We ran into Olivier Riviere just over a year ago in Spain and came away very impressed after tasting through his wines. They have finally become available on the west coast and this one is definitely a winner.
"The 2012 Vinas del Cadastro is a blend of four vineyards in the village of Covarrubias (Burgos), planted with old Tempranillo vines; and as with all old vineyards there are some other varieties interplanted in the field, in this case some 5% Garnacha. 50% of full clusters were used for the vinification in open plastic bins with indigenous yeasts. In 2012, Riviere did a lighter extraction, as the grapes had enough tannins, and what you needed was to get a balanced juice. The different plots were matured in 300- and 600-liter French oak casks separately, then blended after almost two years and kept in vat for five-six months before being bottled. The characteristic of this wine is always a floral, exuberant and expressive nose (a character that Riviere think comes for a plot called La Tizona), but with volume, nice acidity and much finer tannins than in previous vintages, which makes it approachable yet powerful. There are fine spices and something earthy, a little mealy and malty, really showy and expressive. This is an elegant, really impressive Arlanza, drinkable now and with the stuffing, balance and acidity to develop nicely in bottle. This is the finest and better balanced Vinas del Cadastro so far. This is an incredible value for money." 94 points Luis Gutierrez Wine Advocate
"Opaque purple. Complex, smoke-accented bouquet of cherry-cola, cassis, spicecake, licorice and candied flowers. Starts off firm and linear and unfolds slowly to offer sweet black and blue fruit flavors and suggestions of fruitcake and mocha. Vanilla and allspice nuances build with air and carry through a very long, gently tannic, focused finish. I get no impression of excess weight here despite the wine's heft." 92 points Josh Raynolds Vinous