Vineyard: Sourced from a variety of our estate vineyards. A “village” wine expressing the vineyards of Elvillar when left untouched by conventional treatments.
Appellation: DOCa Rioja (subregion: Rioja Alavesa)
Varieties: 85% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano, and 5% Viura.
Harvest and Production: Hand harvested and brought to the winery in 10 kg cases. Approximately half of the grapes are destemmed and the other half undergoes whole cluster carbonic maceration, the two are combined and a natural fermentation takes place in a large oak vat. After the fermentation is finished, the wine is aged 36 months in 500 L neutral French oak barrels.
- The red 2016 Phincas has a note of nutmeg and clove similar to the sensations I found in a couple of the whites, plus the balsamic and herbal, vermouth-like aromas found in the Phinca Abejera, cola nut and sweet spices. The spicy and balsamic notes are also found in the palate, which is polished with resolved tannins and mellow acidity. This is now 100% from their own biodynamic vineyards and is a blend of Tempranillo, Graciano and Viura. This is ready to drink now, but it should also develop in bottle for a few more years. It was bottled in February 2020 after a long élevage of 35 months in 225- and 500-liter oak barrels plus six months resting in concrete.
92 pts — Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate #251 (Oct. 2020)
- Fermented with 100% whole bunches, Phincas is a village blend from various plots in Elvillar, David Sampedro’s home from home. Rose petal and violet aromas sashay into a palate that is typically sappy and savoury, with subtle oak, flavours of thyme and oregano and a nip of tannin. Drink 2021-25.
92 pts — Tim Atkin, Rioja Report 2020
- Tasted as a sample of the final blend waiting to be bottled, the 2015 Phincas is from a challenging year when they had to move out of their old winery and David broke his foot during the harvest, so he didn’t produce some of the wines. So, this has around 85% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano and the rest Viura from all the vineyards except La Revilla and El Vedao, the only single vineyards bottled separately that year. It has an intense balsamic nose of macerated herbs, acid berries and dark chocolate and is spicy but not oaky, with a fine palate with pungent acidity and great freshness. There are 5,000 liters of this that should make it into some 6,500 bottles after almost two years in used barrique and one year in oak vats. When I tasted the bottled wine, it had all the vermouth-like aromas and macerated herbs, and the palate felt quite balanced and with the freshness to develop in bottle.
91 pts — Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate #243 (June 2018)
- The 2014 Phincas has a very unusual nose with notes of marzipan and macerated herbs. They didn’t produce a Phinca Abejera in 2014, so those grapes, which tend to deliver very balsamic and vermouth-like herbal aromas, were put here. The palate is austere and a little sharp, with some pointy tannins. Unusual. 10,620 bottles produced. It was bottled in March 2018.
90 pts — Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate #243 (June 2018)
- The 2013 Phincas is their “domaine” red from biodynamically farmed vineyards in Elvillar, most of them 50+ years old. It’s mostly Tempranillo with some Graciano and Viura, fermented with 60% stems in oak vats with indigenous yeasts. The wine matured in used 500-liter French oak barrels for three years. It has intense balsamic aromas reminiscent of a vermouth or a Barolo Chinato, a character that I like and is very distinct, but when it’s a constant in all the wines, it tends to make them look similar. The core fruit has good focus, perfect ripeness and a pleasant mouthfeel, with good freshness and acidity. 9,330 bottles produced. It was bottled in May 2017. Drink 2018 – 2023.
91 pts — Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate #235 (Feb. 2018)
- This is the first vintage of Phincas to be bottled in David Sampedro’s stylish new winery, made from his own vines in Elvillar with a cuvée of Tempranillo, 15% Graciano and 5% Viura. Whole bunch fermented, it’s sappy and textured with aromas of clove and ginger spice, fine tannins and understated oak. Drink 2020-25.
94 pts — Tim Atkin, Rioja Report 2018
- A suave and impressively styled wine. Ripe, pristine dark cherries and chocolate on the nose lead into a carefully crafted, luxuriously flavoured palate. Long and regal. Drink now.
93 pts — James Suckling