El Cadastro – Wine Advocate – 94 Points
The 2012 Viñas del Cadastro is a blend of four vineyards in the village of Covarrubias (Burgos), planted with old Tempranillo vines; and as with all old vineyards there are some other varieties interplanted in the field, in this case some 5% Garnacha. 50% of full clusters were used for the vinification in open plastic bins with indigenous yeasts. In 2012, Rivière did a lighter extraction, as the grapes had enough tannins, and what you needed was to get a balanced juice. The different plots were matured in 300- and 600-liter French oak casks separately, then blended after almost two years and kept in vat for five-six months before being bottled. The characteristic of this wine is always a floral, exuberant and expressive nose (a character that Rivière think comes for a plot called La Tizona), but with volume, nice acidity and much finer tannins than in previous vintages, which makes it approachable yet powerful. There are fine spices and something earthy, a little mealy and malty, really showy and expressive. This is an elegant, really impressive Arlanza, drinkable now and with the stuffing, balance and acidity to develop nicely in bottle. This is the finest and better balanced Viñas del Cadastro so far. This is an incredible value for money.