Already in the Running For Our 2019 Top Value Rioja
Rarely does a wine pass our tasting panel with little debate. Extremely rare is the wine that gains unanimous approval after the first sip. But that’s exactly what happened when we tasted this 2013 Bodegas Pedro Martinez Alesanco, and today, we are the first to offer this stunning Rioja in the United States. This 93-point Rioja Reserva is classically built courtesy of all estate vines in Rioja Alta—the subregion of Rioja that is home to Spain’s top producers like CVNE, López de Heredia, and Muga. We owe this black-and-blue fruited, medium-bodied Tempranillo discovery to our friend Christophe Chappillon, whose wines have become fast favorites among Wine Access members.
Bodegas Pedro Martinez’s estate fruit for this Rioja Reserva comes from Badarán, in the heart of Rioja Alta, which boasts a higher elevation in the mountains where cooling breezes off the Atlantic Ocean have lasting impacts on vines rooted in limestone and iron-rich soils. The cool temperatures allow for long hangtimes as grapes ripen slowly, building terrific complex flavors while acids remain fresh and vibrant—growers often harvest late into October.
The 2013 Alesanco combines everything we love about good Rioja—elegant structure and complex tannins courtesy of aging in American and French oak, and good acidity, making this a wine that complements an array of dishes, but is also delicious and thought-provoking enough to enjoy as an aperitif. All this, plus an under-$20 package, makes Alesanco a classic addition to any cellar.
It’s been more than a year now since we first met Chapillon. “You won’t believe the prices when you taste the quality,” is what a friend said, as he led us Chapillon’s table at Prowein in Dusseldorf, Germany. Amidst a backdrop of 7,000 other wines, we were genuinely floored by Chapillon’s selections. Since our first offer, we’ve fielded emails almost daily from eager clients who wouldn’t mind if they saw a Chapillon offer in their inbox once a week.
Chapillon has spent some 20 years importing stunningly affordable wines of exceptional quality. Today’s offer combines his expertise in finding the best producers with impeccable terroir from the Rioja Alta— Spain’s most-prized region for Tempranillo. Little wonder Chapillon is putting Pedro Martinez on a pedestal: vines have existed here since Roman times, and the third generation of the Bodega is at the helm today—this storied history and rich viticultural roots are exactly the ingredients needed to make a wine like Alesanco.
At $19.99 each, Alesanco is another of Chapillon’s “vins d’amis”—a wine to share with friends, but priced to stash away plenty for yourself.