barbuVINS Newsletter


We're very happy to showcase here the wines from David and Melanie at Bodegas Bhilar. It's one thing to work hard, but without passion for what you do, the results are not the same. Here, it's the perfect combination of immense talent, relentless effort, and a passion for wine that reflect a true expression of the terroir.

With the holidays approaching, contact us if you have special gifts to order, or need help with planning an event. We can also organize a tasting if you have a group of wine lovers interested in our products.

The price list of available products can be found on our website. It has recently been updated, and the list of upcoming wine is a way to plan ahead and reserve what you want. We have wines arriving in time for the holidays. To reserve your wines, just send us an email.

Remember to tell your friends and the sommelier of your favorite restaurant(s) to look at our wine list! Also, we'd appreciate to receive your comments on our Facebook page or on Instagram.

Thanks for sharing our passion.

Marie-Claude & Benoît


Rioja Alavesa and Beyond

For those who have experienced them, the wines of David Sampedro and Melanie Hickman at Bodegas Bhilar are recognized as something to look forward to. This new release is no exception. Even if most wines were pre-ordered by many, some cases are still available. Some, only in minute quantities.

Bodegas Bhilar practices biodynamic viticulture and low-intervention winemaking, using only spontaneous fermentations. David’s relentless pursuit of perfection and a return to traditional winemaking makes him a recognized figure in the new generation of Rioja winemakers that tend to rebel against the strict D.O. winemaking expectations which leads to a more standardized wine style. At Bhilar, nothing is standard. Nature decides, David and Melanie adapt and ensure the grapes are always at their optimum. There is no masking, editing, fixing. The wines are what they are: true and reflective of the terroir.

David is one of the proponents of the Village Wine style, recognizing that different vineyards will have different characteristics. Those with a sharp palate that have grown up in this region, such as David, can blindly map the various local origin of Rioja Alavesa wines. Why try to erase those features? This is why Bhilar produces high-end wines such as Abejerra, Lali, La Revilla and San Julian.

Talking about Abejerra, those who have heard me describe my passion for Bodegas Bhilar have surely heard me describe this wine. It is extremely complex, with the traditional tempranillo spices and fruit notes, but with a layer of garrigue-type aromas of thyme and rosemary.

In 2014, David wasn’t happy Abejerra and how it presented itself, not because of the quality, but he felt it lacked the unique character usually found in the wines from this vineyard. As a result, he decided to blend the juices with the Phincas cuvée. We thus have a 2014 Phincas on steroids. Grab it while you can as we obtained the last few cases of the production. The 2015 will be similar to the 2013, but in even smaller quantities because of the low yield of the vintage.

Also, in limited amounts, one of the only two 100% Rufete wines produced in Spain. Refute is a grape indigenous to Sierra de Salamanca. It is known as Tinta Pinheira in Portugal. The Spanish variant has adapted well to the Spanish climate and is Spain’s answer to pinot noir given that it yields light, delicate but complex wines with spicy and floral notes, often earthy, but otherwise mineral in character depending on the type of soil it grows on. Something to try. Again and again.

barbuVINS is proud to present the following wines:

new wines in our portfolio

• Phinca Encanto 2015 (Rufete from Sierra de Salamanca)

• Phinca El Vedao 2015 (garnacha from Rioja Alavesa)

new vintages of previously available wines

• Phincas 2014 (Rioja Alavesa)

• Bhilar Tinto 2017 (Rioja Alavesa)

• Bhilar Blanco 2018 (Rioja Alavesa)

• Shanela 2016 (Albariño from Rías Baixas)

• Phinca Hapa blanco 2017 (“orange” wine from Rioja Alavesa)

• Lágrimas de Garnacha 2018 (Navarra)

Descriptions of wines from Bodegas Bhilar can be found here.


Tasting Notes

Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate, Issue 243, June 28, 2019

2017 Bhilar tinto

The red village 2017 Bhilar was produced with 60% of their own grapes and 40% purchased from local growers. It spent 18 months in oak vats and barriques. It has an expressive nose and is very fruit-driven, with the oak really well-integrated with the fruit. There are notes of ripe berries and herbs with a spicy twist. The palate is medium to full-bodied with chalky, fine-grained tannins. This has to be the best vintage for this bottling so far. 20,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in February 2019.
90+ (2019 - 2021)

Phinca Hapa Blanco 2017

The white 2017 Phinca Hapa Blanco has some notes of popcorn and a spicy and smoky twist, but it's very different from the other white I tasted. This is from a vineyard that Melanie bought with her savings and then renamed it after her dog. The wine had some skin contact, so it has a faint golden color and a slightly tannic palate. It's a blend of 82% Viura, 12% Garnacha Blanca and 6% Malvasía from a large vineyard in the village of Elvillar. This is a white light red that calls for food. 2,500 bottles produced. It was bottled in November 2018.
93 (2019 - 2023)

Phinca El Vedao 2015

The one varietal Garnacha, a grape that's not that common in the village of Elvillar, the 2015 Phinca El Vedao is from three plots on a south-facing slope at lower altitude, some 500 meters above sea level, where the grape sets and ripens properly. The wine matured in 400- and 500-liter oak barrels for almost two and a half years. It has an expressive Garnacha nose with berry fruit and a floral touch, more in the style of some wines from the north of Navarra than the ones from Aragón. It has the freshness and acidity often linked to the wines from Elvillar. It's very balanced and complete and has very fine tannins, a chalky texture from the limestone soils and great balance. A step up over the first vintage. 2,070 bottles were filled in April 2018.
93+ (2019 - 2023)


We had the pleasure to have Melanie and David with us for a few days and hosted a winemaker's dinner to showcase some upcoming wines. Thanks for visiting !


We still have a few of cases wines from Pago Aylés. Order before it's too late,

Also ahead of the holiday, we have 2 cases of "Y" 2015 in Magnum format. Aside from being a good deal, it's an amazing wine.

We are planning to order more wines from Luis Moya for Spring. We still have a few cases of Masusta and Urbanita in stock.  Both wines are amazing examples of the complexity of Navarra wines... at very reasonable prices. 


Although we’re repeating ourselves, don’t forget to engage with barbuVINS on social media. For those following us on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter, your comments, review, pictures (I'm sure you look great in a barbuVINS apron) and references are a great help.  

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