Contino Rioja Reserva


This stunner of a Reserva is unlike most of the others you'll have ever tried. It's complex and concentrated, but fresh and juicy enough to make you want more and more.

Creamy and smooth with flavours of bramble fruit, strawberries, vanilla and clove, it will live long in the memory.

Viñedos del Contino was founded in 1973, becoming the first "Chateau" concept in Rioja. The rural farmhouse and its buildings in Laserna, Laguardia, are surrounded by 62 hectares of Rioja Alavesa vineyards from which all its grapes are sourced, at a bend in the river Ebro.

The soils are remarkably stony and are full of large, flat and round stones much like the soils in Chateauneuf du Pape, which is really interesting, because the wines bear a fascinating similarity to that same famed French appellation. It's this single site and the unique quality in which it is situated that made the owners think outside the box to form this single-site concept.

With cave-like cellars dating from the 16th century, these are some of the oldest wine-related buildings in Rioja. It's that romantic ideal of old-meets-new with modern approaches to ancient land.

The history of the house also dates back to the 16th century and is reflected in the  name. The farm was home to an officer in charge of the one hundred soldiers who continuously guarded the royal family (‘de contino’ in Spanish). 

The process here is, well, meticulous. Grapes are grown and managed in micro-vineyard plots within the one, greater vineyard area. Old Tempranillo is grown alongside Rioja's least-grown but increasingly admired red vairiety, Graciano.

The winery even make a 100% Graciano, which is sensationally good. One of the vineyard plots is called Vina del Olivo, because it is a walled 'clos' in which is situated a vast olive tree that is estimated to be over a thousand years old, predating all of the winemaking history in one swoop!

This Reserva Rioja spends two years in barrel, followed by another two years in their underground cellars. It's much more than the minimum specifications that other competing wines might adhere to, but that's not Contino's interest - they want what is best for their expression of their soils and their grapes.

This really is intense stuff. Lovely, deep red fruits, a little smoke, cloves, medium to full body, but with a wonderful freshness and balance. Very fine, very smooth, perfectly balanced and seriously juicy.

Wine Enthusiast scored it 93 points.

Region: Rioja

Country: Spain

Grape(s): Tempranillo, Graciano

Style: Vibrant, Structured, Smooth, Intense, Fruity, Fresh, Elegant, Complex, Bright

Best food matches: Poultry, Mature Cheeses, Lamb, Grills, Fine Dining, Casseroles

Alcohol: 14%

Why buy from us?

When you buy wine from The Allotment Wine Co. you're helping a small Irish company that in turn supports small, sustainable wine producers who grow the grapes and make amazing wines. We only work with partners who share a deep respect and connection with the land and its traditions, witnessed in a firm commitment to quality and sustainability. All of which makes for better wines.

Delivery & Returns

You'll get free delivery when you buy 12 x 75cl bottles of wine online from The Allotment, saving you €7.99.

We charge €7.99 per delivery for quantities less than that.

Our hours for processing orders are between 9am - 6pm Monday to Friday.

We pack your online wine order along the following timelines:

Wine orders for delivery in Dublin, received before 12pm on weekdays are prepared so that delivery should be expected the next working day.

Wine orders for nationwide delivery, received by 12pm on weekdays are prepared so that delivery should be expected two working days later.

Customer reviews

Great choice and excellent service. Received my delivery the next day.
Paul H.
Amazing service from the get go!
I emailed Chris looking for wine recommendations for a birthday gift. Got a really speedy, helpful reply and not only that but he hand delivered it on time to the birthday girl wishing her a happy birthday. Absolutely bowled over by the service. Cannot recommend highly enough.
Michelle McM.
Could not recommend The Allotment enough. The selection is fantastic and each wine that I've drank from them has been utterly phenomenal. Delivery was no hassle and I had the wine at my door in 2 days. Couldn't have asked for a better experience.
Luke B.
Good range of interesting wines. Good personal attention to their orders. Very customer focused. I would be happy to recommend this company to any prospective customer.
Jim D.
A great experience ordering from The Allotment Wine Company. A wide variety of wines to try something new and at good prices with super quick delivery! Really convenient too as opposed to trying to find parking!
N. Dowling
Delicious and interesting range of wines delivered promptly to my door. Not far off that lovely feeling of coming back laden from a good wine store but without any of the traffic or the worry of breaking the wine en route (very impressive travel wrap).
M. Dorman
Chris fields a fine range of excellent, keenly-priced wines. Orders are safely packaged and dispatched efficiently and promptly. Strongly recommended.
David M.
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Patrick H.
Hi, I'm Chris Gifford.

And you're very welcome to The Allotment Wine Co.

When you wine from me, you're supporting a small Irish business which in turn supports small, sustainable wine producers, as well as other small, dedicated Irish wine importers.

When selecting wines, I look for partners who share a deep respect and connection with the land and its traditions, witnessed in a firm commitment to quality and sustainability. All of which makes for better wines.