Phinca Abejera

Vineyard: Sourced from the La Abejera vineyard, a vineyard with limestone soils planted in 1929 by David’s grandfather, Antonio Gil.

Appellation: DOCa Rioja (subregion: Rioja Alavesa)

Varieties: 40% Tempranillo, 40% Graciano, 10% Grenache, and 10% Viura

Harvest and Production: Hand harvested in 10 kg boxes, and the grapes are destemmed directly over the top of an open top oak vat where the fermentation will occur naturally. The Graciano grapes supply sufficient tannin, so for most vintages, only approximately 50% of the stems from the Tempranillo are utilized. The wine is aged 36 months in 500L neutral French oak barrels. On average, only 2000 bottles are made.




2019 Vintage

  • David Sampedro is in no hurry to release this intense, high-toned cuvée of Graciano, 40% Tempranillo, 10% Viura and 5% Garnacha, ageing the result for three years in new Burgundian barrels. Concentrated and firm, it has notes of tar, roses and damson and a sheen of sweet oak spices. Drink 2024-29.
    92 pts — Tim Atkin, Rioja Report 2024

2018 Vintage

  • The blend of the 2018 Phinca Abejera, from a 0.27-hectare plot planted in 1929 with a high percentage of Graciano on pure limestone soils, is slightly different from the 2017 I tasted next to it ; this has a lot more white, more Graciano and less Tempranillo — 40% Tempranillo, 45% Graciano and 15% Viura. The nose reveals creamy notes with tons of sweet spices, cinnamon, vanilla and aromatic herbs. The palate is full-bodied, and the wine is ripe at 15% alcohol but has good balance and sophisticated tannins. It spent three years in 225-liter French Oak barrels. 2,700 bottles produced.  Drink 2022-2030
    94 pts — Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate (June 28, 2022)
  • Biodynamically farmed, like all Bodegas Bhilar’s vineyards La Abejera faces west and was planted in 1929 on limestone-rich soils. Partnering equal parts Tempranillo and Graciano with 10% each of Garnacha and Viura, it has clove and tobacco leaf aromas, impressive concentration, savoury, grippy tannins and layers of spicy red berry fruit. Drink 2024-29.
    93 pts — Tim Atkin, Rioja Report 2023

2016 Vintage

  • The 2016 Phinca Abejera has the balsamic and herbal aromas I always find in this bottling: a touch of beeswax, pinecones, eucalyptus and sweet spices that make it resemble a Barolo Chinato. There’s plenty of cinnamon, cola nut and nutmeg; it’s very spicy and showy. The fruit is ripe and the wine has 14.5% alcohol, so it’s medium to full-bodied with abundant, slightly dusty tannins. It’s a blend of Tempranillo and Viura matured in new 225-liter French barriques for three years. It has mellow acidity and a velvety mouthfeel after such a long time in barrel. 1,300 bottles were filled in September 2019.
    94 pts — Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate (Nov.2, 2020)
  • Phinca Abejera comes from a field-blended vineyard of Tempranillo, Graciano, Garnacha and Viura planted in 1929 and is one of the few wines at Bodegas Bhilar to see any new oak. Rich, dense, plush and ripe, this reflects the comparative heat of the site with fig and rose petal flavours and smooth, savoury tannins. Drink 2021-24.
    93 pts — Tim Atkin, Rioja Report 2020

2013 Vintage

  • The first of two vineyard-designated reds, the 2013 Phinca Abejera was sourced from a 0.27-hectare plot planted in 1929 with a high percentage of Graciano on pure limestone soils. They used some 40% of stems for the fermentation in open 500-liter oak casks after being foot trodden. Fermentation is natural, and the élevage was extended to three years in 500- liter barriques. It has a sweet nose of beeswax and honey, sweet spices and aromatic herbs, quite aromatic and showy, with freshness and clean fruit and hints of tangerine peel. The palate revealed very tasty flavors with great freshness and very fine tannins. This is delicious. 1,470 bottles were filled in June 2017. Drink 2018 – 2023.
    93 pts — Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate #235 (Feb. 2018)
  • Often outstanding, this is a blend of Tempranillo with 40% Graciano and 10% each of Viura and Garnacha, planted in 1929. There are only 1,500 bottles, alas, from this 0.3-hectare parcel, but do your best to get hold of one. Garrigue and Asian spice aromas lead you into a palate that’s herbal, complex and refined with chalky, palate-cleansing acidity. Drink 2020-30.
    95 pts — Tim Atkin, Rioja Report 2018

2012 Vintage

  • David Sampedro’s top red is a stylish blend of Tempranillo with 40% Graciano and 10% each of Viura and Garnacha, planted in 1932. Made with 100% stems and aged in old wood, it’s typical of the bodega’s style: spicy, fruit-driven and reflecting its terroir. The tannins are beautifully articulated here. Drink 2018-23.
    94 pts — Tim Atkin, Rioja Report 2017
  • 94 pts — James Suckling (Dec 2016). One of Spain’s Top 100 Wines of 2016, ranking at #51.

2011 Vintage

  • 93 pts — Tim Atkin (Dec 2016)
  • 92 pts — Wine Spectator (Aug 2015)