"The 2010 Calvario is produced from 90% Tempranillo, 8% Garnacha and 2% Graciano from a vineyard in Briones, which names the wine, planted in 1945. The destemmed but uncrushed grapes fermented in a French oak vat for 14 days at a temperature of 28ºC, were transferred to new French oak barrels where malolactic fermentation was carried out and the wine matured for one and a half years being racked every six months. It has a very strong imprint from the soil, savory notes of meat broth (umami?), peat and a core of ripe, aromatic fruits, damsons, black cherries, blackberries and balsamic aromas. The palate displays sweet tannins and great acidity, very approachable and gentle, with great balance that would make the wine age gracefully. Drink 2014-2025. Miguel Angel de Gregorio, proprietor and alma mater of Finca Allende, was born in La Mancha, but at the tender age of six months he moved to Rioja, as his father was in charge of viticulture at the Ygay estate from Marques de Murrieta. Miguel Angel grew up in Ygay, surrounded by vines and wine, and it was difficult to see how he’d escape the wine world. After his oenology studies he got a job as technical director of (the now disappeared) Bodegas Breton, and in 1994 he started his own project, making a carbonic maceration wine he aged in oak that he called Allende, meaning, far away. He has come a long way since, becoming one of the most prominent winemakers in Rioja and the whole of Spain. Allende was expanded with another two projects, Finca Nueva in Rioja and Finca Coronado in his native La Mancha. He likes 2010, which he calls the best vintage he’s ever lived, including 1981, when he started, and that’s saying something, as 1981 remains one of the great vintages, much better than the acclaimed 1982. He has and expresses his strong opinions quite vehemently. For example, he does not really consider 2005 a great vintage, he prefers 2004. He told me that in Rioja Alta the greatest vintages have always been the late, cool vintages. He considers 2011 a warm year, the same as 2009, and you feel it in the wines. 2012 is more balanced, despite being very dry, but with freshness. It’s worth remembering that Briones, where his winery and vineyards are, is a clay terroir with no limestone. "