Profile of Bodega Contador (Benjamin Romeo)
Benjamin Romeo is a rock star in Spain’s wine world! From his base in the beautiful village of San Vicente de la Sonsierra, in the Rioja Alavesa region, he produces an extensive range of superlative Riojas in highly diverse styles. What sets them apart is not such the quality of winemaking – which is nonetheless excellent – but their individualism and sense of place, which reflects Romeo’s passionate belief that terroir above all else must be reflected in his respective wines. His wines are cult wines for collectors and highly coveted.
However, despite the great renown today of Contador, it was born from very humble beginnings. The first vintage of Cueva de Contador (1996) was matured in a centuries-old cave, hewn into the rock beneath the Castle of San Vicente de la Sonsierra. After his initial success, Romeo decided to acquire more vineyards and produced the inaugural vintage of Contador in 1999.
Nonetheless, Romeo realized he needed a proper base of his own. Turning to his parents for help, in 2001, the rising star transformed the family garage into a small winery, producing every greater wine quantity. They soon caught the attention of the world’s wine critics, including Robert Parker, who awarded 100 points to the 2004 and 2005 vintages of Contador. With the renown of the wine-growing and the acclaim of Condator justly rising to stratospheric heights, Romeo decided to build a modern winery in San Vicente to fully realize his vision.
Unveiled in 2008, the winery was designed by legendary architect Hector Herrera, a state-of-the-art facility that serves as the perfect base from which Benjamin Romeo can craft his remarkable wines and is one of our favorite wineries to include on a La Rioja Wine Tour. Using fruit harvested from a diverse mosaic of terroirs, Romeo’s skill as a master blender and ‘terroiriste’ reaches its apogee with the Cueva de Contador label, a classically structured Rioja that is marked more by its elegance than its power. By contrast, the opulent and exotic Contador is a blockbuster – a massive but superbly balanced Tempranillo and probably the very best of the new wave of Rioja reds available today.
45% Viura, 39% Garnacha Blanca, 16% Malvasia. Fermentation takes place in oak barrels, the wine is then aged in 30% new French oak for 8 months.
Que Bonito Cacareaba
35% Viura, 52% Garnacha Blanca, 13% Malvasia. Fermentation takes place in oak barrels, the wine is then aged in 100% new French oak for 8 months. A powerful, structured white Rioja that pairs wonderfully well with fish dishes.
80% Tempranillo, 15% Garnacha, 5% Graciano. Fermentation takes place in oak vats, the wine is then aged for a period of 24 months in French oak, before being subject to a further 36 months in bottle. Accessible on release, Carmen will benefit from ageing.
A mi Manera
94% Tempranillo, 6% Garnacha. Fermentation takes place in oak vats, the wine is then released soon after. A fresh, fruity Rioja for early drinking.
96% Tempranillo, 2% Garnacha, 1% Mazuelo and 1% Graciano. The wine is fermented in oak vats and stainless steel tanks, before being aged for 16 months in French oak.
La Cueva de Contador
100% Tempranillo. The wine is fermented in oak vats and then aged for 18 months in new French oak.
La Vina del Andres Romeo
100% Tempranillo. The wine is fermented in oak vats and then aged for 19 months in new French oak.
100% Tempranillo. The wine is fermented in oak vats and then aged for 19 months in new French oak. The prestige wine of the property, Contador will benefit from extended cellaring.
Bodega Contador (Benjamin Romeo)
Ctra. Baños de Ebro Km. 1
26338 San Vicente de la Sonsierra
La Rioja, Spain
Tel +34 608 260 659
- Area under vine
- 32 Hectares
- Age of vines
- 30 years+ Low yields
- Oak barrel origin
- French Barriques
- Benjamín Romeo Hilera
- Benjamín Romeo Hilera
- 150.000 bottles per annum, depending on the vintage
- Grape varietals
- Tempranillo, Garnacha, Viura, Garnacha Blanca, Malvasia, Graciano, Mazuelo