranillo (100%)
Light Full bodied
Dry Sweet

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Finca Rioja

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Miguel Angel de Gregorio, the founder of and winemaker at Finca Allende said: “In 1986, when I arrived in Briones and I discovered the singular terroir I always dreamed of, I started buying small old vineyard plots and I tried to know and understand each terroir. We gradually found our model. In 1995, after overcoming difficulties that undoubtedly would have made someone less motivated that me give up, we were in position to wine make the first Allende. We came from a Rioja tradition, with a Bordeaux type idea of the terroir and little by little we have been creating our own way, our own style… The expressiveness of the terroir, very structured wines, very marked tannins with lots of mineral aromas (which were what the terroir of Briones given to us) and since then, we have continued along this line on an annual basis.”

"The soils are clayey and clayey-calcareous, with a constant substratum of calcareous gravels, reminiscent of an alluvial past which allows the development of the roots in depth and the extraction of mineral elements in depth and the high synthesis of phenolic components. Altitudes fluctuate between 415-480m and the aspects are north and northeast, allowing an optimal ripeness. The average density is 3,600 vines per hectare (much higher than average of the area) and the pruning is made in Gobelet with three arms, though the young vines are disposed on a wire with Cordon pruning. The whole harvest is done by hand while they transport the grapes to the cellar in box of 20kg."

Whole bunches are destalked and not crushed in stainless steel tanks. Cold pre-fermentary maceration takes place at 5º C for six days. Fermentation is controlled at 28º C for 10 days, with three pumping overs a day. Total maceration with the skins lasts for 16 days. De-vatting is done by gravity and vertical press. Malolactic fermentation is done in stainless steel tanks and ageing is done for 14 months in French oak (Allier forest) barriques of 225 litres. Bottling takes place without fining or filtration.

This is a very modern style of Rioja; rich and ripe fruit are balanced by fresh acidity and fine tannin, making this a very polished wine indeed. Intense cherry in colour, with purple edges, on the nose there is a predominance of fruit aromas (blackberry, cranberry and wild forest fruits) over the notes of oak, which is perfectly integrated and reminds one of cedar and tobacco. In the mouth, it is serious and lively with intensity and great balance. An expansive palate combines fresh fruit and an elegant structure for a wine with a great ageing potential.

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