Consejo de la Alta 2011 Cata de Consejero, Rioja

Consejo de la Alta 2011 Cata de Consejero, Rioja

Bodegas Consejo de la Alta is located in a tiny town the Ebro river. It’s a place that could simply be described as between: it’s between the two major Riojan cities of of Haro and Logrono. It is located between Basque Country and La Rioja. It’s located between two other wineries; Bodegas Riojanas and Marques de Caceres.

It’s a tiny winery, no more than a storefront a hundred feet from the brilliant white walls and grand vistas of Marques de Caceres.  Very little is known about this winery. Their website is flashy but limited in scope. The information that is relayed by everyone –whether it is in Spanish, German, or English is the same three paragraphs:

Bodegas Consejo de la Alta nació en 1990 en Cenicero (La Rioja), siendo ésta una zona privilegiada para el cultivo.
Los vinos de Bodegas Consejo de la Alta se elaboran casi en su totalidad con la uva tempranillo, contando en ocasiones con pequeños porcentajes de mazuelo y graciano.
La selección del terreno, la calidad de la vendimia, las prácticas enológicas y la calidad del roble son algunos de los motivos por lo que se producen vinos de excelente calidad.

Not a single author has ever written about them, or even interviewed them. They are a mystery. All is known is that their winemaker is Ignacio Fernández Lacuesta, who  was a winemaking consultant for the past decade before coming on board at the winery in 2012.  As who the winemaker was in 2011, there is no records anywhere.

What I do know is that the winery has been making remarkable modern-style wines since at least 2004, when I first tried the Cata de Consejero. This wine is what tempranillo is all about. Dark fruit accented with tobacco, leather and burnt licorice on the nose. On the palate, there is a flash of fresh pomegranate and ocean air, which quickly moved to sage and cigar box. Dried fruit and burnt vanilla show up in the finish. Outstanding.