Winemaking in Rioja has a contradictory vein: winemakers tend to use classic techniques and grape varietals to make modern wines. Heras Cordon is a relatively new winery in Rioja Alta, being a few generations old. They use old-school concrete tanks for fermentation and classic grapes (Tempranillo and Graciano) in the blend. They back that up with a year and a half in new oak and a few other modern touches. The result is fantastic.

Melted chocolate on the nose, along with flowers, smokey cedar and créme de cassis. Earthy notes on the palate veer toward vanilla and then into a lush puddle of blackberries. A freshness keeps this very interesting through to the finish, which courses into mineral and toasted spices. A sexy and smart wine. Medium to full bodied. Highly recommended.